What is The JAMstack?

By: O. Wolfson

The JAMstack is an emerging web development architecture that stands for JavaScript, APIs, and Markup. It's a modern web development architecture that enables faster and more secure websites, and it's becoming increasingly popular among developers.

The JAMstack was not developed by any one person or company, but rather it is a set of best practices and architectural patterns that have emerged in the web development community. "JAMstack" was coined in 2016 by Mathias Biilmann and is now widely used in the web development community. Some early proponents of the JAMstack include Matt Biilmann and Chris Bach, the co-founders of the JAMstack-focused web development platform, Netlify. In addition, the JAMstack community has grown to include a number of other companies and individuals, including Netlify, Gatsby, and Vue.js.

Traditionally, websites have been built on a server that's responsible for rendering the HTML, running server-side code, and interacting with a database. This architecture can be slow and difficult to scale as traffic increases.

In contrast, the JAMstack separates the different layers of web development, allowing for more efficient and scalable website development. The first layer is the Markup layer, which is the static HTML, CSS, and JavaScript that's delivered to the client's browser. The second layer is the API layer, which provides access to dynamic content and services. Finally, the third layer is the JavaScript layer, which adds interactivity to the website.

One of the key benefits of the JAMstack is that it allows for faster website performance. By serving static HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, website loading speeds can be significantly improved. In addition, with the use of CDNs (content delivery networks) and pre-rendering tools, websites can be distributed across multiple servers and delivered to users faster.

Another key advantage of the JAMstack is improved security. Since the architecture is built around static files, there are fewer potential security vulnerabilities. Additionally, the use of APIs allows for the separation of the front-end and back-end, reducing the risk of data breaches.

The JAMstack is also more scalable than traditional web development architectures. Since the content is pre-built and served as static files, it can be easily cached and served from a CDN. This means that as traffic increases, the website can easily scale to meet demand.

To build a website using the JAMstack architecture, there are a number of tools and technologies available. For the markup layer, static site generators like Gatsby or Jekyll can be used to create the initial HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. For the API layer, services like Firebase, AWS Lambda, or Netlify Functions can be used to provide dynamic content and services. Finally, for the JavaScript layer, front-end frameworks like React, Vue.js, or Angular can be used to add interactivity and improve user experience.

In conclusion, the JAMstack architecture is a modern and efficient way to develop websites. By separating the different layers of web development, it allows for faster website performance, improved security, and increased scalability. If you're a web developer looking to build faster and more secure websites, the JAMstack is definitely worth exploring.