TABLE OF CONTENTS

Jamstack FAQ – What? Why? And Why Not?

Mariusz Marcak
By Mariusz Marcak
jamstackpagepropicture

Introduction

Before we jump to the FAQ part, I want you to know that no matter if you are running a webshop or need a website to present your product, modern web development and Jamstack are here to help you out with most of the performance issues you’ve been facing so far.

Seems like the need for SEO efficiency, speed, customized user experience, and faster development have never been so important, as the pandemic events pushed and forced a lot of local businesses to search for digital transformation, or even the entire business renovation.

And Jamstack is here to make things easier.

Thanks to rapidly changing technologies, we are able to adapt them to any kind of business and solve most of the problems we were struggling with much easier and faster.

People ask more and more questions about Jamstack, so we decided to create an FAQ, and present Jamstack more deeply to help you learn, understand, and find the possibilities of adapting it to your own business.

Watch the video

Not in a mood for reading? We cover many of the FAQ in our interview with Colby Fayock – one of the top Jamstack experts from developers community:

Jamstack basics

1. What is Jamstack?

Jamstack logo

Jamstack is a web development architecture that enables you to build superfast, SEO-friendly, and safe websites.

In the beginning, JAMstack stood for JavaScript, APIs, and Markup. However, not anymore.

Now Jamstack is considered more of a modern development approach rather than a mix of specific technologies.

As an example, if you want to build a Jamstack website, you don’t have to use JavaScript nor API, so the Javascript, API, Markup acronym doesn’t apply anymore

However, simply put, Jamstack means a departure from the monolithic approach (when every single thing on the back-end and front-end was connected) and focus on building websites based on microservices.

It gives Jamstack creators such advantages as great performance, high traffic resistance, fast page load speed, etc.

For much more information about what is Jamstack and how it works, you can go to our guide for business people – What is Jamstack.

2. What are the pros of Jamstack?

Three main benefits of Jamstack are:

  • User experience – Jamstack makes it possible to design your website however you want, without any limitations you may have experienced before. It’s possible because you have full control over the front-end layer.
  • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) – Jamstack helps you get higher search results rankings because Google favours static pages as they are fast, light and easy to scan by crawlers. Also, as of June 2021, Core Web Vitals have a huge impact on SEO, and one of the key ranking factors is speed.
  • Speed and performance – Jamstack websites are static websites and they are fast by default. The main reason for that is they are pre-generated.
a graph with reasons and advantages of using Jamstack

Other benefits of Jamstack

Total safetyHigh traffic resistanceHeadless integration
Future-proofMany ready-to-use featuresCheap and portable hosting
Easier maintenanceComponent-based architectureOmnichannel approach (works on any device)
Pros of Jamstack

If you want to learn more, read our article about the pros and cons of Jamstack in 2021.

3. What are the cons of Jamstack?

  • Coding may be required – it’s not that Jamstack is always easy to edit. If your website isn’t connected to some headless CMS, you may either need some technical skills or ask a developer for help.
  • Not exactly plugin-friendly – except for Gatsby, most technologies don’t allow for using any plugin that comes to mind. Because of that, coding is required in many cases.
  • Generating preview takes time – After any change, you need to “build” each page. It can take a lot of time if your website is big with a lot of pages and data. However, the creators of Gatsby and Next.js are working hard on a solution to that.

If you want to learn more, read our article about the pros and cons of Jamstack in 2021.

4. When to use Jamstack, and what can I build with it? Best use cases

There are plenty of use cases for Jamstack, and although we like to think it can be used pretty much everywhere, there are still use cases in which Jamstack is not the best option

But at the same time, there are some specific markets that using Jamstack just makes perfect sense.

These are:

  • eCommerce ShopsJamstack helps them engage customers and position their products easier in Google ranks, which can ultimately increase conversion rates. Custom storefront integrated with Headless eCommerce can bring significant results.
  • Custom Landing Pages – Jamstack helps you forget about being late with ad campaigns. It enables you to build custom landing pages much faster and easier.
  • Software & SaaS – A product website is in fact an app’s business card. Now it’s possible to make a great first impression by making it flawless and fast as in the blink of an eye.
  • Online services – Jamstack stopped being just for static pages as it becomes more and more dynamic. Because of that, you can use it to build websites based on real-time data like news and cryptocurrency portals or stock exchange websites.

