To Jamstack or not?

by Will Moody

To Jamstack or not?

Approximate Reading Time: 2 minutes

What is Jamstack?

JAMstack where JAM stands for JavaScript, API's and Markup, and it's a stack of those that you use to build your new web application.

Why use a Jamstack to develop websites?

  • Faster Performance: Build your files only on deployment and serve them over a CDN.
  • Cheap and Fast Deployment: Jamstack websites can easily be deployed without going through the hassle of configuring databases, securing .htaccess and so on. We are only dealing with static files so it is easy to integrate a fast CDN to get up and running.
  • Less expensive: Hosting of static files are cheap or even free.
  • High-Security: Static Websites have a very low potential for vulnerabilities because it is just HTML files. This reduces any possible risk or attack on the website.
  • Great Community: The JAMstack community is growing over time. New support for various functionality springs up every day

What's the process?

Having built several static websites using an HTML, CSS and javascript skeleton with Gulp to build there was a learning curve to producing my first website using a Jamstack framework. 

After a bit of research, I decided that Gridsome would be my framework of choice. The reasons being:-

  • It's based on vue.js, which is well established.
  • It has great documentation.
  • It has a large support community.
  • It has several plugins and templates, great for that first venture.

It's then a simple case of using yarn(or npm) to develop your website, building it locally first of course. For simple information type websites, it very quick to develop a site, Gridsome takes care of image processing and via plugins favicons, sitemaps and robots.txt files can all be generated. Once you are happy with your website it's then a case of again using yarn(or npm) to build your static code.

That's it, you then have static files to upload to your hosting server of choice, this will give you a website that super fast and secure.

One thing to note is that if you have any form processing to complete on your new website this will have to be done by a third party, I use form-data as they have a free pricing plan which will cover the needs of most of my clients and the setup is very painless, great if you are a developer.

Takeaway

With Jamstack web applications so easy to produce and host, in most cases, there really is no reason not to take the plunge and of course, learn something new along the way.

Have fun