October 19, 2022
Jamstack has matured
In the beginning Jamstack was fun. The main SSG was Jekyll, which was simple and open-source. It was not only free to use, but also free to host (on Github). Jamstack websites were blazing fast and scored high in Google Lighthouse. There were plenty of free CMS options to choose from. The Jamstack looked very promising! But times have changed…
Jekyll is dead
Sure… you can still use Jekyll. But Jekyll lost its most important developer and Github decided to freeze their Jekyll version. Without Github support there is no real reason to create new Jekyll versions. Jekyll is no longer a future-proof SSG.
Hosting is no longer free
A lot of VC driven companies jumped on the Jamstack bandwagon (including Netlify). We have currently arrived at the point in time where these companies want to get their investments back. Sure, you can still use Jekyll on Github for free, but without new features and Microsoft now owning Github, that solution is not very future-proof. Other hosting options are rapidly increasing in price. Where you initially could buy cheap ‘all-you-can-eat’ packages and even ‘free static hosting’, you now have to pay for literally everything. The popular virtualization strategy also guarantees insanely slow builds. Having to wait more than 2 minutes for your site to deploy is no exception, while this is not needed at all.
CMS systems have become expensive
We used to have a ton of free options. Remember Prose.io? After that we also got CloudCannon, Forestry and Netlify CMS. Unfortunately, the latest release of Prose is from 2014. They never got much further than their first release. CloudCannon was Jekyll-only and had a generous free tier when they started. These days they support many different SSG’s, but their pricing starts at 45 dollar per month. Forestry has been without active development for years and will sunset soon to make place for Tina, a visual CMS. I am quite sure their free tier will be removed, as they will need to find a way to earn back those years of development. Netlify has recently abandoned their free CMS. The inventor of the term ‘Jamstack’ is killing off one of its most succesful projects… and why? Well, I just got a newsletter from Netlify, promoting their ‘partner’ Contentful. Contentful has a plan ‘ideal for a small team building a digital project or two’ that costs a whopping 489 USD a month. You get the gist.
Websites have become slow
With the Jamstack ‘avant la lettre’ you would get a very fast website, including free hosting and a free CMS. Nowadays, you get a slow website (on average), while you pay a lot. And, no matter how much you pay, you still have to wait for over a minute on every deploy. Where is the fun in that? Jamstack has matured, that is for sure. But, like with grown-ups, the fun is gone and it is all about the money now.
() Joost van der Schee