Gatsby Bricks - Behind the Scenes

June 12th, 2019

Building websites is not as cool as building Legos, let's be clear. Still, part of the reason I built this website was to learn more about an emerging web development methodology often referred to as the JAMStack.

First some context: by day (and sometimes by night) I am a web developer/architect at Mediacurrent. We do CMS integrations primarily using Drupal, but we're starting to adopt many JAMStack solutions, such as Gatsby, serverless backends and Netlify.

I think JAMStack methodology really represents a sea change. Here's why:

  • Serverless solutions like Google Cloud functions and Firebase take a huge devops/sysadmin burden away from your team and make decoupled architecture way easier to implement.
  • Static site builders like Gatsby provide super-fast load times and reduce a site to being merely a set of static files that you can put on a CDN.
  • Due to this new simplicity, next-gen hosting solutions like Netlify can streamline site spin-ups and deployments to a whole new level.

I built this website to learn and evaluate some specific technologies that are part of JAMStack-land.

Technology Responsibility
Gatsby Static site builder, renders all pages and writes to filesystem.
React Client-side Javascript framework, handles component building and interactive features.
Elastic Lunr Client-side search index
Netlify Hosting provider
Contentful Decoupled CMS. Blog posts, builds, build types and builders are managed here.
Material UI UI components for forms.