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Is JAMstack antithetical to Wordpress?

shortdiv profile image Divya ・2 min read

Wordpress is the most popular way of serving content on the web. According to W3Techs, WordPress is used by over 35.5% of all websites online and is one of the fastest growing CMS-es in the world to date. In spite of its popularity and how beloved its portability and extensibility is in the world of CMSes, the traditional WordPress model butts up against the JAMstack approach of building sites as statically as possible. Traditional WordPress sites are built using a LAMP architecture, which stands for Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP. As the name suggests, a LAMP stack requires an apache server and linux configurations to handle any routing and serving of static assets. It moreover relies on PHP running on the server to process requests and render pages and assets on the fly. The JAMstack presents a critical change to this approach by moving up a layer. Instead of giving servers the reins to render assets “dynamically”, the JAMstack skews in favor of the client and browsers run the show.

When it comes to speed, security, and maintainability the JAMstack comes out ahead. WordPress’ reliance on servers in addition to its deep investment in plugins has made it far slower, and more vulnerable to attack than many of its contenders. Attaining the benefits of speed and security however doesn’t have to mean abandoning WordPress altogether. A key way to transition to the JAMstack while still using WordPress is to use it like a headless CMS with the help of the WordPress REST API. The API turns content saved in WordPress into a consumable API that developers can then use alongside a static site generator or framework of their choice. This not only makes a site more and secure, it also enables developers and content authors to contribute without getting in the way of each other.

For more on working with the JAMstack and WordPress, check out this case study covering how web agency WayFx increased Perfect Keto’s site speed by over 87%.

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Divya

@shortdiv

Tea drinker in a coffee drinking world

Discussion

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Yep, been working with both and since the coming of the WP REST API been trying all sorts of stacks to fetch data (pure JS, Angular, Vue, React and it's derivated SSG's..) and it's pretty awesome to leverage the power and eco-system of WordPress with this new API driven approach..

 

Exciting things are happening in the world of headless and static WordPress. The REST API is a great direction, but there's also the option of using WordPress in its native format, and publishing it as static. There are some plugins that allow you to do that, like WP2Static, and end-to-end hosting platforms that host the native WordPress site in a staging container and allows users to publish the site to a static production environment. One such platform is Strattic. Disclosure: I'm co-founder and CEO.

 

Most definitely! I'm really familiar with Headless WordPress but Static WordPress is a concept I recently heard about. First through the "That's my JAMstack" podcast episode with Daniel Olson from Shifter) and then through your awesome talk at Wordcamp London in 2019. I'm super impressed by this idea of static WP, so much so that I wrote a follow up post to this one covering that topic.

I'm so excited by all the developments with WordPress, especially with regards how it fits into the JAMstack ecosystem! And am psyched to dig into this more :)

 

I'm so flattered that you heard my talk in London! I love your content, keep it up :)

 

Great article, Divya!

But I think there's a typo. Shouldn't it be "increased [...] site speed by over 87%"?

Go #JAMuary! 😉

 

Good catch! Fixed, thanks for that :)