William Pope

portfolio of work & other stuff

Gatsby - a next generation website framework

2020-01-09 william popetestimonies

CMS - Content Management System
SEO - Search Engine Optimization
Hosting - a company owning servers that connects your website to the internet
Domain - the address where your website lives on the server: www.example.com

WHAT IS GATSBY?

Put simply, Gatsby is a static page generator and modern, Javascript alternative to sites like Wordpress. Along with Gatsby, I also use Contentful as the CMS and Netlify to host my sites. Netlify

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WHY SHOULD PEOPLE KNOW ABOUT GATSBY?

Wordpress has dominated the CMS market for a long time. But with advancements in Javascript, I feel Wordpress is due for some competition. I also feel Gatsby is a superior platform in many ways. Gatsby Starters

WHY SHOULD I USE A SEPERATE CMS?

Contenful allows for user-managed content on a distributed, CDN network. This means content can be delivered to the user on the closest edge. Contentful lets you model your data based on type - images, text etc. Contentful is not associated with any one website builder tool so makes switching between them easy since you won’t have to migrate your data. Contentful

HOW DOES GATSBY’S PERFORMANCE STACK UP?

According to benchmark testing, Gatsby outperforms, by a significant margin, Wordpress and other platforms when page load times were compared.

WHAT ABOUT SEO?

Without getting too technical, Gatsby renders plain HTML to the browser which is more accurately indexed by web crawlers. All things being equal, there’s no reason a Gatsby site shouldn’t rank similar to a Wordpress site on Google. I might even give a slight edge to Gatsby simply for its speed.

WHAT KINDS OF SITES ARE BEST SUITED FOR GATSBY?

Gatsby is ideal for sites where social sharing is important. This includes, but is not limited to, e-commerce, blogs and marketing sites. Gatsby is not ideal for apps where lots of dynamic content is involved. This includes, but is also not limited to, real-time trading apps and games. Moreover, if it’s necessary for users to log in to see the majority of the site, Gatsby may not be the best tool for the job. (See server-side rendering for a more flexible solution).

WHAT ARE THE DOWNSIDES?

Tools like Wordpress are far easier for a layman to use. Gatsby, on the other hand, probably needs to be developed by a developer. I’ve also heard it doesn’t scale well to hundered of thousands of pages but I’m withholding judgement on that. I guess if the goal is to get a website up yourself, and you’re not particularly technical, maybe try Wix. Unfortunately, there’s always a trade off for ease-of-use. And in the case of site builder tools, Gatsby is far faster, much less complicated (equalling less downtime), and more secure.

With the rate of change on the internet being what it is, I’m confident a drag-n-drop style Gatsby tools will soon be available. Maybe it already is??