Is JAMstack the Best Web Tech Stack for 2021?

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Introduction

Many businesses went online to stay afloat on the market instead of shutting down for good. For example, in the UK between March and June 2020, more than 85,000 businesses have launched online stores or joined online marketplaces (source: Growth Intelligence ). This transformation caused bigger competition between companies and between tech solutions like programming languages and frameworks. Their main job is to make the development process of websites, digital products and online shops faster and more efficient.

Of course, the most important factor in generating online sales is the offer itself and its alignment to the potential customers’ needs. Still, you shouldn’t forget about the technological requirements, as they are also important nowadays.

Why?

There is a big chance that your market is becoming more crowded than ever and your customers have more and more options to choose from. This is why taking care of things like Google ranking position, customised user experience, page load speed, etc. becomes a crucial part of conversion rates. To achieve a good technical background, it’s about time to look closer at modern technologies.

Modern technologies form different tech stacks, and today, we would like you to present our favourite one for 2021 – JAMstack.

Back to basics: What is a tech stack?

If you want to build anything digital like a website or application, you will need a bunch of tools like frameworks, programming languages and other technologies. It will form a tech stack for a particular project.

Every tech stack has two sides – client-side and server-side. The client-side part is what the final user sees in the browser or on a mobile device – it’s called front-end. On the other hand, the server-side part makes a website or app work in a particular way, and it’s called back-end.

Both parts are crucial to creating functional tech stack to fit your needs.

But the thing is that choosing the right tech stack – especially for companies with a limited budget, time or resources – is tricky and challenging. Sure, some tech stacks are already created, battle-tested and ready to use, so it’s a piece of great news, but every case is a bit different. 

Therefore, there is no one-size-fits-all tech stack.



Why is choosing the right tech stack important?

Choosing the right technologies can determine every project’s success or failure, like a website or web application. Below you will find some arguments why else this decision is so important.

Development efficiency increase

Choosing the right stack increases development efficiency thanks to, i.e. reusable components or other solutions designed to help developers speed the whole process. Also, developers don’t have to reinvent the wheel because what they want to do – it’s probably already there. Another thing worth mentioning is that the right stack will reduce human error so rechecking the code will take less time.

Profit and sales growth

What’s the point of every business if not to earn money? Modern technologies help companies by saving their time, effort and money needed in the development process. Moreover, businesses are now becoming truly limitless if it comes to creating a unique experience for their customers, which leads to better conversion rates, and ultimately, bigger profits.

High-level security 

People in the digital world are becoming more and more aware of the importance of cybersecurity, which also includes security of using web applications. The right tech stack will help you make sure that whatever you will develop will be safe and secure.

Beating out competition

As they say, the competition never sleeps, but modern technology is letting you to cool down. First, if you choose wisely, you may get yourself a great competitive advantage for many years, especially over those less aware companies. Second, trends and people behaviours are changing. It’s no longer enough just to build things. You need to iterate them as well, and modern technology is making it easier than ever.

Becoming future-proof

Some technologies are out-dated, and companies still using them may not stand the test of time. But what’s more, they may also miss a lot of growth possibilities. In other words, it’s best to choose such technologies that are growing, have a strong community and will be supported by creators and contributors for many years to come.

Two elements of every tech stack

As you already know, every tech stack can be divided into front-end and back-end technologies. It also indicated which kind of developers will be responsible for which part of your digital product.

Front-end

The front-end layer is responsible for the client-side of every digital product, like a web application. In other words, for what users see in the browser on or mobile device and can interact with. The main challenge for the front-end is creating a truly unique user experience delivered in a blink of an eye.

Elements of the front-end layer

  • HTML – a markup language for structuring web pages
  • CSS – responsible for styling and formatting of such structure
  • JavaScript – a programming language that makes websites and applications interactive. Thanks to JS, you can make your website dynamic – use either libraries and frameworks (like React or Vue.js)

Back-end

You can compare a website or web application to a car – the front-end layer is like car design, while the back-end layer is like an engine. It’s not visible from the outside, but it’s what keeps a website, webshop or web application up and running.

What to consider when making a choice? 

Before making a decision about tech stack – and even before knowing what options are out there – consider the following factors.

Project requirements and size

These two things are crucial when it comes to choosing technologies that will form your tech stack. Obviously, today’s modern technologies are able to do similar things, yet you may want to consider them with future plans in your head. Obviously, each technology has its pros and cons, and it’s always best to match technology to the project – not the other way around.

Scalability

Think long-term, not just short-term. For example, if you are planning to build a cryptocurrency news portal, consider the fact that the traffic will grow over time so you will need a website with great scalability options. It’s not only about handling increasing traffic but also adding new features, elements or functionalities.

Development speed

You don’t want to spend long weeks and months developing a website or web application, right? Therefore, compose stack, so it has technologies with ready-made solutions. This way, you won’t have to reinvent the wheel, which will significantly boost the development process.

Security

As it was mentioned above, security is now more important than ever before. However, keeping data safe and secure is getting harder, not easier. Luckily, there are solutions which will take care of that part.

JAMstack – our favourite tech stack for 2021

Without a doubt, our favourite tech stack for 2021 is JAMstack, which offers super-fast, user-friendly, totally customised, and extremely SEO efficient websites and applications.

But let’s start from the beginning – what is JAMstack?

In the words of Mathias Billmann, Netlify CEO and Co-founder, JAMstack stands for

“a modern web development architecture based on client-side JavaScript, reusable APIs and pre-built Markup”.

This combination gives developers a chance to benefit from a static website and connect the website to a dynamic CMS.

JavaScript

JavaScript handles dynamic functionalities. The good thing is that you can use whatever framework or library you want.

APIs

JavaScript accesses reusable APIs – abstracted from server-side operations – through HTTPS. You can use either third-party services or develop a custom function.

Markup

Websites are static since they are served as static HTML files. These can be generated with a Static Site Generator like Gatsby or Next JS.

JAMstack front-end technologies

  • Gatsby
  • Next.js
  • React.js
  • TypeScript

JAMstack back-end technologies

Here is a little surprise for you – JAMstack works seamlessly with any back-end technology. For example, you could build a JAMstack website or webshop on top of:

  • Contentful
  • Magento
  • Sanity
  • Strapi
  • Shopify
  • WooCommerce
  • WordPress

The only thing you need is API.

Benefits of JAMstack

JAMStack comes with many great advantages, such as:

  • Ultra performance – you can serve pre-built mark-up through your CDN.
  • Better security – there is no need to worry about server or database vulnerability.
  • Lower costs – hosting static files is so much cheaper, and sometimes it’s even free!
  • Improved developer experience – JAMstack allows front end developers to focus on what they do best – front end development. Without being tied to a monolithic architecture, development is usually quicker and more focussed.
  • Development speed – because you can stay with the back-end you already use, it speeds the development process a lot.
  • Scalability – should your app take off, the CDN does all the hard work for you, compensating for the heavier load.

Helpful links

If you want to learn more about JAMstack, we already wrote a few articles about it.

What is JAMstack?

JAMstack FAQ – What? Why? And Why Not?

Why You Should Build a JAMstack Website?

Why Use JAMstack for eCommerce in 2021?

Migration From WordPress To JAMstack – A Complete Guide

What’s next?

Want to know if JAMstack is a good fit for your project? Let’s talk!

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