We also made a video about when to use, and when not to use Jamstack:

5. When not to use Jamstack?

We’d love to say that Jamstack is a good choice for any website, but that’s not entirely true.

Using it might not be a good choice if:

  • You don’t have enough technical expertise – Jamstack is not a code-free tool for building websites and it still requires coding skills and using APIs.Therefore, you either need to have JavaScript and/or React skills or someone who have these skills. If you are a beginner, solutions like WordPress might be a better option.
  • You want to use plug-ins – in most cases, except for Gatsby, coding is required because it’s not possible to take advantage of ready-to-use plugins.

6. Should I learn Jamstack?

If you are a developer and you want to grow your front-end skills to build superfast websites and apps, Jamstack is a great choice. Plus, it’s an ever-growing technology.

However, remember that you need to:

  • Know JavaScript (at least)
  • Have some coding experience

On the other hand, if you are a CTO or lead developer who wants to learn Jamstack just for a one-time project, it’s better to outsource it.

7. Who is using Jamstack? Popular companies

Many great and big brand names decided to choose Jamstack to achieve better marketing results.

Here are just a few of them.

Braun

an image of main page of Braun jamstack website

Nike

an image of main page of Nike jamstack website

Mozilla

an image of main page of mozilla jamstack website

Airbnb

an image of main page of airbnb jamstack website

Figma

an image of main page of figma jamstack website

8. What are the other Jamstack examples?

Jamstack eCommerce websites

ButcherBox

ButcherBox website screenshot
ButcherBox

Deliveroo

Deliveroo website screenshot
Deliveroo

Jamstack landing pages

Sharpen

Sharpen website screenshot
Sharpen

Right From Basics

Right From Basics website screenshot
Right From Basics

Jamstack software and SaaS websites

DreamHost

DreamHost website screenshot
DreamHost

SendGrid

SendGrid website screenshot
SendGrid

9. What’s the difference between static and dynamic websites?

  • Static sites load faster – Page load speed is important for two reasons – user experience and SEO. Google loves speedy websites and makes them rank higher. As static sites are pre-rendered (content is generated in advance), they are faster than dynamic sites.
  • Static sites are easier to index – Static websites consist of HTML files and that makes them easy to read and index for Google robots. Static sites also generate a simple sitemap which is also helpful for indexing a particular website.
  • Static sites are easier to optimize – If you want to have total control over the SEO of your website, choosing a static site is a great idea. Consequently, you get the possibility to modify and optimise any page without limitations. In the case of dynamic websites, you may have to use a plugin.
  • Static sites have lower hosting and maintenance costs – Static websites don’t need as much storage space as dynamic websites. In fact, in some cases, the hosting of Jamstack websites might be even free.Additionally, it means that such a website won’t use much of a transfer limit.
  • Dynamic websites can display different content for different users – It’s possible thanks to advanced programming and the usage of databases. On the other hand, static websites are fixed and display the same content for everyone.
  • Dynamic websites are easier and faster to edit – Changes to dynamic websites are visible right away while in the case of static websites, the visibility of changes depends on the build time. Also, a change in the dynamic site will be reflected on all pages and can be done in real-time.
  • Dynamic websites might be better for complex projects – For example, they are a better choice if we want to create dashboards with real-time data.

10. What are the most popular Jamstack static site generators?

Gatsby.js

Technologies to build a JAMstack website: Gatsby;

GatsbyJS is an open-source React-based, GraphQL powered static site generator (SSG).

In other words, it combines the very best of React, Webpack, React-router, GraphQL, and other front-end tools, creating one single solution that web developers love to use.

GatsbyJS was also nominated for the hottest web development technology in the world in 2020.

Next.js

Technologies to build a JAMstack website: Next.js;

Next.js is a JavaScript framework that enables you to not only build web applications using React, but also superfast static websites.

