Gatsby JS - 8 Reasons Why You Should Use It to Create Websites

Last Updated On : June 19, 2023
Gatsby JS -  8 Reasons Why You Should Use It to Create Websites

In this post, I'd like to introduce you to Gatsby JS and discuss why you should consider utilising it to build your following website. As a web developer and designer, I've had the chance to use Gatsby JS and React extensively, and it has changed how I create websites forever. Gatsby JS is a robust framework that combines the finest features of React, GraphQL, and static site generation, improving the productivity of web developers and the speed of the sites they build. In this article, we'll explore what makes Gatsby JS a game-changer in web development. We will demonstrate how Gatsby JS can increase the speed and responsiveness of your websites, enhance their search engine optimisation (SEO), make them more scalable and secure, and even make it simple for you to create progressive web apps (PWAs). Whether you're an experienced web developer or just getting started, learning about Gatsby JS will motivate you to use it. Let's see how Gatsby JS can help you design websites more effectively.

What is Gatsby JS?

React, GraphQL and static site generation are all combined in the astonishing framework known as Gatsby JS. Let's take a closer look at these components and see how they interact to produce incredibly fast and practical websites. React is a JavaScript library for developing user interfaces. It offers a component-based architecture that enables the creation of reusable user interface elements. Gatsby JS uses React to build websites with reusable components, streamlining the development process and making it simpler to maintain. You can quickly manage the state of your application, handle user interactions, and dynamically alter the user interface using React without reloading the page. GraphQL is a query language for APIs and a runtime for executing such queries on pre-existing data. To get and handle data from many sources, such as APIs, databases, or markdown files, Gatsby JS uses GraphQL as a data layer. The quantity of data transported over the network can be reduced using GraphQL to indicate the precise data needed for a page or component. Retrieving the data is essential; this helps your website run more smoothly and quickly. Static Site Generation: Web pages are rendered in advance as static HTML and CSS files during the build process. In contrast to typical server-rendered websites, where pages are created dynamically for each request, Gatsby JS produces static files that may be delivered straight from a content delivery network (CDN). This method enhances website speed by eliminating the requirement for server-side rendering and enabling quicker page loading.

There are 8 reasons why you should use a Gatsby website.

1. React and its component-based architecture

With its component-based JavaScript architecture, React, a well-liked JavaScript library created by Facebook, has several advantages. Consider these benefits of employing React and its component-based methodology: Reusability and Modularity: React's component-based architecture encourages reusability and modularity. Developers can divide the user interface into smaller, independent parts that each have their logic and appearance. Reusing these components may reduce the time spent on the maintenance and development of the application. The component reusability of React allows developers to build sophisticated user interfaces quickly and grow their projects successfully. Separation of Concerns: The component-based methodology of React encourages the separation of responsibilities. Each component concentrates on a single function or feature, making it simpler to understand, test, and debug the code. Separating concerns enhances code structure, readability, and maintainability, enabling developers to work on each component separately from other program components. The ability to work together more efficiently and with more efficiency directly results from this modularity. Enhanced Development Efficiency: The component-based architecture of React dramatically boosts developer productivity. To enable concurrent development and team collaboration, developers might break down a complicated user interface into smaller, more manageable components. Thanks to the components' distinct interfaces and segregated functionality, developers may work on several components simultaneously without conflict. Moreover, the component-based design of React makes it easier to reuse code and take advantage of pre-existing components, libraries, and community-driven solutions, saving time and effort during development. Improved Code Maintainability: Component-based programming in React makes code easier to maintain. When components are modular and independent, modifications to one component don't affect the others unless expressly stated. The potential for unwanted side effects is reduced by this separation, which also makes it simpler to comprehend and adjust individual components. Moreover, React's strict unidirectional data flow and state management via props and states make debugging and maintaining the software simpler. Performance Optimisation: React's virtual Document Object Model (DOM) and effective diffing method improve rendering performance. When a change is made to the DOM, React merely updates the affected areas, reducing the processing time needed for rendering. This method results in faster updates, enhanced performance, and a more seamless user experience. Developers can build high-performance apps that load rapidly and respond swiftly because of React's efficient rendering system and the flexibility to use methods like code splitting and lazy loading. Ecosystem and Community Support: The component-based architecture of React has given rise to a thriving ecosystem of libraries, tools, and community support. The React ecosystem offers a wide range of pre-built elements, user interface frameworks, and development tools that can be quickly integrated into applications. Developers are aided in their quest for knowledge, understanding, and problem-solving by the active community's contributions to creating best practices, standards, and solutions. Developers may build reusable, modular, and maintainable user interfaces using React's component-based architecture. Because it separates concerns, reusability, development efficiency, performance optimisation, and a thriving ecosystem, React is a powerful tool for creating dependable and scalable apps.

