Written by: Geoffrey Callaghan

What is JAMStack

What Is Jamstack

JAMstack is an architecture for building modern web applications that emphasizes performance, security, and developer experience. JAMstack stands for JavaScript, APIs, and Markup. Here’s a detailed breakdown of its components and advantages:

Key Components of JAMstack

  1. JavaScript

    • Role: Handles dynamic functionalities and interactive elements on the client side.
    • Usage: JavaScript frameworks and libraries (e.g., React, Vue.js, Angular) are commonly used to create rich, interactive user interfaces.
  2. APIs

    • Role: Serve as the backend component, handling server-side operations through microservices or serverless functions.
    • Usage: APIs can be third-party services (e.g., Stripe for payments, Contentful for content management) or custom-built serverless functions (using AWS Lambda, Netlify Functions, etc.).
  3. Markup

    • Role: The static part of the web application, typically HTML.
    • Usage: Markup is usually pre-generated (often using static site generators like Gatsby, Hugo, or Jekyll) and served directly from a content delivery network (CDN).

Advantages of JAMstack

  1. Performance

    • Static Files Served by CDN: Static files are served from a CDN, leading to faster load times and improved user experience.
    • Optimized Delivery: By pre-generating pages, JAMstack sites reduce the need for server-side processing, further speeding up delivery.
  2. Security

    • Reduced Attack Surface: With no direct connection to a database or server-side code execution, the attack surface is minimized.
    • APIs with Managed Security: API services handle their own security, reducing the burden on the developer to secure the application backend.
  3. Scalability

    • CDN-based Scaling: Static files served from a CDN can handle high traffic volumes without additional server load.
    • APIs and Serverless Functions: APIs and serverless functions can scale independently based on demand.
  4. Developer Experience

    • Modern Development Tools: Developers can use modern frameworks and tools, improving productivity and code maintainability.
    • Git-based Workflows: Content and code changes can be managed through version control systems like Git, integrating seamlessly with CI/CD pipelines.

Common Use Cases for JAMstack

  • Static Websites: Blogs, marketing sites, and documentation sites where content does not change frequently.
  • E-commerce: Combining static product pages with dynamic functionalities like shopping carts and checkout processes via APIs.
  • Headless CMS: Content is managed separately from the presentation layer, allowing for greater flexibility in how and where content is displayed.
  • Single Page Applications (SPAs): Dynamic web applications with fast navigation and seamless user experiences.

Example Workflow in JAMstack

  1. Development: Use a static site generator (e.g., Next.js) to build the site’s markup and structure.
  2. APIs: Integrate necessary APIs for dynamic data (e.g., user authentication, payment processing).
  3. Deployment: Deploy the static files to a CDN (e.g., Netlify, Vercel).
  4. Updates: Changes to content or code are pushed to a Git repository, triggering automated builds and deployments via CI/CD pipelines.


JAMstack represents a modern approach to web development that separates the frontend and backend, leveraging static files, client-side JavaScript, and APIs to create fast, secure, and scalable web applications. This architecture is well-suited to the current web development landscape, where performance and security are paramount, and developers seek flexible, efficient workflows.