Jamstack is becoming the new normal in the world of web developers. It’s a commonly used architecture that allows dev teams to freely create all kinds of websites. At the same time, it gives a lot of possibilities for e-commerce to create a perfect, user-friendly platform. Jamstack projects offer the flexibility you won’t find in other solutions.
How much does it cost to develop a site in Jamstack? What do you need to include in the costs when hiring Jamstack experts?
Here’s your guide on Jamstack website development. Everything you need to know about Jamstack, estimated dev costs, and real-life examples.
The key takeaways you’ll learn:
- What’s Jamstack and how it works
- The differences between Jamstack dev and standard web dev
- Jamstack workflow and process of creating Jamstack websites
- Why Jamstack is the future of web development - Jamstack advantages
- What to include in cost estimates when building Jamstack sites
- Examples of cost estimates
- What to look for in Jamstack website dev companies
What Is Jamstack?
The history of Jamstack is not that long. It came to the public in 2016 when the concept of headless CMS was brought to the mainstream by Matt Biilmann, the co-founder and CEO of Netlify. Since then, Jamstack started gaining immense popularity. Today it’s used by thousands if not millions of users. Jamstack architecture is also one of the developers’ favorites.
Jamstack is a modern web development architecture that allows you to create a dynamic web platform using static sites. But there’s more to it so let’s get a little deeper.
Here’s a portion of knowledge about Jamstack in a nutshell.
The JAM in Jamstack
The main assumption behind Jamstack architecture is to give developers and designers full flexibility in using tools and workflows they like most. At the same time, websites are fast, fully responsive, and secure.
- APIs: processes that make a website dynamic are possible with the APIs (Application Programming Interface), third-party services, or your custom functionalities. Additionally, reusable APIs allow you to easily build new features by reusing existing APIs without the need to write new code from scratch.
- Markup: markup is the way the content is delivered to the site. In Jamstack architecture, markup takes place by decoupling and pre-rendering.
Overall, when it comes to the cost of web development in Jamstack, such a solution helps to stay productive and improve the developer experience. It’s easier to manage it so you don’t need to spend money on extra maintenance.
👉 If you want to know more about Jamstack, make sure to check our guide — What Is Jamstack?
Differences Between Jamstack Dev & Standard Web Dev
The main difference between Jamstack web development and standard web development is adaptability and flexibility.
Jamstack gives you much more possibilities, while traditional architecture, also known as monolithic architecture, like WordPress, limits your website’s chance for improvement and innovation.
Jamstack - Modern Web Development Architecture
Jamstack provides a powerful engine for e-commerce platforms — headless CMS. With headless architecture, you can build a fully customized, multi-layered environment to deliver a dynamic site. You can have multiple pages with advanced features and add as many different functionalities as you need.
In headless, the environment is like a body. You can rip off the ‘head’ and attach as many other heads as you want. In contrast, in traditional web development, you have one body with one had that you can’t change or customize. You are stuck with what you have and can operate only in the whole ‘body’.
In other words, traditional web dev is based on monolithic architecture while headless CMSs are an API-driven, developer-friendly environment.
Additionally, Jamstack is one of the favorites in e-commerce because it has many benefits that the niche can use to its advantage. Nowadays customers expect a quick, user-friendly experience, and headless CMSs allow for innovation.
Thanks to Jamstack you can also choose open-source CMS that you want to use to have more control over your projects.
What Is a Static Site Generator?
Static site generator is a crucial element of Jamstack sites. It’s a tool that isn’t used in the traditional approach to building websites.
So what’s a static site generator and why it matters?
The headless approach allows you to use templates and layouts, while static site generators apply all your content and other data to them to generate the final view of your site.
The greatest benefit of using a static site generator is that viewers don’t have to wait for the page to be requested and the view to be generated every time. Instead, the view is pre-built and the end client doesn’t have to wait for the server-side to recreate the site. Everything happens at a glance.
Moreover, static site generators give an even better developer experience as they can be used with different programming languages, tools, and operate in many environments.
Overall, developing websites in Jamstack is more effective, easier, and allows you to create higher-quality projects. While traditional dev limits your possibilities for innovation.
Jamstack outgrows its traditional competitors in almost every aspect. When it comes to web development, Jamstack has no equal in the number of benefits.
Here’s why Jamstack is the future of web development.
