Gatsby is a static site generator (SSG) that combines such technologies as React, Webpack, and GraphQl. The main purpose of using Gatsby is to build static websites, which are considered to be faster and more secure than usual dynamic ones. Therefore, Gatsby being a framework delivers functional solutions as well as helps to create quick websites because of static generation. Interested? Hire GatsbyJS developers from OTAKOYI.
Static site generation
The difference between a static and dynamic site lies in the fact whether it was manually coded or created with the help of CMS (Content Management System). In the first case, the page is coded beforehand, but in the second, it is generated at the moment the user enters it, which makes the server process it.
The thing is that a static site works faster but a dynamic one is easier to create. In this case, an SSG comes in handy because it allows you to develop a website as if it was dynamic and use it as if it was static. Moreover, SSG is beneficial as far as cybersecurity is concerned because hackers usually aim at databases and the files that are absent in websites created with SSG.
This is a data query language (DQL) and data manipulation language (DML) for APIs. GraphQL provides not only a great user experience but also with pleasant developer experience. The thing is that it structures data requests in a way that API deals with certain specified fields. As a result, all the redundant properties are not included in the response. Another feature of GraphQL is that it can ask for different resources in one request. All of these improve client-server communication, make the development process easier, and provide smooth performance.
Plugins and Starters
First of all, plugins connect GatsbyJS with other platforms. Therefore, with Gatsby, you will be able to use a lot of off-the-shelf software.
Secondly, it has a lot of starters that help you avoid repetition in code. Moreover, due to the fact that it is open-source, the community is ready to share pieces of code that will help you in your work. Only on GitHub, there are almost four thousand such enthusiasts.
Benefits of GatsbyJS’s Use
Websites made with Gatsby work really fast. However, this is not the only benefit of this SSG. Furthermore, if you are familiar with React you will make the most use of it. Let us look at GatsbyJS’s most important features.
Usually, websites made with Gatsby are two or three times faster than the sites made by analogs. The only thing that is required from the developer is to write the code, and then it will be bundled into webpack configuration automatically.
The reason why SSGs create so quick sites is that they exempt the back-end from page construction and database queries conduction. The only thing a server has to do is to return a file when it is requested. Basically, Gatsby redefines the process of data exchange because it creates HTML, JS, and CSS files.
Content management was never easier. Gatsby allows the connection to different third-party tools that will provide the content. Thus, you can use SaaS solutions or almost anything else you need. In this case, you will use React and GraphQL to code, but the content part of your work will be supported by the software you decide to use.
With React, you will need to create Route manually. However, GatsbyJS will create the page automatically even without a Router. It is due to the fact that there is a component in the pages folder.
There is no such thing as a perfect framework. GatsbyJS is not an exception. Let us look at its downsides too.
High Entry Threshold
On the one hand, it is uneasy to learn Gatsby. On the other hand, there is a lot of documentation about it on the Internet as well as there is a lot of community members ready to help you. Therefore, it is possible to learn it but it will require time and effort, and if you have a tight deadline, then consider an alternative.
The problem with plugins and starters is that they may not work so well as expected. You do not always know which standards were the developers of this additional software following.
Use Cases of GatsbyJS
Gatsby is becoming a more and more universal piece of software. However, there are use cases, in which it is especially good.
If you are interested in building a static website, then choose Gatsby. It is possible to create a web page dynamically, and then it will become static. Moreover, you can set the site in such a way that when the content in CMS is updated, the site responds to that and also updates itself.
Progressive Web App (PWA)
One of the main functions of Gatsby is to be a framework for PWA and that is why it has a lot of features for your PWA. It renders a website beforehand. As a result, there is no need for the code and databases from the back-end. Furthermore, you can optimize Gatsby to add even more useful features.
Headless eCommerce Site
A headless eCommerce site is one that has front-end and back-end separated. Usually, it creates a lot of problems due to the need to update the front-end and back-end also separately. However, it is not a problem with GatsbyJS because of its Data Transfer feature mentioned above.
To sum up, GatsbyJS is an SSG that facilitates the development process as well as improves a user experience. Developers will enjoy React and the possibility to connect plugins and starters. Moreover, the possibility of writing a dynamic site and releasing the static one is the most wanted among the developers. Finally, the sites developed with Gatsby work super-fast, which is also one of the most principal advantages.