June 25, 2020 Last updated June 25th, 2020 1,826 Reads share

Contentful – The Rise of JAMstack CMS

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The area of web development continues to evolve. While technology stacks, such as LAMP and .NET, have been popular, it can be helpful to introduce new ways of building a website or app that delivers better performance and security. Utilizing JAMstack CMS is one of those methods and is becoming an option several web developers are using for some projects.

What Are the Components of JAMstack CMS?

JAMstack CMS isn’t associated with a specific technology. It’s a new method of creating apps and websites based on client-side JavaScript, APIs and prebuilt Markup or “JAM” for short. Understanding how it differs from a traditional CMS reveals how it can provide better performance as well as security.

How Workflow Is Different From a Traditional CMS

A traditional CMS utilizes both a frontend and backend. When a page is requested, a specific file is served after interacting with code that is stored in a database on the backend. Content updates are done by using a traditional CMS, like WordPress or Drupal. Core updates for a database are completed by using FTP.

With a JAMstack workflow, the frontend and backend are decoupled. When a page is requested, the specific file gets sent back to a user’s browser from a CDN. Content updates are completed through a static CMS or Git. Core updates are done through Git and rebuilt via static site generator (SSG). Using an SSG allows content for a site to be applied to a template and delivered to a viewer through the use of static HTML files.

Benefits of Using JAMstack

The difference between the way traditional CMS and JAMstack work provides some advantages:

Performance: Accelerated load times occur resulting in faster performance due to the elimination of backend processing are possible with JAMstack CMS. Prebuilt HTML files are served to a user via a CDN, which should help provide a quicker delivery and better user experience.

Lower Operating Expense: A database isn’t needed, which should help lower operating costs.

Security: Without the need for software or plugins to run on a server, it eliminates the use of a database, where code is vulnerable to injections or hacks.

Less Maintenance: Using third-party services for necessities, like data storage and authentication, helps create the need for less maintenance. Additionally, according to Contentful, “the static nature of a JAMstack app makes scaling easy and causes little to no dev-ops overhead.”

Disadvantages of Using JAMstack

Learning Curve: Marketers and and content editors may have a challenge learning the technologies associated with this stack. There isn’t a user-friendly interface available, like the ones found with traditional CMS, for managing marketing campaigns or creating content.

Limited Way to Add Some Types of Features: Adding features, such as online stores, polls or comments, must be done by using a third-party solution, which may be a burden if it’s required for dynamic features on a page.

More Challenging to Change Designs: Changing a design will need to be completed via development, which can be more expensive and escalate costs.

Not Suitable for Sites Requiring Frequent Updates: Sites delivering interactive features or frequent updates would be more challenging to handle.

While using JAMstack does have its advantages when focusing on performance, maintenance and security, it’s probably best suited for specific applications where changes are not required regularly.

CMS concept -DepositPhotos

Gabriel Gonser

Gabriel Gonser

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