What is Gatsby?
100 Days of Gatsby Code 2021 Challenge offers a chance for web developers familiar with Gatsby to level up on recently added features. It also offers a chance for anyone new to Gatsby but with a working knowledge of React to get to know it. What is Gatsby though? Gatsby JS is tool for creating blazing fast static websites. It generates static websites and is built on the React library developed at Facebook.
Gatsby's core includes a GraphQL layer which makes it easy to pull in your data from locations as diverse as your WordPress blog and your Shopify store. It has a built-in GraqhiQL viewer which is super useful for creating queries, just by clicking, instead of having to write, then debug lines and lines of code.
Is the 100 Days of Gatsby Code 2021 Challenge Worth the Effort?
The coding challenge will take up some (but hopefully not a lot) of your time, eating into your time affluence. Do you get enough out of the 100 Days of Gatsby challenge to make it a sensible investment of your time? Firstly, I would say it is worth it if you enjoy coding and have the time to spare. Gatsby is built on React JS. If you already know React, the extra investment to get to know Gatsby is small. The 100 Days of Gatsby Code 2021 Challenge will hold your hand guiding you through the steps of building a blazing fast website.
Why Bother with the 100 Days of Gatsby Code 2021 Challenge if you Already Know Gatsby?
So I have made the case for doing the challenge if you are new to Gatsby, but what if you are already familiar with Gatsby? Well another great feature of the 100 Days of Gatsby challenge is that it forces you out of your comfort zone in terms of the Gatsby features and tools. Gatsby brought in a lot of new features last year, including:
- File System Route API for generating site pages from a template,
- New Image API optimised to improve page speed,
- AVIF image support.
Although I have already incorporated the new Image API into my projects — to get the incredible speed improvements — I was a bit slower in adopting the File System Route API. Working on the challenge helped me see there was nothing to fear, and that it really is quite simple to get going on. In fact a lot simpler than the older method of generating pages templates
by accessing the createPage action in the
gatsby-node.js config file.
Besides working with new features the 100 Days of Gatsby Code 2021 challenge has got me to try new services. I have set up a Contentful account and hosted my site on Gatsby Cloud. I had previously tried Contentful as part of Andrew Mead's free The Great Gatsby Bootcamp tutorial.
There were some issues getting it working, probably due to my machine's strict firewall, privacy and security settings. At the time I had already tried Prismic (and got it working easily) so didn't see the need to pursue making Contentful work. However with the 100 Days of Gatsby Code Challenge I gave it another go. It turns out the problem was related to the HTTP proxy. Resetting the configuration by including a few lines of code in the
gatsby-config.js worked the magic I needed to get going:
As well as Contentful, the 100 Days of Gatsby Code 2021 challenge has got me to try out Gatsby Cloud for hosting the site. Previously I had been more comfortable with Netlify . I'm still tweaking the Gatsby Cloud config, but noticed Gatsby Cloud is serving an
x-robots-tag: none header. This makes the Lighthouse SEO rating drop from 100 to 91. I am not sure if this can be switched off or if it is something you have to tolerate with a free account. Let me know if you have had similar issues.
How to get Going
The challenge started on the 1st of January, but the first steps are quite easy and do not take much time. For that reason it definitely is not too late to start if you are keen to get involved. For the challenge you create a website for a (fictitious) startup. 100 Days of Gatsby Challenge 1 , basically involves setting up a very simple Gatsby site with a few routes and a Contentful connection. I have already completed that step and am eagerly waiting to see what else the challenge has in store.
You can see my attempt at the challenge on the live Gatsby Cloud site at rodneylab100daysofgatsbymain.gtsb.io . The source code is also available on the Rodney Lab git hub page .
I hope you found this post useful. Are you already working on the 100 Days of Gatsby Code 2021 Challenge or do the 2020 challenge? Would be keen to hear what you got out of the experience. Also if you have any tips or ideas related to this post, would love to hear them. Let me know via @askRodney on Twitter, askRodney on Telegram or see other ways to get in touch with Rodney Lab. If you have found this post useful and can afford even a small contribution, please consider supporting me through Buy me a Coffee.
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