Jamstack is a powerful web development architecture for building modern websites that can be easier to scale and more secure. Learn how it works.
The early days of the internet were simpler than today. Websites were built using simple HTML files that could be used by the browser. The HTML would determine how the website should look and the browser would handle it.
As technology evolves, the complexity of building modern websites evolves as well. We have many possibilities of what we can do with a modern website. We can personalize the content based on the user’s location, we can create animated elements that will bring a sensation of freshness, and we can use many more advanced technologies that can, without a doubt, make a website more complex.
It is rare to see a simple website built today using only HTML. Under the hood, there’s a ton of code, libraries, services being used—it is hard to imagine how complex a website is. We’re always working on something that can be advanced beyond what we could achieve using simple HTML markup. Many applications nowadays are using hundreds of libraries to create the best user experience possible. Trying to mimic this behavior using only HTML and nothing more would be a clumsy decision.
If you love HTML, check out this post on Tailwind CSS to see how you could use this tool for CSS styling all with HTML.
The fact is that the internet evolved from simple HTML websites to complex websites using advanced technologies in a few decades. User experience is today very important for every modern website and is one of the largest factors that determine the success of a website.
Based on the user experience and using established technologies, web developers are using a new web development architecture to make websites more performant and usable.
We’re going to learn more about what the Jamstack is and what it can do to help us create better web experiences—making our web apps faster, more secure and easier to scale.
Jamstack is a powerful web development architecture that takes established technologies and changes the way we are building modern applications. It is not a technology but an architectural way of building modern websites that can be easier to scale and more secure.
The Jamstack was created to be used on many different tools and workflows that are used by modern developers to bring the best of speediness, security and productivity.
Jamstack has revolutionized the way we think about building for the web by providing a simpler developer experience, better performance, lower cost and greater scalability. — Jamstack WTF
The interesting thing about Jamstack is that none of these technologies are new to web development in general.
APIs are the main way we can create systems, applications and services that can communicate with other services. When we think deeply, the internet is made of a bunch of APIs communicating with each other and creating this rich ecosystem of information.
Markup is a computer language that uses keywords, names and tags to format the view of a page. It is not a programming language but it’s widely used today for creating any sort of documents—for example, documentation. It is a language that enhances the presentation of the document and can make it more ordered and legible.
What makes Jamstack great are the possibilities that it opens to developers to build websites that are scalable, performant and overall efficient.
There are two core principles that Jamstack uses to make websites faster—pre-rendering and decoupling.
Sometimes developers can get confused by the term Jamstack and think that it is a new technology.
Jamstack is more a new architectural approach for building modern websites. You can find that most of the websites that are using the Jamstack share the same characteristics:
Pre-rendering is a process that preloads all elements of a page ahead of time. It makes the whole user experience faster since the page will be loaded before it is rendered. It ensures good performance and SEO.
Decoupling is a very important process to create separation between the systems and services. Each part of the Jamstack can operate independently without causing any errors. The frontend can be deployed using a CDN without having to rely on the backend or an API.
APIs are responsible for loading the dynamic content, allowing pages to be enhanced and personalized. The content can come from any data source, such as markdown, JSON/YAML and third-party APIs.
What are the main benefits of using the Jamstack to build a modern website? Well, there’s a ton of benefits that can impact your website:
The main reason why you should choose Jamstack over another stack is to rely less on the server. Making fewer server requests results in better performance and faster load times.
The goal of a developer is always to create the best experience possible. Implementations are simple details—what matters most are the results. Creating a fast and delightful website should be the ultimate goal of every company to provide a good user experience.
Jamstack is a powerful architecture that can power and change how companies and developers are creating modern websites. It is taking technologies that we have been using for years and framing a better way to deliver high-quality websites and good content to users.
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