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JAMstack VS WordPress: Which is On Track?

Introduction

There are many considerations to think about when developing a new website. From design style to functionality, reliability, performance, and security are all important aspects to consider. 

Besides, the need for high-performing websites is always there. Everyone wants a platform that will meet their needs as well as will be easy and cheap to use.

In this regard, new technologies, procedures, and tools are being discovered to empower the web development industry. However, with the ever-changing web technology, determining which one will be best suited to your needs and help you in the long run, is not always easy. Fortunately, a few technologies have proven themselves time and again: Among them, the most popular ones are WordPress and JAMStack.

WordPress is ruling out the website industry since 2003 and presently one-third of the websites all over the world utilize WordPress. And JAMstack is a pretty new technology but its outstanding advantages impress the folk. 

Many are looking for the answer to which web tech stack they should choose JAMstack or WordPress and what are the key differences between them?

To get the answer let's dive in...

An Overview

WordPress is a content management system for creating websites and blogs. This CMS software allows webmasters to create, edit, publish, manage, and maintain website content from an intuitive dashboard. 

WordPress gains vast popularity because of its simplicity and ease of use. Anyone can build a WordPress website with a pre-built theme without any coding knowledge. It has an extensive ecosystem of themes and plug-ins for almost every type of use case and functionality.  

In technical terms, WordPress is a software platform that uses a LAMP stack approach for web development based on Linux OS, Apache HTTP Server, MySQL database, and PHP. WordPress is open-source and anyone can use it for free. WordPress is monolithic by design. 

On the other hand, JAMstack is a web development architecture based on JavaScript, reusable APIs, and Markup for building static websites and web applications. JAMstack is not a specific software or technology rather than it's a web development philosophy that builds on many of the tools and workflows. It doesn’t refer to any single specific programming platform or tool.

The main difference between traditional CMS and JAMstack is that JAMstack sites are pre-built and serverless whereas the traditional monophonic systems rely on server-side rendering. JAMstack follows decoupled architecture that creates a clear separation between server-side and client-side. It serves pre-generated static files (HTML, CSS, and JS) over CDN and executes dynamic functionality through APIs and serverless functions.

The Key Differences

SEO
Optimized SEO is one of the crucial features of any website. Every business website focus on SEO for increased traffic and revenue. 

In the SEO game, JAMstack websites beat WordPress websites because of built-in SEO qualities such as better performance, enhanced security, more incredible UX, easier URL & site structure, etc.

Site Loading Speed
Site speed is a key ranking factor of Google and other search engines. As well super-fast speed enhance user experience.

JAMstack sites are faster than WordPress sites. JAMstack pre-generated static pages can be served in milliseconds from the nearest CDNs. On the other hand, WordPress sites depend on complex server-side processing and often-times fail to ensure optimized speed.

Security
Website security is a big matter of concern for businesses. Security breaches are increasing every day. Studies show that WordPress websites are a top target for hackers. WordPress sites are getting more cyberattacks because of 3rd party plugins and themes vulnerabilities, and server-side logic dependencies. Hence, WordPress users have to search for security packages and updates regularly.

On the other hand, websites built on JAMstack principles are higly secured and difficult to hack. JAMstack sites are static, hosted on CDNs, require no dynamic software or plugins, and don’t have dynamic interactions with a server. Hence JAMstack sites are less vulnerable to malicious attacks.

Pricing
WordPress is a free CMS system. Even you can develop a WordPress site without paying a penny. Against this background, when you want to add more features and functions you have to use paid plugins & themes. Domain and hosting charges for WordPress sites are expensive and you have to pay for running your site 24 hours a day.

On the other hand, the initial development cost of a JAMstack website is pretty higher than WordPress. Because JAMstack sites require more work to set up. But after setting up a JAMstack website you can live and maintain your site without any cost. Popular static hosting solutions such as Netlify or Vercel offer free tiers with free domain support. You'll get a completely free static website hosting service for smaller sites. In paid packages, you'll only have to pay a small amount because static websites don’t take much storage space.

Scalability
One of the notable flaws of WordPress is scalability difficulties. Note that, for smaller websites scaling isn't an issue at all but for websites with heavy traffic load, scaling is difficult and expensive.

While handling a large volume of users, storing and loading data from databases, and processing various HTTP requests, the performance of a WordPress website may fall.

On the contrary, JAMstack websites are infinitely scalable. Ready-served static files and the use of CDNs make JAMstack-powered sites scalable. Static assets require fewer assets hence you can scale up easily if the need for bandwidth or traffic increases over time. 

Workflow & Developer Experience
WordPress is user-centric. Anyone can create a WordPress website without any development knowledge. Users can easily create, edit and update content from easy to use dashboard. Despite that, the enthusiast developer community doesn't prefer WordPress because of limitations to specific technologies and less window of prospects with the monophonic LAMP stack. 

In Stack Overflow’s annual Developer Survey, WordPress was voted the most dreaded platform to work with, in 2020.

In contrast, JAMstack provides an enhanced developer experience. Developers recognized it as a future-proof web technology stack. It is not restricted to specific technologies rather it allows developers to use tools and languages that they love and choose the best fits for their projects. Git-centric workflow, Static Site Generator(SSG), and continuous integration/continuous deployment make the development process easy and time-saving. 

Which Web Architecture is Going to Flourish in Near Future?

There are lots of advantages of JAMstack over WordPress, still many are arguing that WordPress is the ultimate solution in many cases. Because WordPress has better content management functionality and is perfect for small businesses. WordPress is a go-to platform for Startup businesses that require fast website building and want to handle their site without hiring developers. With pre-designed themes and plugins, you can create your desired website with little time, effort and money. WordPress is popular because it allows non-tech people to handle their websites by themselves. 

Despite all these, it is fundamentally slow, insecure, and difficult to scale up. Newer technologies like JAMstack solve the problem that lies within traditional CMS like WordPress.      

JAMstack websites are fundamentally secure, fast, and reliable. it is developer-driven and a growing number of developers are working toward JAMstack. The number is over 1 million alone on Netlify. Moreover, JAMstack static website with headless CMS allows non-tech users to customize their own websites without programming knowledge or without the help of a developer. It introduces a win-win situation for both developers and users. This latest design philosophy of building websites and apps ensures better performance, strong security, on-demand scalability, low-cost maintenance, and improved developer experience. 

So if your business or company thinks about the bigger picture and afford to hire developers, getting started with this modern web development architecture will be a good initiative.

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