Jamstack explained in 5 minutes

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    Introduction

    Have you always wanted to build the web faster, more secure and easier to scale? Well, it is now possible with an approach that we know today as Jamstack. The world is evolving and so are developers and technology.

    In this article, we help you understand Jamstack. We explore the needs of Jamstack and what frameworks are part of it, along with learning more about the right Jamstack CMS for you.

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    What is Jamstack?

    Jamstack is an architecture of modern web development. It is designed to make the web faster, scalable and secure. It is not a specific technology, but instead, it is based on JavaScript, APIs, and Markup (JAM).

    "A modern web development architecture based on client-side JavaScript, reusable APIs, and prebuilt Markup"

    — Mathias Biilmann (CEO & Co-founder of Netlify).

    JavaScript is the browser-based language that brings all kinds of dynamic & interactive functionalities. It allows you to use any framework or library of your choice. 

    APIs help make a Jamstack app dynamic. Server-side functions for your applications are turned into reusable APIs, which are then accessed over HTTPS using JavaScript.

    Markup is critical because it serves the client as static HTML files at build time. You can use the Static Site Generator to get the source files (eg: Markdown).

    What is the need for Jamstack?

    Along with growing advancements in web development, Jamstack brings many benefits. Let us explore some of the key benefits as below:

    Security

    Jamstack decouples frontend and backend. At the same time, there isn’t any software layer or database, which means that the Jamstack is not vulnerable to external attacks.

    Scalability

    Sites can be served fully with CDN, hence one gets infinite scalability and flexibility. ignoring heavy server loads and no complex workflows around cache monitoring.

    Performance

    User experience and conversion are very important aspects when it comes to the loading speed of the pages. Jamsack sites solve this by pre-loading the pages beforehand as they are already available over a CDN. This ultimately improves the speed and web performance.

    Maintainability

    The web pages don’t need to be loaded from an application or web server, which means you do not need to maintain them. It is served directly from a CDN, which results in stable generated sites and hence there are no maintenance tasks.

    Portability

    An added advantage that comes with Jamstack is that you can host the pre-generated sites to a wide variety of hosting services. This makes it portable and super easy to move to your preferred host.

    Developer Experience

    Jamstack does not limit developers to a certain technology or framework, instead, it allows them to build on a wide variety of tools. It also removes the burden of maintaining back-end architecture, so that developers can fully concentrate on the front-end user experience.

    Jamstack Frameworks

    There is a wide range of Jamstack frameworks which can be taken into consideration as per your interest and project. Here are some examples of frameworks that are largely accepted by developers around the globe:

    NextJS

    Next is an open-source development framework that is built on top of NodeJS. It helps enable react based web apps functionalities such as generating static websites and server-side rendering. With this, you can build performant apps and superfast static websites.

    Next also brings in flexibility by making applications enabled to render on the server using its resources. Meanwhile, react renders the content part around the client-side browser.

    NuxtJS

    Nuxt is a free and open-source JavaScript library that is based on Vue.js, Node.js, Webpack and Babel.js. It is popularly also known as the "Meta-framework for universal applications". Nuxt helps make web development simple and powerful.

    Server-side rendering, auto-generated routes, improvised meta tags management, and SEO improvement are some of the key features which come with Nuxt.

    VueJS

    Vue is a JavaScript framework for building web interfaces and single-page applications. It is built on top of standard HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Vue helps you develop a user interface effectively by bringing in a declarative and component-based programming model.

    One of the main advantages of using Vue is simplicity. The core library is only focused on the view layer.

    GatsbyJS

    Gatsby is an open-source framework based on react that is mainly used for creating websites and apps. Whether it is a personal site or blog that you're building, or a high-traffic e-commerce store or company landing page, it works for all.

    Gatsby has a wide variety of plugins that can be used for various applications and it also allows you to source data from different CMSs, integrates with various tools and helps manage image optimization and loading.

    Storyblok for Jamstack

    It is clear that the purpose of Jamstack is to align web development with all the modern technologies, which in turn makes it possible to build fast and easy websites and integrations. 

    Jamstack’s approach towards web development is successful for all its users. However, to get along with JavaScript frameworks, APIs and CDN, Jamstack requires a static site generator and a Jamstack CMS.

    Now, let me introduce you to Storyblok, a headless CMS whose architecture decouples the frontend layer from the backend database, making it an ideal Jamstack CMS.

    Storyblok gives you the flexibility and ease to work on your project independently. It allows developers to connect with additional channels and services using APIs all while delivering content to end-users with a lightning-fast website. You also get the advantage of Storyblok’s very own powerful Visual Editor, which enables anyone to create once and publish anywhere while optimizing the experience.

    Conclusion

    You should have a clear idea about Jamstack after reading this post. What next? Thinking of getting started with Jamstack and Storyblok? Then head over to our Learning Hub where we have many resources, guidance and tutorials just for you.

    Stuck? You can always reach out to us from our chat on the bottom right, or send your query to our awesome community on Discord

    Please keep me posted with what you build using Jamstack & Storyblok and tweet me at @siddharth_hacks and @storyblok! 🚀

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