Creating a Gatsby Site
Branching out from Single Page Applications
When all you have is a hammer...
...every problem looks like a nail.
I imagine this was to the horror of my users. Users of my professional SPAs are cruising along on snappy machines on high speed networks, but my personal site users could be using anything from fiber connection to 3G on a budget smartphone. I needed something faster and more suited to the website's needs, because building an SPA for a static blog site is overkill.
Enter Gatsby, stage left
Using Gatsby for my new personal site, I was easily able to cook up strategies for content hosting, dynamic page creation, and SEO (Search Engine Optimization), a crucial feature that had eluded me in my SPA past. I also saw minor yet scalable speed enhancements (my original SPA site had virtually no content, but the SPA strategy would have increased load times as I added content) and a 30% reduction in bytes sent over the network due to not shipping a giant JS bundle for the whole site to the client, instead just sending the page the user is requesting at that point in time.
Do you like having performant websites with great community support and best-in-class DX? Gatsby is worth looking into, especially if you find yourself stuck in the industry SPA rut and are looking for a more specialized tool for less feature-heavy sites. I have noticed too many junior web developers are drinking from the firehose on heavy Single Page Applications without any concern for performance or whether or not an SPA is even the right move for what they are trying to build.
If that description reflects your current standing, consider this advice: Build a demo website (like this one!) to familiarize yourself with what Gatsby has to offer! As with most things in tech, its value will become clear as you start to get your hands dirty.