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5 reasons your next website should be Gatsby

May 19th, 2021
2 min read

If you have a new website project planned and you’re debating what platform to use, let me tell you about Gatsby. Gatsby is a static website generator that allows you to build using React and JavaScript. Gatsby will compile your site into static pages and then serve your site as a single-page application while also serving raw HTML for search engines. Gatsby is an excellent choice if your next website requires an SEO strategy.

Here are five reasons your next website should be Gatsby:

Javascript Development

Gatsby websites use React, one of the most popular JavaScript frameworks on the market. Reacts popularity means there are many great resources online, along with an eager workforce of developers (like me) who enjoy using it. Gatsby also runs on Node, which is also JavaScript, and this makes setting up a project easy for anyone familiar with Node and NPM.

GraphQL Integration

Gatsby loves APIs and can connect to multiple sources to gather data and then allow that data access via GraphQL. GraphQL is great for tools like React because it will enable you to customize the data model you will pass to your components as properties. A great feature when working with APIs that don’t have many options or return massive payloads when you only need a few key data points.

Style Agnostic

Gatsby supports standard CSS, CSS Modules, and CSS-in-JS. I love CSS modules or CSS-in-JS using Styled Components. React components are why I love Gatsby so much, and the ability to use CSS without the worry of specificity collision is a huge time saver.

Microservices

This might be the most debatable depending on your perspective, but I stopped managing servers for clients in 2018 and have been leaning on microservices ever since. Microservices are a no-brainer since I can’t compete with a team of specialists, and also, the prices of these services make it pretty hard to justify the time and labor required to run and manage services on a monolith stack.

Gatsby’s static site architecture requires microservices for anything dynamic. Many hosting providers are leaning in hard with this new approach and offering extras like authentication and serverless functions to aid in this type of architecture. Netlify is a popular option and one that I use myself.

PageSpeed Scores

Gatsby sites are fast, and the biggest reason is the static file it generates. If your site uses a CDN (highly recommended), you will see the results immediately. Gatsby has its cloud service, but there are also services like Netlify that play well with Gatsby. Another great feature of Gatsby is its image component which helps with responsive images and lazy loading.

Conclusion

Let me know your thoughts about Gatsby by dropping me a line on my contact form. I am all in and have enjoyed the past few projects I have worked on with Gatsby, and I hope to post more discoveries here in the future. And if your thinking of exploring a Gatsby build for your next project, I would love to chat and learn what brought you to this decision.

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Ed Meehan is a freelance front-end developer from San Diego, California. He enjoys using React while building Jamstack websites and Shopify e-commerce stores. When not working, he enjoys surfing, no-gi jiu-jitsu, boxing, and battle royal video games.

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