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Sticky Footer in GatsbyJS using Flexbox

mokkapps profile image Michael Hoffmann Originally published at mokkapps.de on ・2 min read

I have recently developed some static websites based on GatsbyJS which have a sticky footer. A sticky footer is always positioned on the bottom of the page, even for sparse content.

Unfortunately, I had some struggle to solve this and I, therefore, want to share my learnings with you.

Non-GatsbyJS solution

In a traditional HTML, CSS, JavaScript application we can use different ways to implement such a fixed footer but I prefer the Flexbox solution of Philip Walton.

Flexbox provides a nice solution for the sticky footer problem. It can be used to layout content in horizontal and vertical direction. So we just need to wrap the vertical sections (header, content, footer) in a flex container and choose which one should expand. In our case, we want the content to automatically take up all the available space in the container.

Following, you can see his solution:

<body class="site">
  <header></header>
  <main class="site-content"></main>
  <footer></footer>
</body>

The corresponding CSS classes:

.site {
  display: flex;
  min-height: 100vh;
  flex-direction: column;
}

.site-content {
  flex: 1;
}

Take a look at the live demo.

GatsbyJS solution

GatsbyJS is based on React and we, therefore, have to think different.

The basic layout.js file from the official GatsbyJS default starter has a similar structure like the following example:

const Layout = ({ children }) => (
  <StaticQuery
    query={graphql`
      query SiteTitleQuery {
        site {
          siteMetadata {
            title
          }
        }
      }
    `}
    render={data => (
      <>
        <Helmet
          title={data.site.siteMetadata.title}
          meta={[
            { name: 'description', content: 'Sample' },
            { name: 'keywords', content: 'sample, something' },
          ]}
        >
          <html lang="en" />
        </Helmet>
        <Header siteTitle={data.site.siteMetadata.title} />
        <div>{children}</div>
        <Footer />
      </>
    )}
  />
);

export default Layout;

So if we would style <body></body> and the <div>{children}</div> as proposed in Philip Walton’s solution it would not work.

But why? Because it would mean that the <Footer/> component would be included in the <body></body>.

To solve the problem I added a new <div></div> tag which is the equivalent to the <body></body> tag of the above mentioned example.

So my layout.js looks this way:

const Layout = ({ children }) => (
  <StaticQuery
    query={graphql`
      query SiteTitleQuery {
        site {
          siteMetadata {
            title
          }
        }
      }
    `}
    render={data => (
      <>
        <Helmet
          title={data.site.siteMetadata.title}
          meta={[
            { name: 'description', content: 'Sample' },
            { name: 'keywords', content: 'sample, something' },
          ]}
        >
          <html lang="en" />
        </Helmet>
        <div className="site">
          <Header siteTitle={data.site.siteMetadata.title} />
          <div className="site-content">{children}</div>
          <Footer />
        </div>
      </>
    )}
  />
);

export default Layout;

The CSS:

.site {
  display: flex;
  min-height: 100vh;
  flex-direction: column;
}

.site-content {
  flex-grow: 1;
}

You can see a working example on my GitHub Traffic Viewer website. The first page shows a spare content but the footer is stuck to the bottom. If you sign in and see the result list, the footer is also shown on the bottom of the page.

Example Website

I hope this post is also helpful for you if you try to implement a sticky footer in a GatsbyJS website.

Happy Coding!

Posted on Sep 2 '18 by:

mokkapps profile

Michael Hoffmann

@mokkapps

Freelance software engineer from Germany with focus on Angular

Discussion

markdown guide
 

What's wrong with using position:fixed? It can be combined with flexboxes and it does not require JS.

 
 

I did not know that. Thank you, looks handy.

Yeah with flexbox and CSS grid you can't use position: fixed;
You use position: sticky;

 

Have you read this? philipwalton.github.io/solved-by-f...

The idea is not fixing the footer, or making it sticky, but to make sure the footer is on the bottom of the viewport even though the entire page is smaller, and of course just have it run it's natural course when the page is larger than the viewport

 

Genius!
This is so simple and works a treat.

 
 

Thank you so much for taking the time to share this with us. You saved me a lot of time. Thanks again!

 

Thank you SO much! I've been trying everything to get the sticky footer to work on gatsby!

 

Great! You just saved me quiete some time, thank you!