For all intents and purposes, I can be considered to be a brand new web developer who is solely in charge of my company’s marketing website. We recently completed a redesign/rebuild project and launched the new site end of July. Originally, we had intended to keep the outside-hired agency (that helped with all the heavy lifting) on retainer, but recent budget cuts mean that we need to sever ties with them and move to a website that is wholly owned and controlled/maintained by ME (which is honestly a bit frightening since I’ve never built a website on my own). To help with The Ask (below), I think it pertinent to say that I’m not afraid to learn new stuff. Ideally, we would relaunch the site (not on the agency-hosted CMS servers) by 2020 using a platform and tools that I understand and/or have solid community support or thorough docs. I can already tell that this community is VERY helpful. There is likely some flexibility in that date as a new calendar year provides a new budget and more $$… Also that a large pain being felt right now is that I don’t have access to the codebase, so even something simple like changing the color or font-size in CSS is something the agency has to do. We want ME/US to be in control of the code and be able to make these kinds of changes.
I will have a copy of the codebase (built in .NET/C#/Razr) to work from. My primary concern right now is that I need to have an understanding about all the different names of tools that are available to me. Netlify, Gatsby, Nift, Elm, SSG, Contentful, etc. etc. I have a very basic understanding that these are tools and languages and not necessarily direct competitors to every other item. So far I have the best understanding of Netlify (which is why I’m writing this message on this forum and obviously there will be bias towards it. That’s fine.), but that doesn’t mean that it’s the right platform/tool to use.
Once I have a better understanding of JAMstack sites and how they run/are built/maintained, etc. and also of the various tools available, I will be able to better convince him of the need to send me to the conf next month. If I can attend, I know that I’ll learn valuable information and make connections with people who will be invaluable to me/us as we embark on this new project. I’ve conveyed this to him, but as budgets are tight, the thought of spending $1000 on a conference trip (even though that’s MUCH cheaper than many conference tickets alone) is making him very hesitant since this is a brand new thing to both of us and he doesn’t want to spend the money unless it has a clear positive ROI. Beyond the conference’s Convince Your Boss template and beyond the wonderful answers I’ve received in the JAMstack slack channel, I need to be able to concisely and clearly explain to him the pros and cons of moving our site to a JAMstak setup. I need to have a strong understanding so that I can be confident. The conference seems like a really solid opportunity to deepen my understanding, but I’m short on time as the conference is just a couple weeks away. Now to the meat:
I’d like to have a discussion here about the different tools/languages/etc., what they offer and how they could help in this specific situation? Our site is www.netdocuments.com and is a ‘brochure’ site built on UmbracoCMS. There is a homepage (obv), a few product pages, blog, PR/Newsroom, various landing pages and several pages hosted externally that do not have the same design and need to be updated anyway. What draws my interest in JAMstack vs Umbraco is that I’m not strong in C#/.NET and I like what I understand about JAMstack – that sites are built from HTML/CSS/JS and not dynamically rendered from like MVC or another backend language. Speed and security are major concerns as well as cost.
Ready, Set, GO! (and THANK YOU for your comments)