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The Power of Gatsby (5 Reasons Why You Should Use It)

guyett92 profile image Aaron Guyett ・3 min read

Gatsby(.js) is more powerful than a content management system (CMS). It can be used to create web applications with ease. Think of it as a more advanced WordPress with many more optimization features built-in. By definition, it is a static site generator but can do much more. It has plug-ins, provides scalable code, and utilizes easy-to-integrate security features. Gatsby's homepage uses the phrase:

The modern way to build the web.

And it is. Gatsby has no catch, it is useful and can be used to set up an optimized single-page-app (SPA) in a matter of minutes. There are plenty of other features, and I'd like to highlight some of them and discuss some resources you can use to better understand and utilize Gatsby.

Sounds Good

What is Gatsby?

Gatsby is a static site generator that allows users to create an application using the command line in a matter of minutes. Gatsby requires Git and Node.js. You then need to install the Gatsby CLI to utilize the commands available. An excellent tutorial can be found on the Gatsby website here. If you're ever lost you can always use gatsby --help once you have it installed.

Gatsby acts as a way to quickly set up web apps from templates, install or build plugins and utilize or create themes (among many other things). As the best management system I've seen, you can expect Gatsby to provide delivery and payload optimization (meaning that performance will impact users as little as possible because of features like progressive image loading and static content), offer an ecosystem and environment that you can use to develop your app in, and provide governance that can be used to secure your product.

It also helps that Gatsby has some of the best documentation I've ever worked with. (And a Twitch channel).

How do I Learn to use Gatsby?

Much to Learn
As mentioned earlier, Gatsby has a spectacular tutorial. There are also many resources available (or if you want to take a coding boot camp, you can ask about that in class.)

There are also some amazing courses available. One of my favorites gives you video access for life, covers some additional topics, and is taught by a knowledgeable and inspiring individual. The [Master Gatsby] course can be bought here.

FreeCodeCamp has a couple of great YouTube courses available:
The Great Gatsby Bootcamp & Strapi & GatsbyJS Course. If you have not utilized FreeCodeCamp and you are early in your software engineer career, I recommend hopping on there immediately!

Udemy has a cool course available to build a Gatsby & Firebase app. Udemy, Coursera, EDX, and other MOOCs are great resources for learning all things code.

I'm Not Convinced

If you have checked out the Gatsby website and don't feel like there is a point in using Gatsby yet, I'll present you with some facts:

1. Gatsby creates a dev environment on your machine to test your project within minutes.

You can use a starter template and begin working on your project and check it in real-time within minutes.

2. Gatsby's plugin library is massive and is updated often.

The plugins available optimize performance, include components and themes, and allow you to maintain a scalable environment with ease.

3. Gatsby has a great community.

They have a Twitch channel, sponsored events, and a swag store. The team puts a lot of effort into community outreach and it shows because the community is very involved.

4. Gatsby has great documentation.

It's awesome. Like everything else supplied by the Gatsby team, it's regularly updated and maintained better than the White House.

5. Gatsby has a page that shows how much better it is than its' competitors.

This page can be found here. Gatsby excels in most categories and outranks all the competition so effectively that it offers comparisons and includes explanations.

Closing Thoughts

Gatsby is Hot
Gatsby is the future and the present. I used it for my portfolio and I love some of the plugins available (styled-components anyone?). As the community grows, more features will be added and Gatsby will continue to become more efficient. If you need more convincing drop me a line!

Until next time! - Aaron

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andrewbaisden profile image
Andrew Baisden

Exciting time to be a developer with these cool frameworks available. Might use Gatsby for my next portfolio website. Still waiting for the day when a company chooses Gatsby over WordPress for a custom website. Old habits die hard 😂

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guyett92 profile image
Aaron Guyett Author

WordPress still has its use cases! I know that Gatsby is not technically a CMS but it integrates so well with headless CMS(es) like Sanity that it almost, almost can be labeled a CMS