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JAMstack

A JAMstack Primer: Quick Guide to JAMstack for Absolute Beginners in 2022

Introduction 

JAMstack is increasingly becoming very popular amongst web developers, and you’re probably wondering if you should add this to your portfolio of skills too. You’re not alone in this situation.

Multi-billion dollar web platform, Netlify considers it as the modern approach to creating faster and secure websites. JAMStack-centric startups like Prismic are raising massive investor funds to develop awesome developer tools in the space. Web agencies love and prefer to build solutions for customers with it.     

So what is JAMstack?

by jamstack.wtf

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

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

JAMstack stands for Javascript, APIs and Markup. 

Javascript, the most popular language amongst web developers, enables dynamic functionalities helping devs create an interactive experience on otherwise static websites. Gatsby, Next, and Vue are the most popular JS libraries used.  

APIs (Application Programming Interface) are used to interact with server-side functions. Recently, the rising popularity of GraphQL, a query language for APIs, has introduced several web developers to the model.

Markup – Content is served as static files and pre-generated before deployment by most SSGs (Static Site Generators).

In summary, JAMstack websites work by:

  • Decoupling the frontend from the backend creating a seperation of concerns in structure. This brings a lot of benefits as we will see soon.
  • Fetching data with APIs making dynamic enhancements to web pages possible.
  • Prebuilding optimized content before deployment. 

Potential Benefits For You

Some of the reasons why you should consider learning how to use JAMstack in creating efficient web assets are: 

Massive Demand for your skills

Learning how to develop websites using the JAMstack model can open many opportunities for you. For example, WordPress, the most popular CMS in the world, powers more than 41% of the web. As many of these WordPress sites grow in usage, they tend to deploy Headless WordPress resources to scale their operations in a secure and user-friendly manner. Also, its usage has expanded from just creating static blogs and small websites to creating large-scale, enterprise-focused websites.

Better Developer Experience

Besides the fact that your existing HTML, CSS, and JS skills make working with the model easier, loads of intuitive developer tools are available. Also, because there is an enforced separation of concerns, web developers can focus more on creating interactive experiences without the attendant debugging troubles of monolithic structures. There are also large developer communities and documentations around each framework. All these make creating JAMstack sites a seamless process.

Happy Clients and Customers

The ultimate goal of web developers is to build websites that help their clients achieve their intended target. Whether you plan to grow sales, website visitors or improve page speed and rankings, JAMstack empowers you to accomplish this easily. Prebuilding content before deployment via CDNs helps developers optimize for speed, providing a fast and seamless user experience for potential customers. This can be powerful in increasing sales and SEO rankings.

Websites developed with JAMstack are also more secure and less expensive to scale and maintain. This is due to the decoupling of stacks which reduces database vulnerabilities. Prebuilt static files are also cheaper to host.

Deep Dive?

If you’re interested in expanding your knowledge on JAMstack and how to create websites powered by them, here are some resources for you. 

Resources

1. Jamstack.org maintained by Netlify. They also run an annual 2-day JAMstack conference

2. New to Jamstack? Everything You Need to Know to Get Started

3. JAMstack wtf

4. Netlify’s JAMstack overview page and a free e-book on New Techniques for Ultra-Fast Sites and Web Applications

5. There are also git repositories with curated resources like this and this

Conclusion  

JAMstack is an innovative approach to creating faster, more secure, and scalable websites that your clients and customers will love. Adding this to your repertoire of web development skills comes with a lot of benefits you can’t overlook. 

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