2. Many plugins and developer tools are available in the Gatsby ecosystem.

The Gatsby ecosystem offers a variety of developer tools and plugins that make building and maintaining Gatsby-powered websites more manageable and more productive. The Gatsby ecosystem includes the following prominent development tools and plugins: Gatsby CLI: The Gatsby Command Line Interface (CLI) is a developer tool that facilitates Gatsby projects' creation, development, and administration. It includes instructions for setting up new projects, operating development servers, constructing sites suited for production, and more. Gatsby Dev Server: The Gatsby Dev Server supports rapid reloading and live preview during development. The development cycle may be sped up, and productivity can be increased by allowing developers to monitor real-time changes as they adjust code. Gatsby Image: The Gatsby Image plugin improves image loading and efficiency. To deliver a seamless and optimal picture-loading experience, it automatically produces responsive images in various sizes and formats, lazy loads photos, and employs the "blur-up" approach. Gatsby Remark Plugins: The Markdown processing library in Gatsby is enhanced by Gatsby Remark Plugins. They enable other functions like syntax highlighting, automatic development of a table of contents, resizable code blocks, and interaction with other resources like movies and tweets. Gatsby Source Plugins: Gatsby Source Plugins provide access to various content management systems, application programming interfaces (APIs), databases, and other information repositories. These plugins easily integrate popular content management systems (CMSs) like WordPress, Contentful, and Drupal, as well as headless CMS platforms like Sanity and Strapi. Gatsby Theme UI: For Gatsby applications, the Gatsby Theme UI provides a theming framework. With support for theming variables, typography, colour modes, and more, it enables developers to personalise and style their websites using a component-based approach. Gatsby Plugin Offline: The Gatsby Plugin Offline allows offline capabilities for Gatsby-built Progressive Web Applications (PWAs). Under low or no connection conditions, it produces a service worker that caches the website's assets, allowing users to view them. Gatsby Plugin SEO: The Gatsby SEO Plugin facilitates search engine optimisation. Developers may easily configure meta tags, title tags, Open Graph tags, and other SEO-related features to increase the website's exposure in search engine results. Gatsby Plugin for Google Analytics: With the help of this plugin, Gatsby's websites may track their traffic, user activity, and performance. Gatsby Plugin Sitemap: The Gatsby Plugin Sitemap automatically creates a sitemap.xml file for better search engine indexing. The website's pages are more accessible for search engines to find and index. These are only a few developer tools and plugins offered by the Gatsby ecosystem. Developers may expand and tailor their Gatsby projects to meet their unique requirements thanks to the ongoing development and maintenance of a vast library of plugins.

3. Improved load speeds

To speed up page loads and improve the user experience, Gatsby JS uses various strategies, including preloading and prefetching. Let's examine Gatsby's use of these techniques: Preloading: Preloading is a method that enables Gatsby JS to predict and get resources (such as JavaScript, CSS, and pictures) that will be required shortly. Gatsby makes sure that these resources are always available when a user visits a new page or takes an action that calls for them by proactively obtaining them. By removing the time it takes to get resources on demand, preloading helps minimise latency and enhances perceived performance. Prefetching: Prefetching is a similar approach used by Gatsby to load resources in the background, anticipating what data will be required on upcoming pages. Gatsby may predict the user's subsequent actions based on their current page, prefetching data and assets to reduce load time for the next page. Preloading frequently requested material in advance, prefetching makes web browsing more seamless by eliminating waiting for pages to load and allowing for seamless page transitions. Intelligent Link Prefetching: Gatsby JS intelligently prefetches data and assets for pages linked from the current page. Gatsby may scan the destination page and proactively fetch the required resources in the background when a user lingers over a link. When a user clicks on a link, the next page should load immediately without the usual lag time of downloading resources on demand. Code Splitting and Lazy Loading: Gatsby JS uses code splitting and lazy loading methods to speed up the loading of JavaScript bundles. Gatsby divides the JavaScript code into smaller, more digestible parts rather than simultaneously loading it. These sections are downloaded only when needed, cutting down on the size of the initial payload and speeding up page loads. Lazy loading delays the loading of non-critical resources until they are needed, further enhancing performance by prioritizing crucial material. Asset Optimization: Gatsby JS optimizes assets like photos by automatically producing several copies with various resolutions and formats. By doing this, we can save bandwidth and speed up page loads by just sending the optimised version of an image to the user's device. Further image optimisations like lazy loading, responsive images, and progressive rendering are made possible by Gatsby's connection with plugins like Gatsby-image. Gatsby JS uses these methods to speed up page loading, lower latency, and improve user experience. Preloading, prefetching, code splitting, lazy loading, and asset optimisation all work together to manage and distribute resources to users efficiently, leading to quicker load times and improved responsiveness.

