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Gatsby JS & Netlify CMS : The Ideal Match

A brief review of why this combination rules out all other pairs of headless content management systems and static-web app generators.

Gatsby JS and Netlify is considered to be the perfect pair when it comes to developing blazingly fast web-apps using a static site generator which can then be deployed using a headless CMS. This combination is very efficient and comes handy for users with a little technical expertise, because that is the reason we are using a CMS in the first place!

In this article, we will be discussing why Gatsby JS and Netlify CMS are considered to be the master of their respective trades and how well they compliment each other.

So before delving deep into the technicalities of why the combination of Gatsby JS and Netlify CMS is perfect and how it works, let us first understand about Gatsby and Netlify as independent entities!

Gatsby JS

GatsbyJS is a React based open source framework which is free and helps us build agile and fast web-apps. Fantastic documentation, high performance, robust community and an ambient developer experience makes it extremely popular among the developers. In a nutshell, Gatsby is a React-based, GraphQL powered, static site generator camouflaged as a modern front-end framework. The top gatsby js tutorials are good suggestions to start learning Gatsby JS.

Netlify CMS

Complimenting Gatsby, Netlify is an open source headless content management system which can be used with any static site generator to construct a faster and flexible web app. Netlify CMS is fully extensible, platform agnostic, easy to install and provides a friendly UI to the users.

Now that we are clear with the various nuances of Gatsby and Netlify CMS as independent entities, we must also be aware of JAM Stack which laid the conceptual foundation for this combination.

What is the JAM Stack?

Using Gatsby along with Netlify CMS is a great example of implementing JAMStack. We will be exploring what the JAMStack is, how Gatsby and Netlify CMS work and also provide a brief idea of how this combination is ideal for beginners and advantageous over other combinations.

JAMstack is— Javascript, APIs and Markup. Unlike websites built using WordPress or Drupal, JAMStack sites do not require a database.The JAMStack refers to a web app that is devoid of server-side, and relies on HTML markup files which are requested through an API by client-side JavaScript to render content on a page. All of the HTML markup is generated prior to deployment so there is no waiting for pages to be built on the fly as is the case for dynamic websites.

After Gatsby has generated all web app files from its build process, the web app can then be deployed to a static website host such as Netlify, Now, or Amazon S3.

The Perfect Blend

A Static Site Generator + Headless CMS Duo to Rule Them All: Gatsby and Netlify CMS.

Gatsby JS and Neltify CMS compliments each other and the duo rules over all others. Thus, some of the advantages of this combination are:

  • Both, Gatsby and Netlify are free and open-source.
  • To build a serverless, SEO-friendly, CMS-powered blog; no other combination can be a better choice. Thus, for amateur bloggers or people who are not really “tech-savvy”, there’s no better option!
  • Over the past few years, developers have begun moving from monolithic, integrated CMS setups to a modular “content mesh” pulling content and functionality from multiple sources and APIs. Thus, Gatsby can be considered as the future of static-site generation.
  • Gatsby and Netlify both are React-based, thus making them technically coherent and congruent.
  • Netlify is a headless CMS thus, adding to the ease of serverless website development along with advantages like flexibility, scalability and reduced time.
  • All said and done, this duo is not only technically proficient but also offer a rich documentation for beginners along with an easy installation procedure.
  • There is no dealing with databases or any other external data sources — avoiding opportunities for security breaches and time-consuming server-side processing.

Summing Up

The bottomline is that if you are an amateur developer or a not-so-tech-savvy blogger looking forward to develop a website or web app without diving into the complex technical know-hows of web development, then look no further as this union of Gatsby JS and Netlify CMS is just your thing.

Even if we consider it in general terms, this duo has aced and possess a firm hold in the market. So, if next time you plan of starting a serverless web-app using a static site generator and headless CMS then, this is the best choice you can have.

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