April 5th, 2018

Why We Chose GatsbyJS for Bishopsoft.com

At Bishop Software, we wanted to use a web technology for our site that exemplified modern software. We wanted something super-fast, reliable, open-source, and crawl-able by search engines. This was not an easy task. As one wanders the dark nightmare of Javascript frameworks, it's easy to get lost, let-down, and frustrated. Allow me to shine the light:

GatsbyJS - Blazing-fast static site generator for React

GatsbyJS is a static site generator, meaning that each page will have its own .html file generated from your application routes. This strategy makes your site very easy for search engines to crawl and extremely fast. There are many static site generators out there, but, Gatsby does things a little differently.

Gatsby allows you to use the incredibly powerful React and GraphQL libraries in your code and it will magically generate a static site from your components. This is the main reason we chose GatsbyJS over Hugo -- once you go React, you never go back.

The power of GraphQL comes into play when you need to mess with data. For example, this blog post is simply a Markdown file retreived from the file system using a GraphQL query! Cool, right?

The Good

  • Site navigation does not reload the whole page, giving the effect of near-instant page transitions. Don't blink!
  • Component-driven web development is the way websites were meant to be built. We even use styled-components to componetize our css.
  • Can be deployed to any static host with ease. GitHub Pages, Netlify, etc.
  • Gatsby has 100's of plugins and growing every day.
  • GraphQL is seriously awesome and fun.
  • Great documentation.

What it's not good at

Well, it's not good at what it wasn't built for. It shouldn't be used for giant SPA applications nor should it be used to clean your kitchen sink. What it is good at, however, it does very well and we couldn't have been happier with our choice.