4. GraphQL is simple for querying data and producing SEO-friendly metadata.

Gatsby uses GraphQL, a robust query language, and runtime to query data from various sources, including APIs, databases, and content management systems (CMS). When it comes to data searching and producing SEO-friendly metadata, it has many benefits:

    - **Efficient Data Fetching:** By letting customers describe the specific data they want, GraphQL allows accurate and efficient data retrieval. You may prevent over-fetching or under-fetching data using GraphQL to request the necessary fields. Its effectiveness means quicker response times, less server strain, and better website performance. - **Single API Endpoint:** Gatsby combines information from several sources into a single GraphQL API endpoint. This unified data layer makes it easier for developers to access and retrieve data from several sources with a single query. Reduces complexity and boosts development efficiency by eliminating the need for repeated queries to various destinations. - **Flexible Data Structures:** Clients can specify the data structure they want to receive using GraphQL. Because of this adaptability, developers may tailor the response data to their specifications, making it more conducive to search engine optimisation (SEO) through improved metadata. For instance, you can establish custom fields, metadata tags, and structured data to increase search engine exposure and boost organic search results. - **Server-Side Rendering of Metadata:** Metadata may now be rendered on the server using GraphQL and Gatsby. This implies that SEO-related material, such as title tags, meta descriptions, and canonical URLs, can be dynamically produced and included in the pre-rendered HTML. SSR guarantees that search engine crawlers obtain correctly rendered HTML content with the appropriate information, enhancing search engine discoverability and ranking. - **Data Transformation and Aggregation:** Gatsby's GraphQL layer provides data processing and aggregation before displaying the information. GraphQL queries may change and manipulate data from several sources, conduct computations, apply filters, and aggregate data from numerous collections. Its adaptability enables you to provide SEO-friendly metadata based on complex business logic, dynamic content, or other data sources. - **Custom Schema Extensions:** Custom schema definitions allow Gatsby's GraphQL API to be expanded with new fields and data sources. With this change, programmers may improve GraphQL. - **Real-time Data Updates:** Search engine optimisation (SEO) can benefit from the frequent data refreshes made possible by GraphQL subscriptions. For instance, subscriptions may be used to track changes in data sources and update SEO metadata if new information is published, changed, or withdrawn. This ensures that search engines have the most up-to-date information about the content of your website.
You may query data and provide SEO-friendly metadata by utilising GraphQL within Gatsby. GraphQL's speed, adaptability, and customization options allow for targeted data retrieval, metadata presentation on the server, and data shaping and transformation to suit individual SEO needs. This interface enables programmers to effectively manage data from many sources while optimising their websites for search engines. ### 5. Gatsby has Static site generation, improves speed and search engine optimization Gatsby's static site generation (SSG) architecture offers several benefits for search engine optimization (SEO) by enhancing website performance, content discoverability, and indexability. **A website's efficiency and user experience can be improved by serving static files through a content delivery network (CDN).** **Here's how Gatsby's SSG boosts search engine rankings:**
    - **Faster Content Delivery: **Content delivery networks (CDNs) have servers in many locations. Static files can be provided from the server closest to the user when stored on these servers, minimising the distance that data must travel. Due to their proximity, content may be delivered more quickly and with less delay. Users report faster page loading and improved overall performance regardless of location. - **Global Scalability:** Content delivery networks (CDNs) can manage large traffic volumes and sharp increases in user demand. CDNs may efficiently manage growing demand by spreading static files across numerous servers. Its scalability guarantees that websites stay available and responsive even during high traffic, preventing slowdowns or outages. A content delivery network (CDN) enables you to safely and consistently distribute material to your audience, regardless of whether they are local or global. - **Fast Loading Times:** Gatsby creates static HTML files for each page throughout the development phase. These pre-rendered HTML files are highly optimised and may be delivered to consumers immediately, resulting in speedier loading times. Search engines give preference to websites that provide a better user experience. Therefore quick-loading websites are crucial for SEO. - **Improved Page Speed:** Gatsby's SSG lessens the amount of client-side JavaScript, which speeds up pages. In part, improved user engagement and reduced bounce rates can be attributed to a site's faster page speed, a crucial search engine ranking criterion. - **SEO-Friendly Markup:** The syntax and structure of web pages may be optimised using Gatsby to make them more search engine friendly. Structured