Jamstack vs WordPress and other classic CMS

How to build a good website? One that is user-friendly but also wisely optimized for the website owner to create content. Is it enough to open WordPress and build a website to get the best result for everyone? Or maybe learning about new approaches is a must? Maybe there is something more and better to help your website stand out from the crowd. 

The approaches you can decide on vary, and it’s always a good idea to seek some expertise first. This article focuses on presenting Jamstack architecture as a way to create a website compared to WordPress and other classic content management systems. Hopefully, it will clarify the benefits you can gain with each approach and help you to understand how to combine these tools to achieve the best results at your web projects.

A bit about the WordPress world

WordPress has been brought to life in 2003 and it has created the style and direction of websites all over the world. Everyone who knows something about online content creation knows WordPress. It is the most popular and eagerly used content management tool. Originally, it has been made as a blogging platform but in time, it has started to be used as a tool for online stores, enterprise websites, news sites, and many more.

The WordPress statistics are impressive:

  • it powers 34% of all websites on the internet
  • has a 60.8% market share in the CMS market
  • in 2018 90% of infected platforms were WordPress sites

So we know that WordPress is the basis of the Internet we know, and its popularity makes it the subject of frequent attacks. However, it doesn’t mean that there is no such thing as a secure WordPress site because a lot can be done to optimize the WordPress website to make it more secure. One of the ways is to support WordPress with Jamstack, which we will tell you more about later on.


What is WordPress used for?

Let’s dive into the reasons behind WordPress’s popularity. First of all, WordPress allowed literally anyone to create a website in a simple and accessible way. Plus, it does it for free. A few clicks and the website is ready. Websites owners love WordPress for its simple and intuitive options for content management. It’s really easy to create content that allows people to build their online presence almost effortlessly.

And what about other CMS on the market? Drupal and Joomla are two of many alternative CMS people use for content creation. As with WordPress, even without technical knowledge, users quickly learned to use classic CMSs. They got used to them which is one of the clues of their popularity.

The convenience coming from the fact users already know the tool, makes people less willing to leave their comfort zone, and start to work with the unknown. Even if new solutions seem to be promising and can boost the website performance. 

Why WordPress is not enough

To make a long story short, WordPress and other classic CMS make people quite independent when comes to building websites. And it’s not just about creating content, but also building the website and adding functionality with plugins. With WordPress, all these can be done by website owners.

However, in time, the whole concept of WordPress as an all-in-one tool for building websites ceased to be sufficient. It happens, among other things, due to the growing popularity of WordPress, which causes security issues in the form of hacker attacks. Moreover, at a time when sites created on WordPress began to be visited more and more often by users, their problems with scaling began. The new needs for additional services and solutions emerged and Jamstack is one of them.


What is Jamstack

Jamstack is a development architecture. It contains various practices enabling developers to build and manage websites while keeping the highest industry standards.  The Jamstack approach focuses on high-performance, security, easy and high scalability, and low-cost maintenance.

The foundation of the Jamstack ecosystem, and at the same time, the main difference between Jamstack and WordPress, is that Jamstack doesn’t depend on the single server. The requests are served by geographically dispersed servers that work together to ensure fast pre-rendered content delivery (CDN – content delivery network).

As we already explained, developers, not the website owners, build Jamstack websites. Non technical people can not create the Jamstack site, because technical knowledge is essential. Therefore, for building a Jamstack website you need to cooperate with the Jamstack development agency.

At Software Things we are true advocates of Jamstack, we are working this way since 2018, and we have developed many successful websites with this architecture. If you are interested in more details of what is Jamstack, be sure to check out our material: What is JAMstack and why you should use it for apps and web development.


The power of static site 

One of the reasons why we think that Jamstack sites are the best for clients is the strength of static sites. Having a static site can be your superpower, making your website almost future-proof. What does the predominance of static pages mean in practice?

First of all, to make magic happen, you need Jamstack to create a static website. Then static site generators come to play. Popular static site generators used to develop static files are Gatsby.js and Next.js. Thankfully, you as a website owner don’t have to worry about using these tools, experienced Jamstack development agency has it all at their fingertips.

What about the magic of static pages when it comes to user interactions with the Jamstack site? When the user enters the static page, the data (content) doesn’t have to be downloaded from the server. The data is already there and the user sees the content almost immediately. As a result, static sites help your website get ahead of the competition in terms of speed and performance.



Why Jamstack is good for your website

Ok, the above-mentioned seems to be strong Jamstack’s elements. However, what do they mean in practice, especially from the website owner’s perspective?

  1. Jamstack is an approach to website building that takes care of the website users. The fact that Jamstack doesn’t depend on the server and pages comes as static files mean that the end-user sees newly selected or refreshed site almost at once. Jamstack, thus, improves the process of displaying content. It’s a booster solution for site performance, page speed and thanks to this also better search engines optimization.
  2. Jamstack is the website’s best solution making scaling easier. It means that Jamstack websites can become very popular, i.e. handle high traffic, without compromising on speed and quality. There is no limit to growth.
  3. Jamstack websites are safer because static files are more difficult to hack. With Jamstack you don’t have to worry about the security issues as much as you should when having a website on WordPress or other classic CMS. The data you collect is more secured which means that users are safe too.


