Add Data into Gatsby GraphQL: Webmentions Example

Add Data into Gatsby GraphQL

Add Data into Gatsby GraphQL: Webmentions Example


🧱 Adding Data into Gatsby GraphQL Data Layer

Gatsby's data API can seem tricky to get to terms with, so here we look at a practical example, using Webmentions. Webmentions is a free service which lets you track user interactions with your website pages on social platforms like Twitter. As an example, once set up, you can use the API to query how many people have shared or retweeted a Tweet. If you are familiar with Gatsby, you will know it has a built in GraphQL data layer, allowing you to access data in your page components. Typically you will add a plugin to add new data. Here, though we will add data into Gatsby GraphQL manually, using the Gatsby Node API . We use Webmentions as a practical example which you can add to your existing projects.

Add Data into Gatsby GraphQL: Graph i Q L screnn capture showing a query for Web mentions data fields.
Add Data into Gatsby GraphQL: What we're Building: GraphiQL Screen Capture

There are a couple of Webmentions plugins, though we roll our own here, essentially. That way we can later leverage the code to add data into Gatsby GraphQL from any API.

⚙️ Configuring the Webmentions Service

There are a few steps to set up the service. Daily Dev Tips has a fantastic article which tells you how to set up Webmentions . Just follow the five steps in that piece. For step 3, as we are working in a React framework, to add the tag to our page head, we can use the React Helmet package , and add this code to a Layout component :

import { Helmet } from 'react-helmet';
const Layout = ({children}) => (
<link rel="webmention" href="" />
<link rel="pingback" href="" />

Once you have set up Webmentions, you will need your Webmentions API key. You can find this by logging into and heading to the settings page . The API Key is at the bottom of the page. Make a note of it, you will need it shortly.

😕 Querying the Webmentions API

All the work we need to do for Gatsby to query the Webmentions API and then add data into Gatsby GraphQL is in the gatsby-node.js file. Let's write a function to query the API getting the latest mentions:

const getMentions = async ({ domain, token, reporter }) => {
try {
const mentionsPerPage = 100;
const response = await fetch(
'per-page': mentionsPerPage,
const json = await response.json();
return camelcaseKeys(json.children);
} catch (error) {
if (error.response) {
} else if (error.request) {
reporter.warn('No response received when fetching WebMentions.');
} else {
reporter.warn('Error setting up WebMentions fetch. ', error.message);
return null;

The domain variable will be the domain you set Webmentions up on and token your API token. These will be passed in when we call the function in the next step. reporter is a function in the Gatsby API which we use here to output warnings to the console.

Let's look at the sourceNodes API call next, this is where we do the heavy lifting.

🏋️🏽 Gatsby sourceNodes API

We use the sourceNodes API to pull in data and add it to Gatsby's GraphQL layer. It is called as Gatsby sets up our site. We will use Angelo Ashmore's gatsby-node-helpers to generate some of the data sourceNodes needs. Let's install that first:

npm i camelcase-keys gatsby-node-helpers node-fetch query-string

We also install query-string which we referenced in the fetch call in the previous section as well as node-fetch itself. Finally camelcase-keys converts the object keys in the Webmentions object we create from the API call result.

With that out of the way we'll code up our sourceNodes function:

1const camelcaseKeys = require('camelcase-keys');
2const { createNodeHelpers } = require('gatsby-node-helpers');
3const fetch = require('node-fetch');
4const queryString = require('query-string');
8exports.sourceNodes = async ({
9 actions,
10 createNodeId,
11 createContentDigest,
12 reporter,
13 cache,
14 store,
15}) => {
16 const { createNode, createTypes } = actions;
18 const nodeHelpers = createNodeHelpers({
19 typePrefix: 'WebMention',
20 createNodeId,
21 createContentDigest,
22 });
23 const WebMentionEntryNode = nodeHelpers.createNodeFactory('Entry');
24 const fetchLimit = 10000;
26 const typeDefs = `
27 type WebMentionEntry implements Node {
28 type: String
29 author: WebMentionAuthor
30 authorImage: File @link(by: "id", from: "authorImage___NODE")
31 content: WebMentionContent
32 url: String
33 published: Date @dateformat
34 wmReceived: Date @dateformat
35 wmId: Int
36 wmPrivate: Boolean
37 wmTarget: String
38 wmSource: String
39 wmProperty: String
40 likeOf: String
41 mentionOf: String
42 inReplyTo: String
43 repostOf: String
44 bookmarkOf: String
45 rsvp: String
46 slug: String
47 }
48 type WebMentionAuthor {
49 type: String
50 name: String
51 url: String
52 photo: String
53 }
54 type WebMentionContent {
55 text: String
56 html: String
57 }
58 `;
59 createTypes(typeDefs);
61 const mentions = await getMentions({
64 perPage: fetchLimit,
65 reporter,
66 });
67 if (mentions !== null) {
68 mentions.forEach(async (element) => {
69 const url = new URL(element.wmTarget);
70 const node = WebMentionEntryNode({
71 ...element,
72 id: element.wmId.toString(),
73 slug: url.pathname.slice(1),
74 });
75 createNode(node);
76 if ( !== null && !== '') {
77 const fileNode = await createRemoteFileNode({
78 url:,
79 parentNodeId:,
80 createNode,
81 createNodeId,
82 cache,
83 store,
84 });
85 if (fileNode) {
86 node.authorImage___NODE =;
87 }
88 }
89 });
90 }
  • You will see, in line 6, we pull in two environment variables: WEBMENTION_DOMAIN and WEBMENTION_TOKEN. Don't forget to add these to your .env files. The first is the domain we registered with Webmentions. The second is the API key we got earlier from

  • In lines 2658 we define all the Webmentions types which exist on the object we pull in. The types are needed for GraphQL. It is important to update these if you are using this code for a different API.

  • In line 30 we pull in the author image as a File type. The actual variable is just a string containing the URL for the image. By defining the type this way we can later access and process the image using the Gatsby Image API .

  • In line 61 we actually call the getMentions function which we defined in the previous section.

It's definitely worth setting up Webmentions on one of your projects at least so you have a working example of how to add data into Gatsby GraphQL. You can then use that code as a starting point if you need to add data from any other API into your project's GraphQL.

🙌🏽 That's all Folks!

In this post we learned:

  • how to use the Gatsby sourceNodes API,
  • setting up Webmentions for your site,
  • how to add data into Gatsby GraphQL.

I hope you found this useful. Let me know if I can improve the content in any way. Also,I am keen to hear which APIs you will use this code on. You can leave a comment below, @ me on twitter or try one of the other contact methods listed below.

🙏🏽 Add Data into Gatsby GraphQL: Feedback

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