What makes a site Jamstack?

Programming - Mar 31, 2024

I admit I didn’t know the ins and outs of what the Jamstack is until recently, despite having heard the term so frequently. I think I’m not alone in this. It’s an elusive term — how is it different from what came before, especially considering it shares so many similarities? Thankfully, Divya Sasidharan is breaking down so many aspects of Jamstack every day of January in a series of posts called #JAMuary.

One of the posts in this series so far was called “What makes a site Jamstack”? Personally, this post was one of my favorites. In it, Divya dives into a really important question: if static sites and Jamstack are similar, then what is the distinction?

“You could say that a Jamstack site is a static site but a static site is not necessarily a Jamstack one.”

She talks a bit about Git workflows versus the old FTP methods, how to continuously update in small changes, and revert those changes.

Mutable deploys present a host of challenges. These include ever-changing and unpredictable server environments and issues with invalid caches. JAMstack sites do away with this by taking advantage of the ability for modern CDNs to invalidate your cache completely.

She then goes on to describe Jamstack’s generate-deploy cycle and how Jamstack is, in many ways, a response to the ever-growing complexity of the web. Jamstack moves away from using servers, which drops a lot of the complexity.

You can read more of her work and this series on dev.to.

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