In recent years, we have seen the content management space undergo the initial phases of a major shift. Many brands are pondering a move away from their traditional CMS platform to a headless CMS — a Kentico survey (free to download) has highlighted 89 percent of businesses are keen on the idea of going headless.
But in addition to this growing interest in going headless, we are also seeing a new trend emerging in web development with the rising popularity of JAMstack, a new kind of technology stack which is different than LAMP, MEAN, and .NET.
To keep in line with this trend, many headless CMS providers are labeling themselves as JAMstack-ready. But what exactly does that mean? As ever, we turn to leading industry experts and practitioners to help us familiarize what a JAMstack-ready CMS is, and what features you must look out for when shopping around for a JAMstack-ready CMS.
What is a JAMstack-Ready CMS?
JAMstack is comprised of:
- APIs to interact with the backend (A)
- Markup templates prebuilt at deploy time, using static site generators or build tools (M)
A headless CMS, as Mayank Mishra, head of engineering at San Fransisco-based Contentstack explained, is an example of a JAMstack-ready CMS since “it is built on an API architecture from the beginning,” Mishra said.
Related Article: What is JAMstack?
What are the Benefits of JAMstack-ready CMS?
According to Mishra, JAMstack offers “superior” performance at a low cost. It also provides agile development, quicker scaling, and greater security. “[In JAMstack], there is no server-side execution involved as it serves static markup, so it eliminates several potential causes of failures and security risks,” Mishra said.
Mishra also added that JAMstack’s web development architecture supports the latest delivery technologies, and also provides the capability to implement a best of breeds solution. “The web development architecture [found within JAMstack] supports the latest delivery technologies, such as using a Git-centric workflow, getting lightning fast delivery by using front-end build tools and static site generators, a CDN, and takes advantage of the rich API economy to be able to implement the best of breed solutions,” Mishra said.
Furthermore, Gibbons added that in making the content available through APIs, this “gives other applications easy access to your content which could include landing pages, microsites, or native iOS, and Android applications,” Gibbons said.
Adopting a JAMstack-ready CMS: A 3-Point Checklist
Related Article: JAMstack vs. LAMP Stack vs. MEAN vs .NET: Tech Stacks Compared
Once these areas are covered, brands can begin to look at JAMstack-ready CMS solutions. But before making the switch, you need to ensure your JAMstack-ready CMS has the following features.
2. Look for a Headless CMS
3. Find a Suitable Static Site Generator
A static site generator (SSG) is the perfect partner for a headless CMS. As we have explained previously, an SSG generates HTML-only website using markdown files. That static site can then be uploaded to a server, remaining unchanged until the next time the SSG is run.
With these three ticked off your checklist, you should be all set to embrace JAMstack as your technology stack of choice.