Gatsby JS is a static site generator that is used to create high performance websites. Built on top of React, it weaves together some of the better parts of GraphQL, react-router and webpack for a brilliant developer experience. This means a much faster site, taking a lot less time to build! Due to the increased speed they tend to be higher converting, and because they are made up entirely of static files security is increased.
At the end of the day, this is the point that most businesses care about the most. It keeps the lights on, and allows us to keep making fun things! There are a few statistics that really shine a light on how valuable Gatsby can be.
The BBC found that they lost 10% of users for every additional second the website took to load. The Trainline reduced their website load time by 0.3 seconds and increased revenue by an extra £8 million a year. On top of this Google found that 53% of mobile users abandon sites that take over 3 seconds to load. There is no doubt that page speed is a major contributor to business performance. Not only that, but when a website is fast it has been found the users return time and again for the same great experience.
Rather than relying on servers to generate pages dynamically, Gatsby pre-renders all of them on build. This means lower server costs combined with faster pages speeds. Because of this, more money can be spent on CDNs for a blazing fast and smooth experience for users all around the globe. Because the site can be built when a change has been made and not required at any other point, it makes Gatsby a great choice for marketing sites. Build up, push live and let them convert.
If there is a security fault on a website, it can open up potential legal issues. Especially with the continual pressure from GDPR and users understanding of correct data usage.
As Gatsby websites are static files, there is no database that can be hacked or accessed. User data is not stored on the website. CMSs and APIs have vunerablities which can be exploited, Gatsby only has the data that it is showing to all users. The safest possible scenario!
With the performance boost and features that increase the smoothness of the user experience, Gatsby aims at a full app-like experience similar to full PWAs. There are no reloads between pages and the website appears smooth and quick due to lazy-loading images and code-splitting.
Using multiple micro-services (providers such as WordPress, Segment, Stripe) rather than one monolithic system (Magento) allows a fully customisable system. They fall into place easily, and the system can be improved and updated without damaging the whole site. I cover this in far more detail in my article on The Rise of the Content Mesh, if you want to find out more.
This agile approach allows the business to scale as needed rather than being tied into a single solution.
I write regularly about the benefits of working with Gatsby, and the tips and tricks used to make sure the development experience is as smooth as possible.
If you have a question, send me a message on Twitter and I will get back to you as soon as I can! It would be great to hear from you.