It’s all thanks to Automatic Static Optimization that makes “static” and “dynamic” become one.

This feature allows Next.js to build hybrid applications that contain both server-rendered and statically generated pages.

Hugo

Hugo logo

Hugo is another leader of the most popular open-source static site generators built on Go.

With its amazing speed and flexibility, Hugo makes building websites fun and easy.

More than that, Hugo supports unlimited content types, taxonomies, menus, dynamic API-driven content, and more, all without plugins.

Jekyll

Jekyll logo

Jekyll is a simple static site generator written in Ruby by Tom Preston-Werner (GitHub’s co-founder). It is available as an open-source under MIT license.

Mainly, it’s being used for personal blogs, and project or organization sites.

Nuxt

Nuxt logo

Nuxt is a Vue framework that supports both server-side rendering and static site generation.

You can either use it to generate HTML based on Vue components or a static website based on the Vue application.

11. What are the differences between GatsbyJS and Next.js?

You can use either GatsbyJS or Next.js to build blazingly fast and SEO-friendly websites. The final decision on which one to choose depends on the project requirements.

We explain it more below, or if you want to take a break from reading, watch the video:

To make your choice between Nextjs and Gatsbyjs easier, let’s take a look at the difference between these two.

Differences between Gatsby and Next.js

Static Site Generator vs Server Side Rendering (+SSG)

GatsbyJS is a static site generator (SSG).

Next.js started as a server-side rendering tool but now it also supports static site generation.

Data handling

Next.js gives developers the possibility to choose an approach to data fetching.

On the other hand, GatsbyJS uses GraphQL for handling data. The thing is, for a small project, it might be overkill.

Plugins, themes, extensions, integrations

GatsbyJS offers many plugins which make the development process easier and faster.

However, if you want to create a more customised project, Next.js might be the right choice. It gives you practically full freedom when it comes to idea execution.

12. What are the best technologies to build a Jamstack website?

There are a number of Jamstack technologies you can choose from.

First, you need to choose tools and technologies for:

  • Front-end layer
  • Headless CMS
  • Hosting and deployment

Front-end technologies

Gatsby.jsNext.jsReact.jsTypeScript
Technologies to build a JAMstack website: Gatsby;Technologies to build a JAMstack website: Next.js;Technologies to build a JAMstack website: React;Technologies to build a JAMstack website: TypeScript;

Headless CMS

ContentfulPrismicSanityStrapiWordPress

Hosting and deployment

NetlifyVercelAWSFirebase

13. How does Jamstack affect SEO?

Jamstack has a positive impact on the website’s SEO because of a few reasons:

  • Being easy to scan and index
  • Delivering fast page load speed and high performance
  • Full control over website’s content and structure (great user experience)
  • Possibility to add custom metadata (such as meta descriptions or alt text)

14. How does Jamstack impact digital businesses?

Jamstack gives digital businesses a chance to build websites that are:

  • Super-fast – static (Jamstack) websites are fast by default
  • SEO-efficient – Google favours static websites as they are fast, light and easy to scan
  • Responsive (work on any device) – Jamstack websites work perfectly on any device and any screen size
  • User-friendly – you can design your website any way you want
  • Future-proof – Jamstack website will stand the test of time so you won’t have to change it in the coming years
  • Secure – Jamstack websites have no direct connection to the database or any other sensitive information

Consequently, businesses that choose Jamstack to build their website will have a better chance of beating the competition, getting more leads and customers, and increase their revenues.

15. Is Jamstack secure?

Yes, as static websites (aka Jamstack websites) don’t have a direct connection to the database and other sensitive data.

16. Can Jamstack improve my Google PageSpeed score?

Yes, as the Jamstack website’s speed and performance is one of its main features and benefits.

Building a Jamstack website

17. How can I migrate my website to Jamstack?

You can choose one of two ways of migrating your website to Jamstack.

  1. Migrate the entire website with content, database, etc.
  2. Create a new Jamstack front-end, but stay with your favourite CMS or eCommerce platform (it must provide API)

You can prepare for such a migration by reading our questionnaire.

