1 Why Jamstack?


This chapter covers

  • Defining Jamstack as an architecture for web applications rather than a prescriptive stack of technologies
  • How Jamstack formed in response to dynamic web page development that had become cumbersome, slow, and insecure
  • Benefits of Jamstack, including page speed, security, and cost
  • Exploring well-known websites that are built with the Jamstack

As Jamstack has gained popularity in recent years, a common criticism lobbed at it is that it is just a marketing term. The truth is that they are right. As we’ll explore, Jamstack was a term invented to “rebrand” an architecture many developers were already using to build sites because the existing terminology had become misleading. While calling it marketing may be a fair critique, Jamstack is still a way of building sites that has been gaining rapid adoption by web developers.

1.1 What is the Jamstack?

The Jamstack is not a simple thing to define. There is no Jamstack installer. There’s no predefined set of tools you should install that comprise the Jamstack. There’s not even a specific language associated with developing Jamstack apps. (Yes, JavaScript plays a central role, but any number of languages may also be involved, including Ruby, Go, Python, or others.) Ultimately, there are countless combinations of tools and languages that can be combined to create a site that could legitimately be called Jamstack.

1.2 A brief history of Jamstack

1.2.1 The rise of static site generators

1.2.2 From static sites to JAMstack

1.2.3 From JAMstack to Jamstack

1.3 The benefits of Jamstack architecture

1.3.1 Performance

1.3.2 Security

1.3.3 Cost

1.4 When Jamstack may not be the right choice

1.5 Popular sites built with the Jamstack

1.5.1 Smashing Magazine

1.5.2 Nike

1.5.3 Impossible Foods

1.5.4 Restaurant Brands International (RBI)

1.5.5 Digital.gov