The JAMstack Philosophy in Action
JAMstack turns the traditional, CMS-driven model on its head — and resolves all of those common pain points in the process. Rather than relying on the CMS to render content “to order,” JAMstack websites are pre-rendered. This means that when a visitor lands on a page on JAMstack website, the frontend system stands ready to deploy the most recent version of your content without querying your CMS. To stick with our restaurant analogy, visiting a JAMstack website is like going to a restaurant where you don’t even have to order. Your food is already waiting for you when you arrive.
In essence, the JAMstack approach means that the frontend and backend portions of your website are decoupled. In this arrangement, your CMS’s only job is to manage content. It no longer has to play a starring role in the frontend user experience.
With JAMstack, you are free to piece together the most modern, specialized applications. You can choose tools that perform better, are more developer-friendly, and pave the way for more immersive, app-like digital experiences. Using JAMstack, these disparate tools can be "meshed" together to create a seamless, coherent digital media and marketing system. At Cosmic, our preferred tech stack includes Gatsby for frontend development, Craft or Prismic for content management, and Netlify for content delivery.
You may be wondering how all of this impacts your organization in terms of how you manage and update your website content. The good news is that you don’t have to learn a new system. Unless you want to switch to a new CMS, nothing has to change in terms of your organization’s website-related workflows. You still get to use your favorite CMS to create and update content on the fly, just as you are already accustomed to doing. You're not replacing your existing content management system, just augmenting it with better frontend technology.
That said, JAMstack isn't for everyone. Building the system isn't a plug-and-play experience. It only makes sense if you want to create a custom digital experience and have a team of competent in-house developers (or are committed to working with an outside agency like Cosmic).