Two-ish years ago, I joined Gatsby as an engineer on the Open Source team, drawn by the pure magic ✨ of the open source framework. As a frontend engineer, I wanted to use Gatsby for everything, whether it was my personal blog (still up and powered by Gatsby!), my former company’s website — ultimately, all the websites. I wanted to use Gatsby for everything. The source plugin ecosystem, the GraphQL data layer, the blazing fast, optimized result that scored 💯’s out of the box in all Lighthouse categories….It was love at first
sight hot reload.
Much has changed in the last two years. One thing has not: The realizable vision of Gatsby helping all stakeholders (Marketers! Developers! Content editors!) to build a better web without losing sight of who ultimately matters most: the user. Our mission at Gatsby is to help bring these disparate stakeholders together without compromising the experience for end-users who demand a high-performing website that they love to use.
We are truly thrilled to announce how we’re continuing to help make this mission a reality with some exciting launches for everyone, from developers to marketers, involved in building a modern website. Without further ado…
Today, we’re thrilled to announce the immediate availability of a best-in-class CDN, built on a Fastly-powered global edge network optimized for delivering high-performance sites, and accessible to all users of the Gatsby Cloud platform right now.
Occasionally, with all the bells, whistles, and admitted complexity of the modern website, we lose sight of the simple objective of what we’re all trying to do: build and publish a performant website and make it available to our end users with a URL. That’s it, that’s all folks!
In the past, our users ran into an acute pain point: The (fastest) builds are great, and getting the fastest builds for Gatsby sites is why they chose Gatsby Cloud. However, fast builds matter little when they’re undermined by slow deployment times. Users need fast builds and fast deploys, and ultimately, we weren’t fast enough for your needs. Your teams don’t care about the fastest builds in the Cloud if they’re (still) waiting to deploy to another CDN. The entire journey must be optimized, and so today we are delivering the end-to-end solution you demand, with the fastest builds, fastest deploys, and a world-class CDN.
This has already resulted in >50% improvement for some users of Gatsby Cloud in their overall build and deploy times. As an example, we migrated (sneakily 👀) gatsbyjs.com to this edge network back in December. Our deploy times dropped from ~20 – 30 minutes to… (drum-roll please!) 1-2 minutes — a 15x improvement.
Gatsby Hosting makes it easier than ever to build the modern web. Finally, all the pieces are here, working together for the same goal: Making Gatsby the best dev environment and the best content creator workflow. Marketers can comfortably make content changes in a headless CMS. Developers can open pull requests for delightful new features and functionality, validating their work is just so (insert chef’s kiss emoji) with a Deploy Preview. Everyone on every team is able to fully collaborate with ease through custom shareable URLs, backed by the latest and greatest capability of Gatsby Cloud, today.
It has been over two years since the last major version of Gatsby. This doesn’t mean we’ve been sitting on our laurels resting. We are committed to making Gatsby the best open-source framework, plugin ecosystem, and developer experience anywhere. Releasing Gatsby v3.0 is a culmination of months and years of effort. In effect, it’s a love letter in the form of meeting the needs of the frontend developer in sync with the ever-changing frontend landscape.
We’re launching several exciting features today with Gatsby v3.0. Some highlights:
- Incremental Builds comes to open source. We’ve removed the experimental flag on conditional page builds, improved the quality and robustness, and we’re making as many builds as possible truly incremental.
- Gatsby Plugin Image. We’ve doubled down on one of the biggest strengths of Gatsby, its robust, optimized image handling and made it even better, particularly in making it easier to use and more performant!
- Faster and optimized local developer experience. We’ve sharpened up and made the local development experience even faster, sometimes by as much as 70%, by only fetching what you need, when you need it. Like a helpful robot awaiting you every demand 🤖
- Fast Refresh ‘errything. Building upon the foundation laid in Gatsby v2, we incorporated all the latest and greatest updates to deliver an even better local better developer experience — with an error overlay that is more accessible, reliable, and intuitive.
- WordPress and Contentful. While not strictly tied to this release, we’ve released recent major releases of WordPress (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Contentful (email@example.com) to continue to make our integrations better, faster, and stronger for you and your team.
