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Benefits of Gatsby JS: Compared to Other Frameworks

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Gatsby JS is one of the most popular open-source JavaScript frameworks for developing static websites, feature-rich and naturally SEO optimized. Whether you need a blog or a dynamic landing page, Gatsby JS technology is increasingly popular amongst developers.

It was launched in 2015, and already, based on the May 2020 W3Techs Technology Market Report, Gatsby JS is one of the fastest-growing open-source JavaScript frameworks. It was created as a way of building websites more easily using React.

Gatsby JS is named after Jay Gatsby, the main character in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s, 1925 best-selling novel, The Great Gatsby. Leonardo DiCaprio played Gatsby in the equally popular 2013 film of the same name, based on the novel. Literary and film references aside, Gatsby JS is an incredibly useful and popular framework, and one that is being used the world over to build everything from static landing pages to blogs and eCommerce websites. 


What is Gatsby JS?

According to the Gatsby website, it’s “on a mission to make building websites fun”, and they’re aiming to make simple the hardest part of developing websites: “Performance. SEO. Security. Integrations. Accessibility.”

Similar to other open source frameworks, an individual developer is responsible for initially creating and launching it. In the case of Gatsby JS, the developer is Kyle Mathews, who’s now the founder of a company that supports the ongoing development of the framework (alongside open source, community-based contributions of course), creation of websites in the framework for clients, consultancy work, and cloud hosting services (Gatsby Cloud).

Gatsby Inc. now has a team of developers and other professionals supporting the creation of websites in the framework, and the work of this company directly benefits the evolution of the framework, it’s popularity, and involvement of the open source community.

Picture 1. What is Gatsby JS.

Whether through working with Gatsby Inc., or in-house or external developers creating websites using the framework, a growing list of impressive companies and brands have used it for web design purposes. Companies such as PayPal, SendGrid, IBM, Spotify and numerous others, have used the Gatsby JS development framework for website design and development.


Why developers use Gatsby JS technology?

Similar to other static website generators, such as Hugo and Jekyll, Gatsby JS is designed to make it easier to create websites, but in this case for Javascript. With a particular focus on making it easier to create websites using React.

Sites created using this framework are Progressive Web Apps, which means they’re optimized to perform faster than other websites, giving users an overall better experience. Gatsby JS benefits from integrations with a wide range of progressive technologies, such as ReactJS, Webpack, GraphQL, ES6+, JavaScript, and CSS.

It also benefits from having an active and engaged community of developers using it. From the perspective of developers wanting to use it, or companies getting websites built using this framework, that’s a definite advantage. This ensures that thousands of other developers around the world are creating websites using the framework.

An active open source framework means that if you encounter a problem, or need a specific feature, widget, or something a bit different, someone could have already created what you need and it could be accessible to the whole open source community. Hence the massive ecosystem of Plugins, Themes and Starters that you can benefit from. Or they’ve already overcome a problem you have encountered, and therefore the solution exists, making it easier for you to overcome the same problem too. 

Picture 2. Advantages of Gatsby technology for developers.


What are the advantages of Gatsby JS?

Speed is so important in this day and age. Web visitors want and expect fast websites. It’s essential, and therefore mission critical for the success of any website. If a website doesn’t load in 3 seconds, 50% of website visitors will leave and almost certainly never come back. 

Gatsby JS brings together static website (Progressive Web App) generation alongside incredibly fast and intelligent page rendering and generation. This ensures these websites are super fast and really smooth to use, from the perspective of web visitors.

Data. Gatsby JS comes with a data layer built on GraphQL, which means it’s easy to pull in and use data from a wide number of sources, and then have them rendered alongside one another. For example, content can be pulled together from a WordPress blog, a Shopify store, and JSON from a payment processor, all on a single website.

Build quickly and easily. Another advantage, for website developers and companies wanting websites built, is the process is quicker and easier than other website generators, or building a website from scratch. You have the advantage of using a wide range of progressive technologies, such as ReactJS, Webpack, GraphQL, ES6+, JavaScript, and CSS.

There’s also everything the community has created, and is continuing to create, such as hundreds of Plugins, Themes and Starters. Technology built-into the framework, such as JavaScript, Git, CI/CD, and APIs, gives developers more time to work on the application code, without needing to worry as much about maintaining it and optimizing it in production.

Scale and deploy easily too, with Gatsby Cloud. Or you can use other cloud and CDN providers, such as Cloudflare, AWS Cloudfront, Akamai, and Netlify. All of this ensures a website is launched with instant scalability, and speed, while also protecting sites from traffic spikes and server-side vulnerabilities.

With all of these advantages, it’s worth taking a look at the sort of websites that have been built using Gatsby JS, and other features and benefits from the ecosystem, in this showcase: https://www.gatsbyjs.com/showcase/ 

Picture 3. Benefits of Gatsby technology.

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