What is the JAMStack?



You’ll almost certainly be familiar with the term LAMP stack (Linux Apache MySQL PHP). You may have heard of the MEAN stack (Mongo Express Angular Node).

Well now, it’s all about the JAMStack

JAM, or Javascript, API’s and Markup is a term designed to represent the type of microservices architecture that we believe in here at Beach.

Moreover, it’s a term designed to move us away from “Static”.

You will have heard me refer to what we do as “Static”, time and again. I even wrote a post all about the static CMS in the post-CMS era, followed by a series of “static CMS” tutorials. :blush:

We refer to Hammer as a static site generator.

We refer to Forge as a static site hosting service.

Well, in truth - the static part has always made me feel uneasy, though it was commonly used for services like these, I fell into the trap of using it too. Most of the sites we build are far from static, in fact they’re often way more dynamic than the old monolithic sites and apps we’ve put out in the past.

Static puts the wrong taste in the mouth. It sounds small, it sounds cheap, it lack gravitas and urgency.

These sites are


Meanwhile, over the pond, Matt Biilmann and the team at Netlify have been feeling the same. In fact, they’ve struggled even more than me to find a new way to describe what we do and how we see the next wave of web development technologies, tools, workflows and services.

Matt recently published a small piece on github, establishing some of the basic philosophies of the JAMStack.

Even more enlightening is Matt’s speakerdeck on the subject.

It’s certainly worth a read.

A couple of notes:

Where Matt lists static site generators, he apologises in the future for missing Hammer off the list.

Where Matt talks about CDN based hosting & automated deployment platforms, he talks about Netlify, his company. Netlify is a great service, no doubt about it - they are doing great work over there. I’d say Forge, but then, I’m also biased.

So, all this to say. I’m onboard with the JAMStack. It might be a little bit over-engineered, the term might be a little clingy, desperate, but what it stands for is undeniable. If it helps people to really grasp the reality of what we’re proposing, then I’m all for giving it a shot. I’m with you Matt.

Using Forge with GitLab CI & Roots