After more than 2 years and 30+ blog posts, I am proud to announce reactjunkie.com has finally moved to Gatsby. It's been an incredible journey and Gatsby is an incredible app. It's only fitting that a website about react is built on react! In this post, I'll talk about my experience moving an existing site to gatsbyjs.
I was using an open source Jekyll theme called indigo. It supports hot-reload, code highlighting, easy config, looks really good and it's very fast. In some ways this template was ahead of its time. Hot reload 2 years ago was still in its infancy in the js world! Thank you Sergio A.Kopplin for your hard work making this theme.
I must admit initially I wasn't convinced that moving to Gatsby is a good idea. Firstly it's like starting a new project. You are designing a website and implementing it in react. This takes time and time I don't have. I am already maintaining about 7 or 8 open source projects and I still have a blog to update.
Secondly what benefits do I gain moving to Gatsby? Indigo is already giving me hot reload, it looks good and is really fast. Do I have to move? This is a common developer mentality.
"If it ain't broke don't fix it"
Lastly, is it an overkill? It's just a static blog site, does it really need to be on the bleeding edge frontend engineering?
Yes the initial bootstrap to start a new project is time consuming but it's definitely worth it beyond any doubt. The ecosystem is soo good! Markdown support is first class through gatsby-transformer-remark. You query almost anything you need about your post through graphql! I didn't think you could use graphql this way, so it's pretty innovative. You can cut down the design time by "mimicking" some of the existing blog sites. I must admit I get a lot of inspiration from medium.
Secondly benefits? Loads! You get a spa with kick-ass performance and a world class development experience; live-reload, linting, prettier, testing. You don't just get benefits, you get an entirely different realm of experience. To hammer the nail home, there's a plugin for pretty much anything you need like youtube support, syntax highlighting, styled components, etc.
Lastly is it an overkill? It is just a static blog site but there's definitely a lot of room for improvement. As frontend engineers, we should embrace progress because that's how we learn and improve. Gatsby is one such progress and I'm so glad I embraced it.
Kyle Mathews thank you for introducing gatsby to this world.