What’s more, the headless approach, which is an integral part of the Jamstack environment, makes it possible to deliver content not only to a templated site but even too many receivers at the same time, be it e-stores or mobile apps. The decoupling of back-end and front-end let you decide what you want your end-product to look like and how it’s supposed to operate.
Such flexibility carries a lot of growth opportunities for your business, and empowers quick implementation of changes and innovative solutions.
Better developer experience
When front-end (the visuals such as layout, theme, graphics, etc.) and back-end are decoupled, it’s much easier for the dev team to work.
When it comes to the back-end, your developers can choose their favorite framework to have a better user experience during the project development process.
The front-end enables devs to adapt the platform via APIs. That way they have everything they need for the job and can use their favorite programming language.
But that’s not all. Jamstack developers can benefit from many conveniences:
- With reusable APIs,developers can reuse the API’s functionality for different sites instead of creating new ones from scratch each time you want to introduce change or a new feature.
- Because the front-end is separated from the back-end, there’s no need to dig in the code whenever you need to modify your project. That way, your business can quickly respond to changes.
- Jamstack is a fantastic environment for the Agile approach — the dev team can smoothly transition from one tool to another, experiment, and test new ideas for more efficiency. It also helps to save money.
Such flexibility flourishes a better developer experience that results in a first-hand user experience for the customers and page visitors.
What are the best practices for developers recommended by Jamstack? Here’s a short list:
- Base your project on CDN — instead of storing projects on a server, you can send them directly from CDNs.
- Use build tools — you can significantly automate your work with modern build solutions that minimize the necessity of carrying multiple processes; you can make it all much simpler.
- Automate builds — build processes automation eliminates the need to repeat tedious procedures.
- Git version control systems — version control tools like Git simplify staging and testing workflows; it’s also easier to manage and track all changes. It’ll improve the work of developers.
- Atomic deploys — make your website go live only after all content is uploaded to avoid bugs and unexpected errors.
- Instant cache validations — after your pre-built is uploaded, the CDN invalidates its cache to ensure content is delivered
Jamstack is highly secure for two reasons. Firstly, because you don’t need to store a large amount of data and code on your servers, you don’t have to worry about the security of your and your clients’ data.
Secondly, because third-party services and apps used via the APIs happen on the CDN server side. And that also reduces the risk of breaches and external attacks.
Take AWS (Amazon Web Services), it’s one of the safest outside servers to store all your data on. There’s just no need to worry.
The magic behind the high performance of Jamstack websites lies in the use of the pre-built content to generate a site rather than creating it in real-time. Consequently, the whole process is just faster
Also, it serves your pre-built markup and all content over a CDN. When CDNs are close to the client or user (a CDN can be located in every part of the world), they can receive the content faster, better, easier.
It boosts the speed, there are fewer lags, no slowdowns, and no problems with loading sites. And when you build your platform with best practices in mind, you can be sure the performance will skyrocket.
It’s worth remembering. Why? Because Google loves high-performing websites. They even present a study which says that if page load time increases from 1 second to 3 seconds, the bounce rate increases 32%, and if the load time increases from 1 second to 6 seconds, the bounce rate increases by 106%.
And Jamstack solves this problem. It fits perfectly in the new Google algorithm and Core Web Vitals.
Serverless functions allow for better performance of your website. Whenever you change or add new functionalities, you can safely work in the reusable APIs to limit the amount of work and computing power.
You don’t have to worry about server-side processes because everything takes place outside your infrastructure. That results in no downtime during deploy time, lower server expenses, auto-scaling, and enhanced uptime.
Many people love Jamstack for its SEO-friendliness. Just as it helps to boost performance, it also allows you to increase organic traffic with SEO. Dynamic, responsive, and fast pages play an important role in performance.
Additionally, CDN doesn’t go unnoticed here. It gives much more opportunities for growth and reaching a broad range of potential customers for e-commerce platforms.
Working in Jamstack architecture is much cheaper than investing in a monolithic framework.
Using a static site generator and CDN you don’t need to spend money on data storage, servers, and their maintenance.
Static site generators require less computing power. There’s no need to make a response for every on-demand request. CDN allows for faster data transfer between the server-side and client-side.
Furthermore, when dev teams use the APIs and third-party apps to manage DevOps, you don’t need to spend extra money on additional apps. Serverless functions also reduce expenses because you use fewer resources.
