What is Jamstack?

19 June 2024

What is Jamstack? Your Guide to Modern Web Development

Irelia Codeheart, Senior Developer

Being a web developer in 2024 means embracing innovative approaches and trends. One trending development technique is called Jamstack – a term you've certeainly come across already. But what is Jamstack, and why is it becoming a go-to architecture for modern developers? This guide explains the concept of Jamstack, its benefits, and show you how it stands out from traditional architectures. Jamstack can revolutionize your web projects and boost performance, security, and scalability. So dive in to discover what makes Jamstack the future of web development.

More current web development trends.

What is the Jamstack? JavaScript, APIs, and Markup

Jamstack is an innovative approach to building web applications. Developers work with Jamstack because it offers better performance, security, scalability, and maintainability than traditional web development methods. Unlike traditional methods, where servers dynamically generate HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, Jamstack delivers pre-built static files directly to the browser. And what das Jamstack stand for? "JAM" is short for JavaScript, APIs, and Markup. JavaScript handles dynamic client-side functions. APIs (Applicatin Programming Interfaces) manage server-side operations and database interactions. Markup is pre-built using static site generators for fast load times and efficient content delivery. This approach can make development more streamlined and user experiences better.

Where does Jamstack come from? Historical context

As we've all been witnessing, web development has evolved significantly over the years. Initially, websites were simple static HTML pages. As the internet grew, dynamic websites powered by traditional CMSs like WordPress and Drupal emerged. These systems generate HTML on the server, which can lead to slower load times and security risks.

In the mid-2010s, developers sought faster, more secure alternatives. This led to the rise of Jamstack. Pioneered by companies like Netlify, Jamstack redefined web architecture by pre-building pages and serving static assets. It combined the best of static sites with modern tools, offering a robust solution for scalable and efficient web development.

The Benefits of Jamstack

Improving Page Load Times

Jamstack enhances website performance by generating pages during build time. As these pre-rendered pages are served directly from a Content Delivery Network (CDN), we get faster load times and a smoother user experience.

// During build time, all pages are generated and can be served directly.

With frameworks like Next.js and Nuxt, content can also be dynamically updated using headless CMSs like caisy without needing a full rebuild. Services like Vercel and Netlify are cost-effective and simplify this process.

Jamstack for Security

Jamstack architecture offers a secure approach to web development by reducing the need for server-side processes compared to traditional architectures. Static sites minimize potential vulnerabilities, and dynamic functions can be handled by third-party services specializing in security. This decentralization reduces the attack surface and enhances overall security.

Scalability, Maintainability & Extensibility in Web Development

Jamstack sites are popular for their scalability. They benefit from simpler deployments and can handle high traffic volumes easily because they are served entirely from CDNs. This built-in redundancy ensures that websites remain fast and reliable, even under heavy loads.

Static sites generated by Jamstack are easier to maintain and extend. They don't require continuous server maintenance, reducing the workload on developers. The modular architecture allows for easy updates and integrations, improving the site's longevity and adaptability.

Improving the Developer Experience

Lastly, Jamstack improves the overall developer experience as developers can use familiar tools and frameworks like Astro, Next.js, Nuxt and more. This results in a pool of skilled developers who enjoy working with the architecture, thereby increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of the development process.

In summary, Jamstack offers numerous benefits in terms of security, scalability, performance, maintainability, and developer experience. It has emerged as a powerful and flexible solution for web development, being adopted in diverse sectors and proving advantageous in the creation of fast and SEO-efficient websites.

Headless CMS for developers

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A graphic showing caisy's benefits for developers, including frameworks and features.

Comparing Jamstack with Traditional Web Development

What are Traditional CMSs?

Traditional CMS platforms like WordPress and Drupal generate HTML dynamically on the server side. When a user requests a page, the server fetches data from a database, processes it, and then generates the HTML, CSS, and JavaScript needed to display the page. This process can be slow and resource-intensive, especially for high-traffic sites. Still, there are many use cases where a traditional approach makes the most sense. It comes down to factors like developer experience and skills, project requirements, resources, desired outcome and more. Read our detailed comparison of traditional vs headless CMS.

Key Differences



  • Uses pre-built static files served from a CDN.

  • Separates front-end and back-end development.

  • Utilizes headless CMS for content management, static site generators for creating static files, and CDNs for delivery.

Traditional CMS:

  • Dynamically generates pages on the server.

  • Integrates front-end and back-end tightly.

  • Relies on server-side processing and databases for content delivery.

Performance & Scalability


  • Delivers pre-rendered static pages, resulting in faster load times.

  • Reduces server load by serving content from CDNs.

  • Easily scalable by distributing static files across CDNs.

  • Handles high traffic efficiently without server strain.

Traditional CMS:

  • Slower load times due to server-side processing.

  • Increased server load during high traffic.

  • Struggles to scale due to server limitations.

  • Requires additional resources to manage increased traffic.



  • Minimizes attack vectors by reducing reliance on servers and databases.

  • Outsources dynamic functionality to secure third-party services.

Traditional CMS:

  • More vulnerable to attacks due to complex server-side operations.

