Creativity & Code

Category Icon Static Site Generators and JAMStack.

With the advent of Static Site CMS’s is JAMStack a viable alternative to Wordpress for small to medium sized sites?

Jam

Photo by Jonathan Pielmayer on Unsplash

As much as Wordpress is really useful for content managed websites, there is always cases where it isn’t ideal. Those tiny one pager sites to support an event or a website for a client who, in reality will only end up adding a news article occasionally. The constant maintenance of plugins and core updates is a burden and without it security is an issue after launch.

I have used Jekyll on my personal blog for quite a while now. I have always loved the fact it is so minimal. Static site generators have some great advantages. For a start as the name suggests there is no database to worry about so security is less of a problem. It is also fast, and static sites suit being run over a CDN also.

More recently services such as Siteleaf have sprung up, offering a way to allow CMS control over your static website. This means you can still have non technical users creating content, but the other elements can be built in a simple developer friendly way.

This method has become known as ‘JAMStack’, where you use client side Javascript, 3rd party API’s for things that would have traditionally used a database and Markup from a site generator.

There can be a need in web tenders for everything to be adminable or customisable, but in reality how often does a client follow through and make full use of everything they said they wanted? With the increased worries of site security and the burden that a client can be left with if they don’t have a support package perhaps JAMStack offers a robust solution.

We have actually started to use this on our latest project where the client is totally on board with this type of process and can see the advantages it offers. We have gone as far as hosting the site within Github Pages which minimises paid for dependencies.

I think this is going to be an ongoing trend in 2018, alongside the continuing advancements in headless CMS and also GraphQL which could offer the next logical step on for Wordpress hosted sites, I can’t wait to see how this develops! :)

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