Light themeDark theme
Starting Gatsby Website in Less than 15 Minutes

Starting Gatsby Website in Less than 15 Minutes

11/03/20214 min read.

Welcome to Gatsby (or GatbyJS), a powerful framework for static site generation that leverages GraphQL and React. Gatsby’s popularity is increasing, and more and more people are starting to use it. One of the reasons for this is its ability to help you create a simple static website straightforward and quickly.

Using the tutorial below, you should have an up and running Gatsby site in no time.

Quick start

  1. Create a Gatsby site.

Use the Gatsby CLI to create a new site, specifying the gatsby-starter-blg as a starter template.

```shell

create a new Gatsby site using the blog starter

gatsby new my-blog-starter https://github.com/gatsbyjs/gatsby-starter-blog
  1. Start developing.

Navigate into your new site’s directory and start it up.

shell cd my-blog-starter/ gatsby develop

  1. Open the source code and start editing!

Your site is now running at http://localhost:8000.

Note: You`ll see a second link as well: http://localhost:8000/___graphql. GraphQL explorer is a tool you can use to experiment with querying your data. Learn more about using this tool in the Gatsby tutorial.

Open the my-blog-starter directory in your code editor of choice and edit src/pages/index.js. Save your changes and the browser will update the website in real time.

What`s inside

A quick look at the top-level files and directories you`ll see in a Gatsby project.

html . ├── node_modules ├── src ├── .gitignore ├── .prettierrc ├── gatsby-browser.js ├── gatsby-config.js ├── gatsby-node.js ├── gatsby-ssr.js ├── LICENSE ├── package-lock.json ├── package.json └── README.md

  1. /node_modules: This directory contains all of the required modules that your project depends on (npm packages). They are automatically installed when specified in package.json(see below).

  2. /src: This directory will contain all of the code related to what you will see on the front-end of your site (what you see in the browser) such as your site header or a page template. src is a convention for “source code”.

  3. .gitignore: This file tells git which files it should not track / not maintain a version history for.

  4. .prettierrc: This is a configuration file for Prettier. Prettier is a tool to help keep the formatting of your code consistent, and I highly recommend using it.

  5. gatsby-browser.js: This file is where Gatsby expects to find any usage of the Gatsby browser APIs (if any). These allow customization/extension of default Gatsby settings affecting the browser, as well as importing files into the Gatsby project.

  6. gatsby-config.js: This is the main configuration file for a Gatsby site. This is where you can specify information about your site (metadata) like the site title and description, which Gatsby plugins you’d like to include, etc. (Check out the config docs for more details).

  7. gatsby-node.js: This file is where Gatsby expects to find any usage of the Gatsby Node APIs (if any). These allow customization/extension of default Gatsby settings affecting pieces of the site build process. Creating pages, blog posts and similar settings.

  8. gatsby-ssr.js: This file is where Gatsby expects to find any usage of the Gatsby server-side rendering APIs (if any). These allow customization of default Gatsby settings affecting server-side rendering.

  9. LICENSE: Default Gatsby starter is licensed under the 0BSD license. This means that you can see this file as a placeholder and replace it with your own license.

  10. package-lock.json (See package.json below, first). This is an automatically generated file based on the exact versions of your npm dependencies that were installed for your project. (You won’t change this file directly).

  11. package.json: A manifest file for Node.js projects, which includes data like npm packages versions, dev dependencies, metadata (the project’s name, author, site URL etc.). This manifest is how npm knows which packages to install for your project.

  12. README.md: A file in markdown format, usually containing useful reference information about the project (how to install, development overview etc.)

Learning Gatsby - Tutorials, APIs, Documentation

Looking for more guidance? Full documentation for Gatsby lives on their website. Here are some of the places to start:

For most developers, I recommend starting with their in-depth tutorial for creating a site with Gatsby. It starts with zero assumptions about your level of ability and walks you through every step of the process.

To dive straight into code samples, head to Gatsby documentation. In particular, check out the Guides, API Reference, and Advanced Tutorials sections in the sidebar.

And there you have it, a fully functional Gatsby site which you can upload to your web server. Make sure to test your new website in Lighthouse, Pingdom, GTMetrix or similar page speed tools, to really see the amazing speed of Gatsby websites.

Until next time, take care & happy coding!