18. What is the cost of building a Jamstack website?

It depends on the complexity of a particular project. 

  1. A simple static website will cost around £4k – £8k
  2. Project involving UX/UI design will cost about £6k – £30k (depending on the size of the project)
  3. A big and complex project may cost around £20k – £80k

19. How much does it cost to maintain a Jamstack website on a monthly basis?

If you want to build a personal blog or small business website, you can host it even for free on GitHub Pages or Netlify. However, the cost of hosting will grow with your website.

For example, Netlify offers premium hosting plans called Pro ($19/month), Business ($99/month), and Enterprise (custom pricing based on needs).

On top of that, hosting might not be your only expense – the overall cost of maintaining your Jamstack website will also depend on third-party tools.

20. How long does it take to build a Jamstack website?

The cost of building a Jamstack website depends on the complexity of the particular project.

  • A simple static website may take from 1 month up to 3 months
  • More complex websites can take from 6 months up to 18 months (or more)

The overall development cost also depends on who you choose to work with.

Working with an experienced Jamstack agency will cost you more than working with a Jamstack freelance developer. However, the whole project may take longer in the latter case.

21. What skills should Jamstack developers have?

A decent Jamstack developer is someone who has JavaScript skills and experience. An additional asset of such a developer is a great knowledge of the React library. The reason? Gatsby and Next.js are built with ReactJS.

At Pagepro, we work with:

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

22. Should I hire a freelancer or specialised agency to build a Jamstack website?

Working with a freelancer might be a great choice if you have some Jamstack experience, and you just want someone to do the coding part.

If that’s not the case, it might be better to work with a specialised Jamstack agency.

23. How to find, choose and hire a good Jamstack development agency?

If you made a decision to work with an agency, it’s always best to find one that works with Jamstack specifically.

Mind that it might be not possible to do so. If that’s the case, focus on finding an agency specialising in JavaScript or React. As Jamstack is based on these two, there is a chance that such an agency has the competencies to do well with Jamstack.

We also prepared a guide on choosing and hiring Jamstack agency. It’s a good source of information and specific questions to make sure you hire a good one.

24. What can a Jamstack website be integrated with?

Here is an example list of third-party tools you can integrate your Jamstack website with:

  • Hubspot
  • CMS like WordPress
  • eCommerce platforms like Shopify and Saleor
  • Analytics tools like Google Analytics
  • Auto translation tools like Weglot
  • Internal search engines like Algolia
  • Authentication and authorisation tools like Auth0
  • Online payments platforms like Stripe

Jamstack and eCommerce

25. Can Jamstack be used for eCommerce?

Yes, we even wrote the entire article about using Jamstack for eCommerce.

26. What eCommerce platforms you recommend to use with Jamstack?

We recommend using:

BigCommerceMagento (Adobe Commerce)SaleorShopify

27. Which big eCommerce companies are using Jamstack?

Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton website screenshot
Louis Vuitton

Bang&Olufsen

Bang&Olufsen website screenshot
Bang&Olufsen

Daniel Wellington

Daniel Wellington website screenshot
Daniel Wellington

28. What are the examples of eCommerce websites built with Jamstack?

Fabuwood

Fabuwood website screenshot
Fabuwood

Ingmarson

Ingmarson website screenshot
Ingmarson

Peloton

Peloton

29. Is my CMS compatible with Jamstack?

You can check the list of CMS platforms compatible with Jamstack on this website.

30. Can Jamstack be used with CMS as Headless?

Yes, and even more – it is an often-used solution.

31. What CMSes pair well with Jamstack?

We recommend working with:

ContentfulPrismicSanityStrapiWordPress

You can also check this website to find more information on Content Management Systems for Jamstack sites.

Summary

I hope this FAQ explained to you a bit more about the Jamstack and how it opens up a lot of possibilities for the modern business world.

It makes it easier for new websites to gain a competitive advantage, and for developers to deliver truly great results and products.

On top of that, building websites with Jamstack make the web faster, cleaner, and more efficient.

In other words, a better place.

Not sure if Jamstack is a good idea for your business?