We inherited a GatsbyJS+WordPress site at work and it was pretty cool and fast so I decided to use the same stack for the 2021 version of my personal site. It was a thing, that’s for sure.

I know React pretty well because I have a good amount of experience in Gutenberg development, but the full-service all-JavaScript-all-the-time development experience was interesting. Our work project uses styled-components, but I personally loathe CSS-in-JS so I stuck with a traditional Sass setup. If you think about it, then, instead of the full-service all-JavaScript-all-the-time development experience it was really more like an all-JavaScript-all-the-time-oh-except-for-this-one-little-thing development experience. Solid.

My favorite thing about Gatsby is that it automagically handles two of the more annoying things about modern web development: webpack and image handling. I have absolutely no problem admitting that I have no idea how to make webpack do useful things; I just copy and paste someone else’s config and hope the right things happen (but let’s be honest here, without the magic of copy and paste the entire modern web development industry would collapse). (Incidentally, I’m about 76% sure that no one really knows what they’re doing and just copy and paste someone else’s configuration, but that’s a different post.)

Image handling is another thing that’s so obtuse right now that I just trust Gatsby to do something useful (which makes me feel pretty good about the future of the industry but that’s also a different post). I was pleasantly surprised when Gatsby automagically handled images within WordPress content without any extra fiddling beyond what was already required and what’s even better is that Gatsby preserved WordPress’s alignment classes (e.g. alignleft) so your existing CSS will work.

Not to get too arrogant right now, but I feel pretty good about how everything turned out given that this was my first real foray into Real Web Development™. All of the code for the site is on my GitHub, so if you want to end the good times, go ahead. I don’t have a lot of social media right now, but I do have a Twitter.