Opinions & Insights

Talking about JAMstack, this JAMuary

Opinions & Insights

Talking about JAMstack, this JAMuary

While most of us were making new year's resolutions about putting the bins out on time and exercising more regularly, Divya was already building momentum on a great habit for the new year – sharing thoughts and insights about JAMstack on a daily basis.

Her series of consumable, focussed posts answering common questions about the JAMstack is a great introduction to an otherwise elusive term that many find so confusing. What follows is a breakdown of some of the highlights of her first week and I highly recommend following along.

JAMuary digest – the posts so far

Jan 1st – What is the JAMstack? – In her first post, she goes over how the JAMstack is a way to prebuild and prerender sites without the need for a server, enhancing the site’s dynamicism with microservices. A quick intro and a great place to start!

Jan 2nd – Why choose the JAMstack? – In this second post, Divya talks through the amount of choices in the ecosystem, and the relative flexibility of the JAMstack. She mentions that one of JAMstack’s strengths is the ability to focus more on the methodology than the technology choices. This post gives some useful context around traditional approaches and motivations for selecting one stack over another.

Jan 3rd – Who is using the JAMstack? – In this post, Divya talks through the strength of being able to decouple technologies. She cites a few examples you can dig into and includes this amazing statistic:

In an enterprise setting, time is of the essence and a slow site can cost millions in revenue. Loblaw Digital , a company powering one of the largest food retailer in Canada, saw a whopping 92% performance improvement and an almost 38k in cost savings by shifting to the JAMstack.

It's useful to see where this is being used to great effect.

Jan 4th – What makes a site JAMstack? – With a concept as seemingly broad as this (so many technologies and tools can lend themselves to delivering a JAMstack site) this can be an area of some confusion. Divya offers some detail especially with regards to a very important distinction, the difference between traditional static sites and JAMstack sites.

“You could say that a JAMstack site is a static site but a static site is not necessarily a JAMstack one.”

Personally, this post was one of our favorites.

Jan 5th – Can a SPA be JAMstack? – Uh-oh. It's clash of the web terminology! And another area worthy of some clarification. How do Single Page Applications (SPA) fit with the JAMstack model and how can they offer good SEO and other fundamentals which drive success? Divya tackles these concerns by first defining what a SPA is, a Single Page Application, and clarifying that not every SPA can be considered JAMstack because it can’t be assumed that it’s served directly from the cache.

Jan 6th – Can a site be too large for the JAMstack – An excellent question! And one of the most controversial aspects of the JAMstack—if you’re pre-building and pre-rendering, what does that mean at scale? Choosing the technology and approach to any site requires some consideration of what the site is and how it will be used and maintained. Some sites have hundreds of thousands of pages and at first glance might not seem like a good fit for the JAMstack. This post touches on some techniques, tools and considerations which can help. A great starting point for this conversation.

Jan 7th – How far can you take the JAMstack? – This post is excellent because it acknowledges some criticisms we hear most often as people start learning about the JAMstack. She offers some pragmatic thoughts on those criticisms and talks through the power of APIs and leveraging a growing wealth of available expert services.

JAMuary bandwagonners

Feeling somewhat inspired by this flurry of posts, Tara, Jason, and I decided to offer some JAMuary posts of our own.

Pre-rendering is the key to a tasty Jamstack - Focussing on just one attribute which is key to the JAMstack architecture: Pre-rendering. What sorts of advantages does this one principal unlock?

What is Serverless Besides a Bad Name for Using Servers – Yeah, naming things is hard. Given how serverless is such a wonderful companion and enabler for the JAMstack, this post tries to explain just what serverless actually is.

Deploy Your First Serverless Function Using JavaScript – Following on from figuring out what serverless might actually mean, this post gets you up and running incredibly quickly with writing and deploying (and understanding) your first serverless function with Netlify Functions.

More to come. Maybe from you?

This first week of posts are a fantastic primer for anyone trying to understand benefits, caveats and the general ecosystem of JAMstack, and an invaluable resource for developers! As January... er... I'm sorry, JAMuary keeps rolling, expect to see more posts from Divya along these lines. Be sure to follow the JAMuary tag on dev.to to keep up.

And perhaps you have JAMstack stories, lessons, or examples of your own. We'd love to see those too. If you share them on dev.to and tag them with #JAMuary we'll be able to find those and learn from you too.

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