12 Tips for Working With the Jamstack

The Jamstack has finally gone mainstream, and it’s set to be one of the most talked-about topics in 2020 and beyond. The concept has gained a lot of popularity and is on its way to becoming a reality. And, whether you like it or not, as a web developer, you should be on board.

Even if you don’t agree with it, it’s useful to be aware of what’s being said. Being up to date provides you an advantage in this field, therefore keep an open mind regarding new ideas!

So, what exactly is the Jamstack? It’s JavaScript, APIs, and Markup, to be exact. But it’s also a whole lot more! People don’t talk about OS systems, back-end programming, databases, or specific web servers when they talk about the Jamstack.

They don’t discuss specific technology, but rather a new approach to developing applications and websites that are faster, more secure, scale effectively at reduced costs, and offer a better developer experience.

To help you take use of the Jamstack’s benefits and stay ahead of the curve as a developer, I’ve put together a list of tips and tricks you should be aware of when working with the Jamstack.


1. Utilize a CDN for Hosting

Jamstack applications do not require a back-end implementation, which is one of their main advantages (server-side code).

Instead, you can use a CDN (Content Delivery Network) like Cloudflare or similar services to provide the entire app.

This results in excellent performance and quick response times all over the world because, regardless of where a user is, there is always a CDN-node nearby!


2. Make Use of Atomic Deploys

Hundreds or thousands of files are typically included in jamstack projects. Uploading all of these files one by one for a required deployment could result in an inconsistent state. Definitely not what you’re looking for!

You can upload all files and wait until everything is ready before making any changes to production with atomic deploys.


3. Use Modern Build Tools

Jamstack projects work well with reducing technology like Babel, PostCSS, Parcel, and others. Don’t wait for browsers to catch up to new features; utilize them today with the greatest build tools available!


4. Automate Your builds

Prebuilt Markup files are used in Jamstack projects. Another build step is required to make the changes live.

Modern hosting providers provide you with the tools and services you need to automate builds and save time. You can also utilize webhooks to execute this.


5. Entire Projects in Git

Because Jamstack projects consist of static files and assets, having your whole project in Git is recommended.

Everyone is then able to clone the project, install packages and dependencies via npm or Yarn, and run everything locally without having to set up databases or run complicated installation routines.


6. Instant Cache Validation Is Important

Something to keep in mind when running a Jamstack application via a CDN is that many services cache your files and assets.

So, to see changes after deployment, it becomes necessary to invalidate caches on a regular basis, preferably via an automated process.


7. Static Site Generators Are Your Friends

Many if not most Jamstack applications are powered by today’s best static site generators like GatsbyNextNuxtGridsomeHugo, etc.

PWAs and server rendering are combined in these, leading in considerable SEO and page speed gains. They also offer a host of useful features, such as pre-configured bundlers like webpack or Parcel to help you get your app up and running quickly.


8. Front-End Frameworks Need Some Tooling Experience

If you want to work with a front-end library or framework like React or Vue on a Jamstack project, that’s possible.

However, because those libraries don’t output static files by default, you’ll need some tooling to achieve your goals. Consider using Next or Gatsby instead of plain React, or Nuxt/Gridsome instead of Vue to get the best of both worlds.


9. Choose a Jamstack-Friendly Hosting Service

With the rise of the Jamstack, great hosting services have emerged, such as VercelNetlifyGitHub Pages, and Stackbit. They offer great support and one-click/one-command deployment services for your applications.


10. Serverless Functions Work Well

Many developers use serverless notions for data and business logic in Jamstack apps since they don’t want to construct a true back end.

Serverless alternatives, such as AWS Lambda, are excellent options for running small amounts of logic without having to manage servers.


11. Custom Data Via Serverless Databases

Developers can utilize services for serverless databases like FaunaDB, Serverless GraphQL, or similar to store dynamic data without a back end or database.


12. Headless CMS + Jamstack = Awesome

To power Jamstack applications like blogs, headless content management systems are the best choice.

Services like Netlify CMS, Contentful, Forestry, and even headless WordPress work great with a Jamstack app. Consider the security benefits of a separated back end (think about WordPress attack vectors…).


So, I hope you get why the Jamstack is pretty awesome.

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Happy Coding….☺️

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