Jamstack Workflow and Development Process
Since Jamstack websites are build in a different way than the traditional ones, the flow of work is more efficient.
Here’s how the Jamstack workflow can look like:
- Building: Your team of developers builds a website with their favorite tools, methodologies, and any programming language.
- Customizing: The development process includes the use of APIS or third-party services, static site generators, and headless CMSs. These are necessary to build additional features, have a reliable content management environment to quickly deliver a lot of content fast, and guarantee a good user experience.
- Testing: When the project is ready, your dev team can test it, check for bugs and glitches, and ensure all project is ready for deployment.
- Deploying: Now, the Jamstack site is deployed to a CDN, and your page is generated.
- Modifying: Also, for every change in your site instant cache validation ensures the content is delivered.
One of the advantages of Jamstack websites is quick deploy time. There’s no unnecessary digging in code and every change is quick and smooth.
Jamstack workflow builds on the CI/CD (continuous integration/continuous delivery or continuous deployment) where the whole lifecycle of the development process is integrated and optimized.
The right tools shorten the deploy time, automate the server-side processes, and ensure smooth workflow.
And that said, Jamstack ensures effective team collaboration, successful project delivery, and high performance of the website.
How Much Does It Cost to Build a Website?
To calculate the average cost of website development you usually need to base your estimates on the hourly rates that range from $50 to $85 per hour. But there’s no one-size-fits-all formula.
Costs of developing a website generally depend on several important factors:
- The region, and whether you have an in-house team or decide to outsource website development services. Pricing varies across the globe.
- Web dev architecture — here, we’re talking about Jamstack sites but if you decide to build it in traditional architecture, the price may also differ.
- Type of website — every website is different; there are web apps, e-commerce platforms, simple blogs, or complex sites with many pages, some have an advanced CMS (content management system), others depend solely on third-party services. The choice is wide.
- Features: the more functionalities you want your platform to have, the type of files you want to include, animations, images, the number of landing pages, the complexity of the website, the number of features, etc.
- UX (user experience) and UI (user interface): the design of your site is crucial for customer satisfaction. It improves conversion and makes your visitors want to come back.
Then there’s also research — what’s your audience, prototype — the final look of your site, domain name, hosting, and other aspects.
Every project is different just as every business has different needs and aims at a distinct niche.
Based on our experience, the average cost of Jamstack-based website is $11.000 with 200 hours of work. But the higher your needs and the more complex the project, the higher the price.
What to Count When Building Jamstack Sites
Each element affects the final price but in Jamstack there are several important components you need to consider when making financial estimates.
First of all, to get an accurate estimate of web development costs, you need to know exactly what are your needs and requirements:
- How you want your website to look like — the layout, theme, pictures, graphics, animations, number of pages, in other words, the design.
- What additional features do you need? Some of the frequently requested functionalities include SSL certificate, integration with other tools like live chat, contact form, admin panel, and other smallish elements.
- What is your budget?
- What niche does your business operate in?
- Do you want a static website (e.g. a personal blog or portfolio) or want a dynamic environment that allows users to freely move around the site and use its features (most suitable for e-commerce).
The strategy will differ for every job but you need to have clear guidelines so your contractor knows how to plan their work.
When you know what you want, you can hire a team of specialists that will provide you with professional services. Depending on your needs, you’ll need:
- Front-end developers: the front-end is the visual layer that visitors see whenever they enter your page. Front-end devs who use Jamstack need to know what’s behind the HTML files and how to work in this specific environment.
- Designers: will ensure the right UI and UX so the end product is fully functional and user-friendly.
- Illustrators and graphics: will be responsible for all graphics, illustrations, animations, pictures, and other visual elements.
- Copywriters and content specialists: will take care of all texts on your site. It’s especially important for SEO and organic traffic.
- A project manager: who will supervise the workflow, bring people together, and oversee changes.
You can either outsource agencies that offer professional Jamstack services or put together your own team of Jamstack developers.
Here’s a quick cheat sheet with a comparison of the most popular headless CMSs and how much they cost. Note that the pricing depends on the number of users, features, and differs across platforms:
Netlify offers a free open-source CMS. It has a user-friendly interface and it’s easy to use. Although, if you need complex functionalities, you may find Netlify not suitable. Overall, Netlify gives you all the necessary tools to build a great site.
