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Jamstacked Issue 46

Looking back at all things Jamstack in 2021

Published: Jan 6, 2022

— Happy New Year

#​46 — January 6, 2022
✦ web version

Phew! 2020 was a really long year right?!?! Wait? That was 2021? They all seem to blend together lately...

While news in the "real world" was mostly awful, the Jamstack world saw so many new and amazing tools in an ecosystem that was already chock full of them. This is great for having options, but can make it tough to navigate, especially for new Jamstack folks. Thus, it's no surprise that many of the top links from last year, including four of the top six, are geared towards helping folks navigate the Jamstack ecosystem. Most of the others were focused on new tools, like Astro and Eleventy Serverless, or new techniques, like new ISR/DPR rendering options.

Whether you have been building sites with the Jamstack for years, are new to it, or are just curious and looking for an opportunity to start, 2022 looks like it'll be a great year to live in "Jamstack world"! (Can't say the same for the "real world".)

Finally, since it's officially Jamuary again, be sure to join me in a few weeks as I emcee TheJam.dev 2022 where we'll be talking more about all this (plus, the event is now free!).

Brian Rinaldi

↘︎ Highlights from 2021

1: How To Choose A Headless CMS
This popular post from July digs into what criteria you may want to think about when it comes to choosing a headless CMS (an overwhelming part of building many a Jamstack sites). There are so many options to sort through now, and this solid evaluation offers advice without any bias towards a particular solution.

Emmanuel Tissera

2: Discover Modern Web Development Tools and Trends
Whether you are an experienced or new Jamstack developer, this site, which I first shared here last summer, remains an outstanding reference/resource you’ll want to save. It has detailed comparisons of an extensive list of SSGs, headless CMS and deployment platforms.


3: Introducing Astro
It turns out plenty of you were curious about then new static-site builder Astro back in June. This announcement post, along with this good overview of all of the things that make it different from Chris Coyier, both proved popular with JAMstacked readers. Sean C Davis penned an article explaining why you might want to take a look at Astro too.

Chris Coyier

4: Jamstack CMS: The Past, The Present and The Future
I love articles like this because I think it is important to understand how a technology evolved to where it is today to help understand the best path forward. Mike, in this post from August, covers the evolution of headless CMS and then even looks at how they compare with other popular CMS tools.

Mike Neumegen

5: The End of “Your Database”? (For Developers, At Least..)
Netlify’s CEO shared this opinion piece back in April, focusing on the developer perspective to databases: “Today, I’m struck by how little developers need to think about the database at all”.

Matt Biilmann (SD Times)

6: Jamstack Ecosystem
A really useful, and well liked, reference filled with curated lists of third-party tools and resources for Jamstack static sites in 11 different categories, including feature comparison tables for each.


7: Why Git is the Future of Content Management
An attention grabbing title for sure, but overall this post from the summer is a good and fair overview of the pros and cons of using a Git-based CMS.

Mike Neumegen

8: Does the Next Generation of Static Site Generators Make Building Sites Better?
Inspired by the release of îles, a static site generator (SSG) that seems to be Vue’s answer to Astro, Chris explored what makes these (then new) tools (including Slinkity) unique compared to SSGs of the past.

Chris Coyier

9: What’s The Best Place to Host a Next.js Site?
A really detailed look at deploying a Next.js app to Vercel, Netlify, Layer0 and Heroku and rating them based upon a variety of factors.

Ondrej Polesny

10: The Evolution Of Jamstack
Web-oriented databases, frameworks like Nuxt and Next.js, and even frameworkless approaches are evolving the Jamstack, but the core principles are more powerful than ever.

Matt Biilmann

11: Eleventy Serverless (formerly Eleventy Cloud) Thus Far
This is a version of Eleventy that will allow for lazy rendering of pages using distributed persistent rendering and for per-user content using SSR. Zach updates the origin and current status of the project.

Zach Leatherman

12: Jamstack SEO Guide: The Ultimate Guide For Beginners
This is a thorough and comprehensive guide to SEO. Most is applicable to any site, not just Jamstack. It definitely deserves saving as a reference.

Nebojsa Radakovic

13: Vercel vs. Netlify: Jamstack Deployment Comparison
Exploring the differences between Vercel and Netlify for deployment and hosting of your Jamstack projects and which platform fits the specific needs of your project.

Maxime Laboissonniere

14: A Complete Guide To Incremental Static Regeneration (ISR) with Next.js
Next.js added a new wrinkle to Jamstack called incremental static regeneration (ISR). This helps large sites that would normally have extremely long compile times choose to render certain pages “on demand”.

Lee Robinson

15: The Case for Distributed Persistent Rendering
We talked a lot about Netlify’s DPR proposal in this newsletter over the past year, and still the concept can be a bit confusing. Mike did an excellent job here of breaking down why the proposal came about, what it aims to solve and why it’s important.

Mike Neumegen

✷ Quick Bits

  • Predictions for the Jamstack in 2022 – Looking at some of the data from Netlify's annual Jamstack Community Survey to try to look into Jamstack's future. Most of the predictions seem uncontroversial to me, but I am curious to see if Eleventy and Vite live up to the expectation.
  • TheJam.dev goes free – TheJam.dev is a 2-day Jamstack virtual conference happening on Jan 26-27. Tickets are now free, including access to session recordings.
  • Just Enough JavaScript for Eleventy – Want to use 11ty but aren't a JavaScript dev? Cassey Lottman shares what you need to know to get started.

Thank you for reading. — Brian