The great merge: Jamstack and WordPress as a one team

We already know that Jamstack helps maintain a good website user experience, but what about the website owner? Is it possible to keep the convenience of WordPress content management, and at the same time get Jamstack benefits?

The answer is yes, you can have both. In our opinion, as a Jamstack development agency, the best way is to combine the WordPress content management system with Jamstack. We simply recommend using WordPress as a headless CMS, and Jamstack as the front-end. Thus, content creation is based on the tool everyone knows, and the rest is taken care of by Jamstack, so the user interacts with a fast and secured website and content editor works in the environment that is already familiar. This is the approach we take often while creating websites for our clients, and we have found out more than once, that such a solution is the best possible choice.

„The bottom line is when you use Jamstack with WordPress, you keep what you already know and get the added value. It follows that Jamstack does not stand in opposition to WordPress or other classic CMS, but only complements them. ” Igor Podlawski, CEO Software Things


Leave Jamstack vs WordPress and focus on cooperation

As we have already mentioned Jamstack has many advantages that bring profits to the business. Additionally, we believe that there are two more strong reasons that support the combination of Jamstack and WordPress or other classic CMS. Let’s go a little deeper on the topic.

Security

WordPress is the most popular sites builder but also the target of hackers and automated bots that detect errors and vulnerabilities in WordPress sites. Jamstack protects WordPress websites and prevents bots from seeing gaps and errors in WordPress. Therefore the sites built on Jamstack and WordPress or other classic CMS, are more secure.

Price

WordPress is an inexpensive website builder, especially at the beginning. It doesn’t require financial resources for the website to start working and bring benefits. However, as the site’s popularity grows, WordPress becomes more and more expensive because higher traffic means higher costs. Additionally, the developing website needs to expand its functionalities. In WordPress, this is done by installing paid plugins that raise the overall cost of maintaining and developing the site.

Jamstack, in turn, is more expensive at the beginning. It requires a few setups and the use of other services. Besides, the site is managed by the Jamstack development agency, which affects the overall costs. Anyway, in the long term, the price normalizes. If the website becomes popular, Jamstack supports it very well, enabling high traffic service at no additional cost.



Jamstack vs WordPress – how to make a decision?

We have already stated what are the benefits of each tool, and our approach to the best results. However, even if the combination of Jamstack and WordPress or another classic CMS is the good practice, it’s not best for everyone and in every situation.


Who should choose WordPress sites?

  1. Small companies that focus on short execution time and immediate results. WordPress allows for a fast website launching so they can generate income right away.
  2. WordPress and other classic CMS are relatively cheap at the beginning, so they are a good choice for newbie companies or small startups wanting to verify their ideas.
  3. Businesses that want to manage, the website or blog, without a software development company, but rely on self-maintenance.


And who is Jamstack good for?

  1. Businesses with a target to build a website that converts and brings revenue.
  2. Companies ready to spend the budget on maintaining a website by Jamstack development agency, targeting results such as high website performance, or a great user experience.
  3. Jamstack is best if you care about SEO and scalability. It helps the website to be visible on Google by taking care of the page speed. And the most important – with Jamstack, your site can handle high traffic, so it’s ready for success.

If you feel Jamstack is a good match for your needs, be sure to check our offer on Jamstack sites. We can not wait to hear about your idea for a Jamstack site or an app.


The growing popularity of Jamstack

The community of developers using Jamstack for web development is vast and constantly growing. The 2021 survey among Jamstack developers gives some interesting insights. First and foremost, the Jamstack is used within all industries with the highest adoption in: advertising, marketing, media and publishing, and of course in the technology sector. 

Another interesting indicator is the purpose of the Jamstack sites developers build. The first few are: 

  • Personal blog/portfolio
  • B2b software
  • E-commerce
  • Consumer software 

The data conclusion is clear. The new driving force, visible more with every year, is b2b software. And no wonder, for b2b companies having a fast, well-performing, and secure website is a must-have.

Why do our clients choose this approach?

The decision to use the Jamstack approach for building digital products for our client RCCiK – Regional Center for Blood Donation and Blood Treatment in Katowice, was a great choice. While building a website using Jamstack, we created the entire back-end based on the API-first approach with WordPress as a headless CMS. As a result, when we started creating a mobile application, some of the necessary data was pre-built and ready for use. The data didn’t require modification which contributed to the reduced time needed to build a new product development infrastructure. In addition, we enabled the client to manage application elements from the site admin panel.

This is the perfect example of how we wisely used Jamstack to reduce development time when building digital products. And this kind of wise choices you can expect if you decide to build a digital product with us on the Jamstack.

What’s more, you do not have to worry that you will be tied with the company that builds your website on Jamstack forever. Jamstack is a friendly architecture that creates a structured foundation that can be delegated to another professional software company or even to your developer (if he rocks).

RCCiK website created with Jamstack and WordPress



Jamstack vs WordPress summary

There is no perfect solution for every life situation. The same is with digital products. If you want to build a website on your own, with little effort and financial resources, then using WordPress is a good solution. However, if you want your site to be user-friendly, secure, with easy scalability options, we will advise you to choose Jamstack. Especially that websites built on Jamstack don’t have to give up on WordPress or classic CMS. As a Jamstack development agency, we advise you to combine both tools, to enjoy the best results.

Regardless of the choice you make, we will be happy to hear about your idea, to advise you, on how to put it into practice. Contact us and make your idea happen.

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