Thoughts on GatsbyJS

November 25, 2019

I've been eyeing Gatsby for a while now and finally used it for the first time.

As far as static site generators go, this one is on steroids. It's fully equipped with SSR, React, GraphQL, Webpack, and more, and somehow manages to make it feel simple and lightweight to use. There's not a whole lot you can't build with Gatsby. Overall, I'm a big fan.

The best part is that it works just as well for simple websites as it does for full blown applications. As Gatsby says, "Every website is a web app and every web app is a website." JSX is just like HTML so I can build sites pretty much the way I'm used to, but have the power of React when I need it. The Gatsby architecture is intuitive and building out pages is simple.

The learning curve isn't exactly trivial though. However, I managed to get my site up and running after just a weekend with Gatsby. GraphQL is also a pain for me to use, but that's slowly getting easier too. As I add snippets to VS Code, development becomes faster.

Using Gatsby is a great way to gain experience with React, making it the perfect intro towards building more complicated user interfaces.

Sure, Gatsby isn't the be all end all of JavaScript frameworks, but if I'm looking for a static site generator already configured with my favorite tools, you bet Gatsby is the answer.