- Updates to all major dependencies. We’ve taken the time to apply some tender love and care (TLC) to our dependencies. We’ve updated the major ones, including full support for React 17, Webpack 5, GraphQL 15, and more to incorporate all the latest and greatest bug fixes, security patches, and features.
Shopify (Release Candidate)
We’ve heard from many key partners and collaborators that Gatsby for headless e-commerce is a natural, obvious union. Of course, this makes perfect sense if we evaluate the benefits and value of Gatsby, the open-source framework. Specifically:
- The best images for end-users. Best-in-class image handling (that just became even better, today)
- Your site never goes down, ever. A thriving source plugin ecosystem where, with the rise of headless, content management systems are treated as merely data sources
- Superior performance leads to better conversion rates
- Gatsby’s powerful GraphQL data layer orchestrates multiple data sources so digital teams can produce more immersive product marketing experiences on every kind of platform.
Today, we’re announcing a release candidate of our updated Shopify source plugin, which enables first-rate support for sourcing Shopify data in Gatsby and Gatsby Cloud. Incremental Builds, CMS Preview, and faster for all stakeholders are available today.
The release candidate of Shopify improves the build performance of Gatsby sites powered by Shopify 16x, in early testing. Case in point: a Shopify site having over 500 products (SKUs) previously would take 2-3 minutes or more to build. It now takes <10s. Even more impressive, an incremental build on a ten thousand product site only takes 12s 🚀.
But Wait, There’s More! (AKA “…one more thing”)
Our ultimate mission is to bring developers and marketers together to create high-performance websites. We want both to feel like superheros, with no compromises and no sacrifices. Not just allowing both coders and content providers to choose their own best-of-breed tools — we aim higher than that. We want to empower everyone involved in building websites in creating something they’re proud of, that solves real problems and above all is fun to build with moments of delight every step of the way.
We are thrilled to see all these ambitions come together today as we announce early access to Gatsby Functions. Yes, that’s right: we’re building upon the best-in-class edge network foundation we announced today by augmenting it with serverless functions that enable developers to build in dynamic functionality that scales and enables dynamic functionality to “static” websites built with Gatsby. The use cases are seemingly infinite, but to ideate on a few:
- Enable a contact form to update (remote) state in Airtable with registrations and contact info
- Send an SMS to your users, who subscribe to said contact form, when there’s more information available
- Fetch dynamic content, like updates made behind the scenes to a backend database or content store
- … and so on 🚀
Gatsby Functions enable a team to iterate rapidly without needing a world-class DevOps team, or dedicated backend engineers to finely tune the complicated infrastructure required to enable scalable backend services. Soon we will deliver Gatsby Functions support which will be yet another seamless feature between the open-source framework that works best in the Gatsby Cloud platform.
We plan to continue to iterate, refine, and incorporate ongoing feedback from users to ensure we’re delivering a tip-top experience for your entire team. Please sign up here to learn more about how to get started using Gatsby Functions.
Welcome to the Gatsbyverse
Today we’re closing the loop on creating a seamless Gatsby journey: a modern developer workflow integrated directly into a world-class CDN, every step custom-architected to deliver the optimum Gatsby experience. I like to call this “The Gatsbyverse,” but ultimately, whether you call it a unified experience, an end-to-end solution, a one-stop shop, it ultimately doesn’t matter. What matters is that we’re optimizing every aspect of what is required for teams building sites using Gatsby.
The web is an incredible medium. Anyone, anywhere can produce a site and ship their ideas to the world, delighting their users. We’re committed to making Gatsby the way to build on the web, for everyone. Security, performance, accessibility, and ability to choose your preferred tools and workflow should be the default for the way we build websites — not nice to haves, with hoops to jump through. There are still many more improvements to be made, further innovations to be captured, and we need your help to keep defining, refining, and iterating.
Today is a recognition that we’re closer than we’ve ever been, but we still have more to do to realize this mission, and enable a better web for all key stakeholders. It’s time to build something great.
To learn more about the newest Gatsby Cloud capabilities, register for our upcoming webinar “Achieving the Optimal Web Experience by Hosting in Gatsby Cloud” on March 23, 2021.