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Cover image for #08: Build a Blog - With Astro!
Nitya Narasimhan for Microsoft Azure

Posted on • Originally published at github.com

#08: Build a Blog - With Astro!

Welcome to Week 2, Day 1 of #30DaysOfSWA!!

In Week 1 we covered core concepts for Azure Static Web Apps - from development to API-enablement, security, configuraton and deployment.

Today, we kick off Week 2 with a focus on seeing SWA in action - using popular web development frameworks and static site generators to build and deploy different kinds of applications. We kick things off with a look at Astro - a modern static site generator with a BYOF ("Bring your own framework") approach.


What We'll Cover

  • What is a static site generator?
  • What is Astro?
  • Build & Deploy a Personal Blog with Astro
  • Exercise: Try the tutorial to deploy your personal blog!

Static Site Generators

The term "static site generators" (SSG) refers to tools that automatically build static webpages for you, populating a chosen template with your custom content or data. The code generation is transparent to you, making it possible for even non-developers to setup custom static websites quickly.

Static site generation is a growing trend for fast, flexible website creation. But it requires an external service to handle hosting and build/deploy workflows. This is where Azure Static Web Apps comes in! Check out the SWA documentation for tutorials featuring popular SSGs like Hugo, Jekyll and Gatsby. We'll explore some other examples later this week.


Hello, Astro!

Today's post will however focus on Astro, one of the rising stars of JavaScript in the Static Sites category. Astro is a static site builder that works like an SSG but with some novel features that set it apart.

  • Bring your own framework (React, Vue, Svelte, web components)
  • Compose your website using that framework's UI components
  • Astro now renders a fully-static (all HTML, no JavaScript) website

Astro emphasizes fast performance with less JavaScript - and takes a partial hydration approach that allows it to load the minimal required amount of JavaScript, if and when absolutely necessary. Here's a quick overview of Astro.


Astro + SWA

In today's tutorial, we walk through the steps required to:

The end result will look like this.
Personal Blog with Astro

Here are the key links to know:

Then check back tomorrow for a new usage example and tutorial - this time, with a focus on React - as we continue to explore Azure Static Web Apps in action!

Exercise

Here are a couple of options to try, to get more hands-on experience:

  • Clone the template project and follow the tutorial to build and deploy your personal blog.
  • Visit the Astro Themes page and try using a different starter project, then deploying it to Azure Static Web Apps.

Resources

Check out these other tutorials using more traditional static site generators:

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