  • Requires constant security updates and monitoring.

So when should you choose Jamstack over a traditional stack? To sum it up, Jamstack is ideal for projects prioritizing speed, security, and scalability. It's perfect for static sites, blogs, e-commerce sites, and applications where performance is critical. However, traditional CMS might be better for projects requiring real-time updates or complex interactions that cannot be pre-rendered.

Technology continues to evolve and developers are keen to explore different architectures like Jamstack. But maybe another trending stack is the better choice for you? If you're interested in more comparisons of tech stacks, read Jamstack vs Mern or Mern stack vs Mean.

Practical Use Cases of Jamstack

E-commerce Websites

Jamstack is ideal for e-commerce websites due to its performance and scalability. By serving pre-built pages from a CDN, online stores can handle high traffic volumes, ensuring a fast and smooth shopping experience. The security benefits are also crucial for protecting sensitive customer data. For example, Smashing Magazine migrated to Jamstack to improve performance and security, resulting in a 10% increase in conversions and a 25% decrease in bounce rate.

Interested in E-Commerce hacks? Learn how to make Headless Commerce work here.

Blogs and Personal Sites

Blogs and personal sites benefit from Jamstack’s speed and simplicity. Static site generators like Gatsby and Hugo enable quick page loads, improving reader experience and reducing maintenance efforts. The Netlify Blog is an example, using Jamstack for fast load times and easy content updates. By the way: You're on a Jamstack blog and website right now! ;D

Enterprise Applications

Enterprises use Jamstack for its scalability and performance. It supports the creation of robust, high-traffic applications with simplified maintenance. Azure Static Web Apps leverages Jamstack to offer scalable and secure deployments for static sites and applications. Still, this is not without its' challenges. Master enterprise content management with our guide.

All in all, there are plenty of success stories out there where Jamstack has been the superhero. However, we as developers should also be aware of the challenges Jamstack can pose, like the time-consuming nature of static site generation and the potential points of failure with third-party APIs. Nonetheless, most case studies conclude with a happy ending, demonstrating the value of a lighter, faster, and more resilient web architecture.

Popular Frameworks for Jamstack Websites

There's numerous technology available to us as developers when starting on our Jamstack journey. JavaScript is the backbone of Jamstack – it's right there in the name, after all! Among the JavaScript technologies, React and Next.js are the real winners. They enjoy widespread usage in the Jamstack ecosystem. It's also worth noting the popularity of headless CMS like caisy and authentication services among developers using Jamstack. Remember, one of the strengths of Jamstack is the ability to seamlessly integrate with third-party services via APIs.

How to Get Started with Jamstack

Tools and Technologies

Static Site Generators

Static site generators create fast, pre-built pages that can be served from a CDN. Popular options include:

Headless CMS

Headless CMS allows you to manage content separately from the front end. To choose the right one, read our article on Headless CMS for Jamstack. There are lots of options out there, the Headless CMS market is booming. And yes, we might be a little biased, but caisy is a perfect choice here :)

Deployment Platforms

Deploying Jamstack sites is straightforward with platforms like:

Step-by-Step Guide for Jamstack

  1. Choose a Static Site Generator: Select one based on your needs and preferences.

  2. Set Up a Headless CMS: Connect your CMS to manage and deliver content via APIs.

  3. Develop Your Site: Build your site using modern tools and frameworks.

  4. Deploy on a Platform: Use platforms like Netlify or Vercel to deploy and serve your site from a CDN.

  5. Optimize and Monitor: Continuously improve performance and monitor for any issues.

Unsure what to build with Jamstack? Here are some Jamstack project ideas for beginners and more advanced developers.

Educational Resources


Watching tutorials can be a great way to familiarize yourself with a new tech stack. Here are some suggestions on where to find Jamstack tutorials:

Podcasts and Webinars

Further Reading

The Evolving Jamstack Landscape

The technological landscape of Jamstack is continually evolving, with tools and technologies cropping up to bolster the architecture's power. Static site generators are significantly prominent, due to their rendering performance and development efficiency.

Headless CMSs and platforms like Vercel and Netlify streamline the deployment process, supporting developers throughout their workflow.

In analyzing Jamstack's growing adoption and its evolving technological landscape, the future looks bright.

We've discussed how Jamstack facilitates high-performing, secure, and scalable websites - but how does one manage content most efficiently in such an ecosystem? Here's where caisy comes into play. The unique headless CMS supports developers and agency workflows through a user-friendly interface, making content creation and management as smooth as possible. In fact, for a Jamstack development agency, caisy is the perfect fit, especially thanks to its agency partnership program.

Equipped with a powerful GraphQL API, caisy supports popular Jamstack frameworks, resonating perfectly with technologies mentioned earlier. It offers scalability, a multifaceted Digital Asset Management system, and self-service pricing tiers that accommodate a range of projects and budgets.

Simply put, if you're a developer looking to stay ahead in the rapidly changing world of web content management, caisy provides the tools you need. Pair it with your favorite Jamstack technology, and you've got a winning combination to create robust, performance-driven, scalable digital solutions.
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