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Martins Gouveia
Martins Gouveia

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Jamstack: A Modern Way to Build Fast and Secure Websites

What is Jamstack?

If you are a web developer, you might have heard of Jamstack, a new trend in web development that promises faster performance, higher security, and easier scalability. But what exactly is Jamstack and how can you use it to create amazing websites?

Jamstack is not a specific technology or framework, but an architectural approach that stands for JavaScript, APIs, and Markup. It means that you build your website using only static files (HTML, CSS, JS, images, etc.) that are pre-rendered at build time and served directly from a CDN (content delivery network). You can then use JavaScript and APIs to add dynamic features and connect to various services.

Jamstack removes the need for business logic to dictate the web experience.

It enables a composable architecture for the web where custom logic and 3rd party services are consumed through APIs.

Benefits of Jamstack

Jamstack has many benefits over traditional web development methods, such as:

  • Speed: Jamstack websites are blazing fast because they are served as static files from the edge, close to the users. There is no need to wait for a server to process and render the pages on every request.

  • Security: Jamstack websites are more secure because they dont rely on a server or a database that can be hacked or compromised. You can also use services like Netlify or Vercel that provide SSL certificates and HTTPS by default.

  • Scalability: Jamstack websites are easy to scale because they dont have any server-side dependencies or limitations. You can handle any amount of traffic without worrying about server load or downtime.

  • Developer Experience: Jamstack websites are fun and easy to develop because you can use your favorite tools and frameworks, such as React, Vue, Angular, Gatsby, Next.js, Nuxt.js, Hugo, Jekyll, and many more. You can also use a headless CMS (content management system) like Contentful, Sanity, or Strapi to manage your content and data.

How does Jamstack compare to traditional web development methods?

Jamstack and traditional web development methods each have their own strengths and weaknesses, and the choice between them often depends on the specific needs of a project.

Traditional Web Development:

  1. In traditional web development, the server generates the HTML, CSS, and JavaScript that is sent to the clients web browser to be rendered.

  2. It offers advantages such as development speed, flexibility, and a robust plugin ecosystem.

  3. However, it has some pain points including performance, security, scalability, and maintainability. Since the server has to generate dynamic content on the fly, pages may take longer to load, especially if the site or app has high traffic or complex functionality3. This can lead to a poor user experience and may even result in server crashes or slowdowns.

Jamstack:

  1. Jamstack is a modern approach to web development that focuses on using static files and APIs to build fast, secure, and scalable websites and applications.

  2. Rather than generating HTML, CSS, and JavaScript on the server, Jamstack relies on pre-built static files that are served directly to the clients web browser.

  3. Jamstack websites are blazing fast because they are served as static files from the edge, close to the users.

  4. It promotes a decoupled architecture, where the frontend and backend are developed and deployed independently.

  5. Since Jamstack sites are pre-rendered and served through CDNs, there is no direct connection between the client and the server. This eliminates many common attack vectors, such as SQL injection and cross-site scripting (XSS), that are prevalent in server-side rendered applications.

In conclusion, while traditional web development excels in handling complex server-side interactions and dynamic content, Jamstack offers advantages in terms of speed, security, and scalability. Its important to carefully assess your projects requirements and your teams strengths to make an informed choice.

How Get start?

To get started with Jamstack, you need three main components:

  1. A static site generator: This is a tool that takes your source code and content and generates static HTML files that can be deployed to a CDN. There are many static site generators to choose from, depending on your preferences and needs. Some popular ones are Gatsby, Next.js, Hugo, and Jekyll.

  2. A headless CMS: This is a service that provides a backend for your content and data, without imposing any restrictions on how you display it on the frontend. You can use a headless CMS to create, edit, and manage your content through a user-friendly interface, and then fetch it via an API. Some popular headless CMSs are Contentful, Sanity, and Strapi.

  3. A hosting platform: This is a service that hosts your static files and provides features like SSL, CDN, custom domains, and continuous deployment. You can use a hosting platform to deploy your Jamstack website with a simple git push or drag-and-drop. Some popular hosting platforms are Netlify, Vercel, and GitHub Pages.

Examples of Jamstack websites

Here are some examples of websites that have been built using Jamstack:

Godot: This website offers video courses on game programming. It uses React JS as the frontend generator and Hugo as the CMS.

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Hulu: This website offers thousands of movies and TV series on-demand for a flat monthly subscription.

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National Geographic: Started as a monthly magazine about science and nature exploration but became something much bigger a large offline and online media company with its own TV channel. Built with Gatsby.

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These websites showcase the true potential of Jamstack architecture, from blazing-fast loading times to seamless user experiences2. You can find more examples of Jamstack websites from different industries in this article.

Conclusion

Jamstack is a modern way to build fast and secure websites that can scale to any level. If you are looking for a new challenge and a better way to develop web projects, you should give Jamstack a try. You might be surprised by how much you can achieve with just JavaScript, APIs, and Markup.

If you want to learn more about Jamstack and see some great examples of Jamstack websites, you can visit the official website1 or check out some of the resources below:

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