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Jamstack – Faster, More Secure, More Scalable Websites

October 26, 2021

Written by: Tony Pease, CEO

Jamstack is praised as the new framework for making websites faster, easier to scale, and more secure. According to Netlify, Jamstack is a common web application architecture consisting of primarily pre-rendered, static HTML relying on client-side APIs and Javascript for interactive elements. I take their definition as gospel since Netlify coined the term ‘Jamstack’ in 2015.

The most common languages and content delivery networks (CDNs):

  • Front end: Javascript (Vue, React), TypeScript.
  • Back end: Node.js, Deno, or anything with an API.
  • CDN: Vercel, Cloudflare, Akamai, or Fastly.

Jamstack’s core principles:

  • The front end is built using a static site generator
  • The back end is integrated with APIs and can also be run using serverless functions.   
  • The sites are largely static first with pre-compiled components in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.  
  • The experience is progressively enhanced sight content is introduced as needed, increasing overall site performance in the browser. 

For Jamstack web applications, the front end and back end are separated. There are many frameworks out there for Jamstack, the most common being Next.JS. This is convenient for Carimus since our development team has mastered React, the most popular javascript-based front-end framework. Also, the Jamstack overlaps Carimus’ areas of technical expertise, WordPress and React. The Next.js framework is built by Vercel but is previously known as ZEIT. 

The benefits of using Jamstack as a web application:

  1. It’s faster. Jamstack serves pre-built markup and assets over a CDN.
  2. It’s more secure. The front and back end are separated, so any security flaws that could be breached in the front end will not lead to the back end where important data is stored.
  3. It’s more scalable. Since there’s no server-client interaction on the pre-rendered pages, served up as static pages, the CDN seamlessly compensates if usage spikes.

The downsides of using Jamstack:

  1. It requires developers to create content. While this might be a short-term problem, and you can still use WordPress as a CMS, there is a learning curve. Jamstack developers tend to be fresher in their career and there are not as many of them as some of the other web application frameworks. 
  2. The updates will require coding. When your sites require more dynamic features, this will mean you need a back end, the complexity will go from website to web application.

What’s the verdict? 

Websites are becoming more complex and API integrations are common. For our more sophisticated websites, Jamstacks with a CMS will continue to gain ground.  

According to Web Almanac, only 1% of all websites are built on a Jamstack framework as of 2020. This doesn’t sound like much but it’s up 50% over the previous year. While it isn’t required for simple, information-only sites, we think this Jamstack will be a common framework for the coming years. 

Carimus and many other organizations are starting to build practice areas for Jamstack in anticipation of demand. We see the main motivation for demand to increase page load times for SEO performance since web visitors tend to be more and more mobile-first. Let us know if you’d like to hear more about Jamstack.

About Carimus

Carimus is a brand experience and digital transformation agency located in Raleigh, North Carolina. Founded in 2013, we provide strategy, creative, and technical services for the world’s leading brands. If you have questions about this article or would like to consult with us on your next technical or brand project, please send us an email at connect@carimus.com.

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