Why You Should Generate Static Content With Jamstack

Static vs Dynamic Content

Benji Kostenbader
Benji Kostenbader
June 22, 2020
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These days, small websites are different. Actually, small is probably the wrong term. What I'm talking about has nothing to do with your daily user count, your content size, or the hosting fees you probably shouldn't be paying. The correct term is probably display.

What are Static Websites vs Dynamic Websites?

Let's take even greater liberties with this and say there are only two types of websites in this world:

  • the ones that do something
  • and the ones that display something.

If you are working to develop the unique algorithms for exactly the third results page of a Google Search (or you're just working in Software as a Service), you are firmly in the do something camp. At least, your product is.

For the majority of us, especially those who are trying to paint a beautiful graffiti of words across the internet, we're residing in the display category. Any blog on the internet is a display site, but so are many others!

Marketing, advertising, documentation, even learning management and ecommerce, all of these demonstrate unchanging - read: static - content for people to consume.

Display websites rarely need dynamic, user-specific views. The majority of content is the same for everyone. Your site might change when you update it (if a browser-based API provides the data!), but it won't change based on the visitors.

Why You Should Use JAMStack Generate Static Content

My argument is a simple one: if you are building display websites in 2020 and you haven't considered the Jamstack, you are in a dangerous position.

1 | For one, your prospective clientelle are shrinking. As the world moves on from WordPress and Drupal, there is less reason to stay connected with the base administrator CMS panel because 'that's what everybody else has'. It's been a strangely compelling argument for the past 10 years, but it's a fading one.

2 | Your development and maintenance fees are also rising. As WordPress developers gain more experience (and as many experienced developers move on in favor of more updated technologies), it's no longer easy to find affordable senior talent who will add appropriate value to your products. New CS graduates are also gravitating toward those SaaS brain trusts, or looking for careers in front-end technologies.

3 | Your open-source tooling is also losing support. We've all heard the horror story of a hacked site, but the nature of modern software is open-source. I am simply unable to build out custom, native support for every feature you need. My job is to automate your site; it naturally makes sense to automate the development process as well. As the internet evolves, the tools that made something awesome in 2015 might be a dangerous choice in 2020. Libraries that once had many contributors might now be defunct.

To sum up...

There's good reason that things are changing. Jamstack is a smarter way to accomplish your goals.

  • It will encapsulate the basic functions on your site and optimize them.
  • It will pre-render things that really don't need to be done on HTTP calls.
  • And it'll be much more fun to use than a 20-year-old CMS/framework.

About the author:

Benji Kostenbader is a proud dad, Front-End Developer at Top Hat, MSt from Oxford, and Seoul Honorary Citizen. He knows a few languages, and some of them are computer-based. He actually enjoys writing CSS. Find him at www.monjibram.com. Follow Benji on Twitter @monjibram

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