data, meta tags, and other elements crucial for SEO, such as title tags, meta descriptions, and canonical URLs, may be generated using React components, GraphQL queries, and plugins. - **Server-Side Rendering (SSR) Capabilities:** Although Gatsby generally generates static sites, it also enables server-side rendering (SSR) for dynamic content. This indicates that particular pages or components can be produced on the server and provided to the client with all the relevant data already filled in. SSR enables search engines to index and crawls dynamic material, improving rankings. - **Built-in XML Sitemap Generation:** XML sitemaps are automatically generated by Gatsby plugins. By providing a sitemap, you make it simpler for search engines to crawl and index all of the pages on your website. Increase the likelihood that search engines will correctly index the content of your website by creating and uploading an XML sitemap. - **Optimized Image Loading:** Gatsby's image optimisation capabilities, like slow loading, responsive pictures, and automated production of alternative image sizes, lead to higher SEO. By decreasing photos' size and loading time, these optimisations improve your website's performance metrics and guarantee a positive user experience. - **Content Organization and Internal Linking:** The component-based design of Gatsby encourages effective internal linking and well-organized content. You may optimise the navigation experience for visitors and search engines on your website by breaking it down into reusable components and employing consistent linking strategies. Search engines can better grasp the context and relevance of your pages thanks to well-structured content and internal links. - **PWA Capabilities:** With offline support, caching, and other PWA capabilities, Gatsby enables you to create Progressive Web Apps (PWAs). PWAs boost user experience and engagement, two criteria used by search engines to determine a website's ranking. You may raise your website's exposure and potential for increased traffic by delivering a smooth offline experience and allowing visitors to add your website to their home screens.
You may optimise your website for search engines and boost SEO by utilising Gatsby's static site-generating features. You may make search engine-friendly, user-friendly, fast-loading websites by implementing techniques like XML sitemaps, efficient image loading, content organisation, and progressive web apps (PWAs). ### 6. Reducing server-side vulnerabilities and delivering static files provide security advantages. Website development has various security advantages when static files are served, and server-side vulnerabilities are reduced. These are several significant benefits:
    - **Reduced Attack Surface:** The server is solely responsible for delivering pre-built HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and other static components while serving static files. The attack surface and possible vulnerabilities are reduced since no server-side processing or dynamic queries are required. The number of attack vectors available to malicious users can be considerably decreased by reducing the server's workload. - **Limited Attack Vector:** Static file serving eliminates the need for server-side languages or frameworks to provide dynamic content. This removes the dangers posed by server-side vulnerabilities such as SQL injection, XSS, and remote code execution (RCE). If there is no server-side code execution involved, attackers cannot make use of server-side code vulnerabilities. - **Protection against Server-Side Attacks:** Your website is less vulnerable to server-side assaults if you use static files that have already been produced. Attacks designed to take advantage of server software or operating system flaws fall under this category. Potential server-side flaws are meaningless because static files are delivered directly to users, enhancing the application's overall security. - **Content Delivery Network (CDN) Security:** A Content Delivery Network (CDN) provides extra security advantages when serving static files. The performance and reliability of your website may be enhanced by using a CDN to spread your content across numerous servers in different locations. Content delivery networks (CDNs) offer an extra line of defense against typical web-based threats by including built-in security capabilities like DDoS protection, SSL/TLS encryption, and web application firewalls. - **Secure Deployment:** Static files make deployment safer and more accessible. You merely need to deploy the static files to a web server or a CDN rather than deploying server-side programming, databases, or sophisticated infrastructure. This streamlined approach mitigates misconfigurations, unwanted access, and data exposure during deployment. - **Improved Resilience:** Providing static files improves resistance to traffic surges and resource-intensive assaults. Static files can better manage substantial traffic levels without compromising server performance since they may be cached and provided directly by web servers or CDNs. Its robustness lessens the effects of traffic spikes and Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) assaults. - **Content Integrity:** When files are served in a static format, they do not change unless the host server is restarted. By doing so, we may rest easy knowing that no alterations have been made to the material without our knowledge. Any changes to the content need rebuilding and redeploying the static files, giving a chance to check and double-check the changes before they are made available to users.
