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How to create a related post component with gatsby-remark-related-posts plugin

Maiko Miyazaki
Writes what I learned from apprenticeship program, personal projects and books ๐Ÿ“šApprentice software developer. A Japanese based in Ireland ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช.
ใƒป3 min read

This article is originally published on miyazakimaiko.com. Photo by Girl with red hat on Unsplash.

Motivation

I recently deployed my personal blog miyazakimaiko.com, but I had difficult time dealing with a related post component when I build this website. I found a couple of ways to implement it without a plugin, but I wanted it as simple as possible, preferably complete it on the build time, and didn't mind using a plugin for it. Then I found gatsby-remark-related-posts plugin, which seemed feasible, but I couldn't find solutions to some of the issues I came across when implementing it. So this article is for the people who stuck like me. I'll summarise implementation steps to make it as easy as possible to understand.

Requirements

Using allMarkdownRemark for querying .md files
Unfortunately, it seems like it's not compatible with .mdx files or mdx query. If you find it possible, please let me know in the comment section!

gatsby-remark-related-posts plugin is installed

To install the plugin, please refer to this page.

File hierarchy

project
โ”‚   gatsby-config.js
โ”‚   gatsby-node.js   
โ”‚
โ””โ”€โ”€โ”€content
โ”‚   โ””โ”€โ”€โ”€blog 
โ”‚       โ””โ”€โ”€โ”€article1   
โ”‚       โ”‚   โ”‚   index.md
โ”‚       โ”‚   โ”‚   featured_image.jpg
โ”‚       โ”‚
โ”‚       โ””โ”€โ”€โ”€article2
โ”‚       โ”‚   โ”‚   index.md
โ”‚       โ”‚   โ”‚   featured_image.jpg
โ”‚       
โ””โ”€โ”€โ”€src
โ”‚   โ””โ”€โ”€โ”€templates 
โ”‚       โ””โ”€โ”€โ”€article.js
...     ...

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This folder is used as the example.

Implementation

gatsby-config.js

Set directory where you include your markdown files in posts_dir, like this:

plugins [
  {
    resolve: "gatsby-remark-related-posts",
    options: {
      posts_dir: `${__dirname}/content/blog`,
      doc_lang: "en",
    },
  },
]
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gatsby-node.js

Query part
This code below allows the plugin to create relatedFileAbsolutePaths field in the each MarkdownRemark node. Details: https://www.gatsbyjs.com/plugins/gatsby-remark-related-posts/

createPages action part
Pass the relatedFileAbsolutePaths as a variable to the individual page. To do so, we can simply set relatedFilePaths: post.node.fields.relatedFileAbsolutePaths.slice(0,4) inside context. You could just pass whole list of related file absolute paths, or specify how many article you want to pass by slicing the list.

exports.createPages = async ({ graphql, actions }) => {

  const { createPage } = actions

  const blogPostCollection = await graphql(
    `
      {
        allMarkdownRemark {
          edges {
            node {
              fileAbsolutePath
              fields {
                relatedFileAbsolutePaths
              }
              frontmatter {
                title
                slug
              }
            }
          }
        }
      }
    `
  ).then(result => {
    if (result.errors) {
      throw result.errors
    }

    // Create an individual article page for each article.
    const posts = result.data.allMarkdownRemark.edges

    posts.forEach((post, index) => {
      createPage({
        path: `blog/${post.node.frontmatter.slug}`,
        component: path.resolve(`./src/templates/article.js`),
        context: {
          slug: post.node.frontmatter.slug,
          relatedFilePaths: post.node.fields.relatedFileAbsolutePaths.slice(0,4),
        },
      })
    })

    // Create blog list pages here..

    return null
  })

  await Promise.all([blogPostCollection])
}
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Caution with the Query: In my blog, I set slug as a part of frontmatter, but most of cases you have slug field.

templates/article.js

We can simply query related posts when fetching the single article like below. Make sure to mention the argument $relatedFilePaths: [String], which we passed to this page in the gatsby-node.js file.

export const query = graphql`
    query BlogTemplate($slug: String! $relatedFilePaths: [String]) {
        markdownRemark(frontmatter: { slug: { eq: $slug } }) {
            ...
        }
        allMarkdownRemark(filter: {fileAbsolutePath: {in: $relatedFilePaths}}, limit: 4) {
            edges {
              node {
                ...
            }
        }
    }  
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In the template, you'll be able to access the main article data from props.data.markdownRemark and related posts data from props.data.allMarkdownRemark.edges.

related post component is created

Hooray! Now I have a related posts component available to the each page ๐ŸŽ‰

Consideration

This plugin accumulates related posts on the build time rather than runtime, so I'd say it's highly efficient. However, I do not have much articles on my blog so I don't yet know tell how it affects the speed of the build time. I'll do more research about it, and update this article when I find any realization in the future.

Thanks for reading. If you have any opinion or question, please leave a comment below!

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