Advantages of Using Markup in Jamstack

Thought Leadership

By Felipe Silberstein | August 30, 2021
The Jamstack logo is overlaid on top of a laptop.

If you’re an eCommerce business today, the tools you select to deliver online experiences have a big impact on customer satisfaction and revenue. Having your site stand out in search engine results, load content quickly, and deliver personalized experiences all contribute to how prospective customers feel about your brand.

If you are having challenges in improving your site experience, using a web development methodology like Jamstack can help you achieve a more customized and flexible solution.

In this article, we’ll dive into what Jamstack is and how it can benefit you as an eCommerce business.

Understanding Jamstack

Jamstack is a method for developing websites based on modern website design principles. Its name came from its foundation elements — JavaScript, APIs, and Markup — but Jamstack doesn’t require a specific set of technologies or coding languages. Rather, it represents an architecture for building apps and websites.

Part of the success of the Jamstack methodology is its ability to transfer data via its Content Distribution Network (CDN). When a user requests content on your site, the data is sent directly from the CDN cache. If it is not available, the CDN itself will request it from the file repository where the information lives, delivering it directly to the user.

The advantage here is that loaded content pages remain ready and waiting for another user who requests them without having to draw on the file repository again. In this way, your site becomes progressively built to deliver content quickly as users request it or when the development team makes an update.

Why Markup? And what about markdown?

Each file in your system contains markup language (or Markup), which is the code that structures how all of your content should be handled within the site. There are different Markup languages you can use, like XML, XHTML, or HTML.

HTML (“HyperText Markup Language”) is commonly recognized as one of the fundamental languages of the web. It provides instructions for how content should be organized on your site and shapes the first impressions visitors have when they land on your pages.

This Markup language tells search engines how your content should be displayed by using tags (for example, <head>). This is how you can define the hierarchy and range of elements that make up the site.

All your content is stored in source files, such as markdown files, hosted on cloud-based servers like Netlify or Contentful. Think of Markup as the content and markdown as the object that contains the content.

Segment the load, and keep the rest on standby

In Jamstack, content is not processed dynamically at the server level. This helps your system avoid data overload during periods of high demand. With this approach, the content is static and pre-built, waiting in the cache of a CDN service ready to be called.

When users access the site, the CDN delivers the requested content from the closest node back to the user. As mentioned above, when the request is for content that has not been preloaded yet, the CDN goes a step further to establish communication between the repository (for example, Contentful) and the requestor.

This deferred content loading feature is known as Distributed Persistent Rendering (DPR). It allows organizations to segment site loading where essentials are delivered first, and the rest of your content remains on standby. This lightens the load of your site, delivering a smoother experience for the user. Your content will remain accessible in lower-speed connections, and things will load faster overall.

Markup is foundational to Jamstack

In addition to providing a fast eCommerce experience, Jamstack uses the best web technology tools to enable a platform that grows with you. Here’s a summary of the key benefits of this approach.

  • Light loading. Your site remains accessible even in low bandwidth situations, thanks to the deferred loading capability for static content. Even if you have hundreds of thousands of content files, your site can achieve a light load.

  • Fast content delivery. The CDN service will deliver your content from the node closest to the client, reducing the latency of the service. In addition, it will provide you with practically uninterrupted uptime without having to worry about server maintenance.

  • Simplified back-end. Your team can enjoy a simple back-end setup, preventing you from having to develop every feature yourself. Setup can include integrating with tools via APIs, reducing the likelihood of configuration errors.

At Apply Digital, we use methods like Jamstack when building our clients’ sites. It provides the flexibility and customization that many modern businesses are looking for, allowing you to stay current in a competitive market. If you would like support exploring how this could benefit your business, reach out to someone on our team, and we’d be happy to help.