You may dramatically improve the security of your website by delivering static content and reducing server-side vulnerabilities. The smaller attack surface decreases common security concerns, fewer attack pathways, and defense against server-side assaults. While the streamlined deployment process enhances overall security posture and resistance against assaults, using a CDN for static file distribution can provide extra security benefits. ### 7. Let's discuss combining Gatsby JS with well-known CMS frameworks like WordPress and Laravel.
    - **WordPress:** One of the most widely used CMSs, WordPress, can be linked effortlessly with Gatsby JS. You may import material from your WordPress site into Gatsby and use it to build static pages using the Gatsby Source WordPress plugin. With this connection, you can use WordPress's robust editor, user management, and plugins while also taking advantage of Gatsby JS's speed and ability to create dynamic websites. - **Laravel:** For creating online applications, Laravel is a robust PHP framework. Gatsby JS focuses on the front end, but it can be used with Laravel to provide a robust full-stack solution. You may make your Laravel application's data available to Gatsby JS by establishing a GraphQL API layer using tools like Lighthouse or GraphQL-JS. You can take advantage of Gatsby's performance benefits by employing Laravel's backend capabilities for managing complicated business logic and database interactions.
You may get the most out of both worlds by integrating Gatsby JS with well-known CMS frameworks like WordPress and Laravel. Use these CMS frameworks' adaptability and content management tools while taking advantage of Gatsby JS's speed and static site-generating characteristics. You may use both worlds by integrating Gatsby JS with well-known CMS frameworks like WordPress and Laravel. With Gatsby JS's speed optimisations and static site creation tools, you can use various CMS frameworks' adaptability and content management features. ### 8. PWAs may be made right away using Gatsby. Gatsby already supports the creation of Progressive Web Apps (PWAs). PWAs are web apps that provide a native-like experience with features like offline support, push notifications, and app-like behaviour. The following describes how Gatsby makes it possible to develop PWAs:
    - **Service Worker Support:** Support for service workers, essential for constructing PWAs, is included in Gatsby. A service worker is a background script that functions as a go-between for the web application and the network. It enables offline functionality and quicker subsequent visits by allowing you to cache static assets, HTML files, and API answers. Gatsby automatically builds a service worker throughout the build process, which is then included in the final production build. - **Offline Support:** Gatsby enables your PWA to function offline or in low-connectivity settings with the aid of service professionals. The service worker caches your website's HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and pictures, allowing visitors to view the content even while offline. This enhances the user experience and guarantees that visitors may still interact with your website, read information, and navigate between pages even if they don't have access to the internet. - **App Manifest Generation:** For your PWA, Gatsby creates an app manifest file that contains details about the application. The app manifest contains information about the program's name, description, icons, theme colours, and startup behaviour. This data is utilised by browsers and mobile devices to treat your website as an app-like experience, allowing users to add the PWA to their home screens and open it as a standalone application. - **Responsive Design and Mobile Optimization:** To make your website flexible to various screen sizes and devices, Gatsby encourages the usage of responsive design principles. This is essential for PWAs since they should offer a consistent user experience on desktop and mobile devices. Thanks to Gatsby's image optimisation tools and support for responsive images, your PWA will load and display photos effectively on various devices. - **Performance Optimization:** Gatsby concentrates on performance optimisation, which is crucial for PWAs. Gatsby helps minimise initial load time and subsequent page transitions by utilising static site creation, code splitting, lazy loading, and other optimisation strategies. This is especially crucial for PWAs since they are expected to perform like native mobile apps in speed and responsiveness. - **Push Notifications:** You can send notifications to users even when they aren't using your PWA, thanks to Gatsby's easy integration with push notification systems. Push notification capabilities may be added to your Gatsby PWA by using service workers and push notification APIs, which will keep users interested and informed.
You can quickly develop PWAs that provide consumers with a native-like experience by utilising the built-in capabilities of Gatsby. You can create PWAs that perform admirably and are engaging for users thanks to the support for service workers, offline functionality, app manifest creation, responsive design, mobile optimisation, performance optimisation, and push notifications.


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