The Growing Popularity of GatsbyJS and How Developers Use It

4 years ago
Gats By JS

Web performance is one of the strongest trends of 2019. Waiting for a website for a longer time period will only lead to losing more opportunities. Even a second difference will make your visitors move to your competitors’ website. The loading time and your website’s content are two most important factors that lead to good user experience.

Visitors are now used to getting their desired information immediately after requesting it and this has become a trend that will surely last longer.

Static websites may seem to be like a step backward from today’s feature packed dynamic sites, many companies are switching to static site generators to enhance their site performance and also complement their headless CMS’s.

One most popular site generator in particular is GatsbyJS, which has recently attracted the attention a lot. And it is not only because of its growing popularity, but also because that React is preferred by about 60% of the developers over any other front-end frameworks.

What is a Static Site Generator?

These generators are quite opposite of the popular dynamic sites and in these, when the user enters a website, a request is sent by the server to the database so that the content is downloaded that is needed at the moment. After that, the data is soon displayed on the website as an HTML file.

Whatever be the process, it takes time and can be slowed down more with multiple request that are sent at one time.

Static site generators don’t use the database layer, but it uses the static files to create the site in the browser, and not the server as the user enters each webpage. This means that if the person on your site wants to view the contact us page, it is not being rendered. But what if you go server-less?

You will be able to create a lightweight website that takes less time to create it and even maintain as you don’t have to consider databases.  The front end solutions like static site generators raised the popularity while getting more and more enthusiasts each year.

Understanding GatsbyJS:

According to its website, Gatsby is an open source framework that is based on the React that helps the developers create fast websites and applications. It is available for free and is a popular static site generator that makes it easy to create interactive websites using React, a front end development framework. 

This means that the companies can launch simple and highly performance websites, PWAs, microsites easily. Gatsby supports progressive image loading and responsive image loading also.

Why top brands are choosing to use GatsbyJS?

The reason behind the popularity of Gatsby.js is because of React on which it is based.  There are resources that are readily available for the developers to work with the React framework effectively and in addition to the strong technical foundation of Gatsby, it is also free and comes with well documentation and has a strong community.

The Gatsby community helps to make it easier for the companies to get started easily and even launch their sites. With Gatsby, developers can easily jump in without much technical knowledge since they are already well equipped and have knowledge of the tech stack Gatsby.

This means that the companies can easily save significant time and money that is required when recruiting fresh staff members and training their developers. Gatsby can be easily extended with additional functionalities that includes responsive images, source data from the CMS and data markup formats that adds third party services and so on. The GatsbyJS meets the latest web standards by default.

The factors that make Gatsby a great solution for companies

Gaatsby fits best with headless CMS and many companies find that the headless CMS is separate from the serving of the site.  This means that the CMS can easily store the website content and the SSG can pull the content from there when the static site is created.

This can be automated to trigger when there is any change in the content within the CMS. If you want to manage your content easily by the non-developers, a headless CMS should be the only solution like WordPress, Sanity, NetlifyCMS.

Without a headless CMS, the content would be managed in some kind of raw format, which would be left with little options needed for updating the content. This makes the site extremely fast, but the marketers are left with very little option for updating the site content.

Performance is a common motivator of SSG adoption and since the static site is pre-rendered, the content will load and display faster than any dynamic site and this is extremely crucial for a seamless digital experience.