What they don’t tell you about JAMStack: The freedom to break free from the monolith and choose the best-of-breed for your needs

Konabos Inc. - Konabos

21 May 2021

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JAMstack: What is it trying to achieve?

JAMstack is modern, it’s speedy, and it has a hip name that makes everyone want to jam their way into a new revolutionary process of building websites and applications. JAMstack, which stands for JavaScript, APIs, and Markup (JAM), isn’t a technology; it is a process that simplifies the lives of developers by building on the many tools and workflows that they are accustomed to working with.

The JAMstack approach is to be as server-less as possible and push the tasks onto the end-user. Unlike a traditional CMS, a JAMstack site splits the code (JavaScript), site infrastructure (APIs), and content (Markup), and all three components are handled separately in a decoupled architecture.

JAMstack has transformed the way we build. It’s about more than just choosing the web-friendliest technologies; it’s about breaking up the monolithic approach and working towards a more flexible and innovative architecture through best-of-breed solutions.

Choosing to go down the JAMstack route brings certain benefits:

Better speed and performance - JAMstack removes as many tasks as possible away from the server and pushes them on the user instead, which results in faster loading time and better performance.

Scaling will save you time and money - With a powerful CDN, you’ll require fewer resources to scale your website or application. By not relying on heavy server processing, scaling will come at a lower cost as it won’t need a server upgrade.

Enhances Security - The decoupling of the backend and front-end means that any security flaws in the front-end won’t breach your backend application.

Flexible development - Developers have the option of choosing their own tech stack.

Retiring the Monolith for the Best of Breed Approach

The best-of-breed approach has many benefits over a massive suite of solutions for building a modern tech stack. Companies that use suite tools often have very little control over what they are getting. In recent years, they have realized that the best-of-breed approach is the most effective way to leverage the latest technology in the long run.

When deciding whether to go with a suite approach or embrace best-of-breed solutions, companies need to learn more about what makes a tech stack so appealing:


Unlike massive suites, best-of-breed approaches are more niche-centric and are focused on solving specific problems instead of appealing to a mass market. To keep growing, these companies need to stay relevant and current with changes within the industry. Suites are bloated and composed of general features that are often not utilized. This usually means that suites are slower to be upgraded, and when they are, it might be too late to compete with competitors.

When using the best-of-breed approach, reaching customers on their terms through new digital touchpoints is easy and requires no external intervention. 


Being niche-focused allows best-of-breed solutions to cater to customer needs and allows each team to utilize specific tool functions to meet their goals. No more constraint based on the limited options that a suite model delivers; developers, content creators, and others can all fulfill their particular requirements using the proper tools. The flexibility of choosing which applications to integrate into a tech stack is hard to beat. 


Monolithic architecture is not known for its flexibility, which is why using a tech stack approach has revolutionized how we build websites and applications. API-driven applications are much easier to integrate into stack tech than into monolith software, which often does not offer integration points through their all-in-one solution. 

Organizations now can be autonomous and switch applications as necessary without fearing the dreaded vendor lock-in. An API-driven tech stack provides flexibility and removes the vulnerability of being dependent on a suite vendor.

Going Headless in a JAMstack world

When using a traditional CMS, everything is connected; the code, design, and content are handled in the same system. Changes are made on the backend by developers and stored on a server and delivered to the user through it. Design, performance, and optimization are restricted based on the platform’s capabilities.

As per its name, a headless CMS acts as a pure backend operation by removing the head entirely and uses APIs to attach to the front-end while using the CMS as a database where content can be pulled on request. To live by the JAMstack principle, you’ll need to go headless.

Since JAMstack decouples all the parts and handles them separately, content creators and developers can choose their own tech stack. This is one of the key selling points for the JAMstack model. Rather than being loyal to one source, this model relies on multiple decentralized sources and brings them together to be configured, customized, and scaled as needed.

JAMstack and Headless CMS are a perfect match - JAMstack is about speed and flexibility through API, and Headless CMS specializes in just that. Companies need to look into their macro business needs to make the right decision when choosing a high-performing headless CMS. This includes taking in the needs of both content teams and developers, support and compatibility, and of course, costs.

JAMstack is the future, maybe not the immediate future due to the specific technical skills required to get it off the ground, but it is definitely a growing trend. Its benefits, flexibility, and superior developer experience will eventually make it a star player in the way sites and apps get built.

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