Sanity gives Jamstack developers a lot of possibilities to build custom solutions from scratch. Sanity is available for 3 users for free but you pay for what features you use. Then, pricing starts at $199 per project/month for 20+ users, and you pay-as-you-go for additional users and data usage. For more advanced plans, you have custom pricing.
Contentful is one of the most popular solutions. For starters, you get one free micro space. And you have three options — Free with a single space for up to 5 users; Team - pricing starts at $489 per month; and Enterprise with custom pricing. Features depend on the number of people that use the space.
Storyblok offers a visual editor and stands out from other solutions. It’s free for a single developer. Then, there’s Basic - $7 with max up to 30 users; Advanced - $12, max up to 60 users; and Premium - $21, max up to 80 users. All plans are paid annually per set per month. You can also subscribe to Storyblok Enterprise starting at 1,999/per month. Features differ across plans.
Average Cost of Jamstack Development - Examples
Lets’s look at the real-life examples. Below, we present a few projects we’ve developed for our clients. The pricing differs depending on the scope of work and we divided it into three categories:
- Design + animations + dev
- Entire project = copy + design+ dev
Take a look at what it may cost if you decide to outsource the services. Note that the Jamstack price is lower than when you decide to do it on your own.
Example 1: Development for BGL
|Team||Naturaily - Jamstack dev, PM
Orisono - designer
|Hours spend on the project||200|
|Price per hour||55 euro|
|Total cost||11 000 euro|
|Tech stack||Storyblok CMS, Vercel, Tailwind, NextJS|
Approach: Agile - we had more or less a fixed scope, but some elements were changed on the go, as we could improve them straight away.
Core assumption: Most of the pages needed to be editable through a content management system by non-technical employees, we picked Storyblok CMS so the customer can create new blocks of content and manipulate them on the website through the CMS. We were cooperating with a designer responsible for creating the designs and animations.
Example 2: Dajemy Slowo - design + animations + dev
|Team||Jamstack developer, PM, UX/UI designer, motion designer|
|Hours spend on the project||Development – 350 h
Animations (scenarios and implementation) ~ 150 h
The rest of dev work – 200 h
Design – 50 h
SUM = 400 hours
|Price per hour||55 euro|
|Total cost||22 000 euro|
|Tech stack||GatsbyJS, Netlify, Sanity CMS (yet to be)|
Approach: We worked in an Agile approach, with weekly reporting, and changing the plan depending on the actual scope.
Core assumptions: This site was supposed to be very fast and performant, and SEO-friendly. Also, we were to change the WordPress part for a headless CMS. In the end, we delivered a great result which took dajemyslowo.com on a higher level
Example 3: Etno Cafe - all project: copy + design + dev
|Team||2 developers, 1 copywriter, 1 UX/UI designer, 1 PM|
|Hours spend on the project||Copy – 70 h
Design – 110 h
Development – 300 h
SUM = 480 hours
|Price per hour||55 euro|
|Total cost||26 400 euro|
|Tech stack||GatsbyJS, Netlify, Sanity.io CMS|
This project was based on copywriting, so the designs needed to emphasize it. The client shared with us his Brand Identity and preferred approach to the visuals, giving us, more or less, a free hand as to what the website should look like. The effect is a very performant and SEO-friendly site, even considering the huge amount of graphics on photographs visible on the site.
How to Find a Good Jamstack Dev Agency?
If you’re deciding to outsource contractors or an agency to develop a website, it’s a good idea to have a list of requirements.
A good agency that would help you develop a high-quality Jamstack site should have:
- A team of well-organized front-end and back-end developers, designers, copywriters, QA engineers, and other experts
- Access to all the necessary tools
- An experience in working in Jamstack environment
- Portfolio with all projects
- Client’s testimonials
- Good practices, support, and ability to communicate on a high-level
That’ll help ensure the credibility and engagement of the people and result in better performance for your platform.
Outsourcing the services also helps to reduce costs.
To Wrap It Up
Using Jamstack over traditional solutions allows you to work on dynamic projects and ensures better performance of your site. Headless CMSs and serverless functions give a lot of flexibility to tailor the site to your needs and customers’ demands.
Use Jamstack to develop your platform and don’t be afraid to invest a lot of money. You can be sure it’ll pay off in the long run.