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JAMstack for Dynamic Sites

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Amanda Cunningham

When new inventions get made, they are created with a specific purpose in mind. But over time, it becomes easier for people to find new ways to use these inventions to meet current demands or to adapt to new environments.

We see this all of the time with consumer products. For instance, the temper foam, commonly used today in mattresses around the world was originally created for use by astronauts due to its pressure-absorbing properties.

In the world of software development, JAMstack was originally created to build static sites.
Thankfully, nothing has to only ever be used for one purpose. Now, developers are finding out more about JAMstack and have discovered that it can be used for a lot more than just static sites.

What We Know About JAMstack

Initially created by Netlify, the modern web development architecture known as JAMstack isn’t a specific framework or technology. Instead, it refers to client-side JavaScript, reusable APIs and prebuilt Markup.

The combination of these three has resulted in an architecture that helps developers build lightning-fast websites.

Unlike other developer stacks, JAMstack is based on a loose set of libraries and services, meaning that a JAMstack could vary from company to company.

Speed isn’t the only benefit of JAMstack sites. They also have easier scalability and higher security than websites built using other methods.

JAMstack reduces the time it takes developers to build a website and reduces the costs that are incurred for maintenance as well, but benefits can be broken down even further.

Faster page loading times are a significant benefit to any site that gets a lot of eyeballs on it. Not to mention, faster loading times can lead to more visitors thanks to an improved customer experience.

A site built using JAMstack can, therefore, get you more traffic and positively impact the bottom line. Also, scalability becomes hugely important as more pages are added. JAMstack helps to simplify this process. With prebuilt files no longer needing to be rendered, downtime with increased traffic virtually goes away.

JAMstack sites are more reliable and can improve developer workflows, something that is crucial for the modern development team utilizing a DevOps approach.

More Than Meets the Eye

The ability to build static sites with JAMstack is excellent, but these sites are not without limitations. Static websites are known for speed, but most of this speed is derived from removing additional features that can be used for personalization and creating dynamic experiences. Dynamic search results, targeted content for personalized experiences, and user generated content are some dynamic capabilities that a typical JAMstack site lacks.

Additionally, static site generators, the applications that help you build statically rendered sites don’t meet dynamic requirements for a website in the modern age.

Given these limitations, JAMstack sites can seem limited in what they can do. On the contrary, JAMstack isn’t only popular due to how it can be used to build static sites. The popularity is because JAMstack can be combined with a headless CMS and certain technical approaches (e.g., hydration, WebSockets) to yield dynamic experiences.

Getting the Most Out of JAMstack

If you want to use JAMstack for more than just static sites, then you need the help of a headless CMS. It is due to headless CMSs and the new innovative technologies of today that static sites have evolved to do more than serve just basic information.

Now, static sites can have more dynamic characteristics and a lot more adoption, thanks to JAMstack coupled with a headless CMS. A headless CMS combines backend content management with a decoupled front end layer. With this headless presentation layer connection to multiple devices and channels beyond desktop or mobile devices becomes appealing, a perfect use case for JAMstack websites.

When coupled with a headless CMS, marketers have access to more channels to publish content. These channels can be easily connected, improving the touchpoints customers can interact with and increasing the likelihood of engagement.

The benefits of a headless CMS and JAMstack sites are vast for developers as well. Since static websites can be deployed so quickly, it makes the process of pushing things to production much faster. A headless CMS also lowers the number of restrictions for how content has to be structured, making it easier to drive to multiple channels.

Using a headless CMS to get the most out of a JAMstack site is a step in the right direction to getting the most out of the architecture. However, every headless CMS isn’t created equal. You need to be able to rely on a headless CMS that offers the same level of functionality for multiple department - software developers, marketers and other content authors, and IT ops.

Using JAMstack with Crafter’s Headless CMS

CrafterCMS is a headless+ CMS that helps you get the most out of JAMstack. Marketers, developers and IT operations are empowered by using Crafter for content management as it accelerates the rate of innovation with its approach to content workflows and robust CMS architecture.

Developers like JAMstack due to its ability to improve their workflows and contribute considerable benefits to a successful DevOps system.

CrafterCMS takes DevOps to the next level with its unique support for the DevContentOps process, an approach that breaks down the barriers between not only developers and operations, but also content authors as well.

A headless CMS can help organizations to improve the customer experience by helping to provide an omnichannel experience. Customers are treated to the same high-quality content experience, no matter where they interact with a brand.

To get this right, DevContentOps makes it easy for content authors to publish content without interrupting developer release cycles.

Since source code, configuration and content changes are continuously merged, bottlenecks and conflicts that can arise with other CMS platforms disappear. Plus, marketers can use CrafterCMS’s extensive content authoring tools to easily create, edit and publish to multiple channels.

Learn more about how CrafterCMS enables DevContentOps® by downloading our whitepaper.

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