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My first experience with Gatsby

Ezekiel Ekunola
November 4th, 2019 · 2 min read

I recently built my portfolio website using Gatsby and I want to talk about my experience using Gatsby, what I enjoyed and the challenges I faced.

What is Gatsby

Gatsby is a free and open-source framework based on React that helps developers build blazing-fast websites and apps. Gatsby can be used to build static sites that are PWA, high performant and follows the web standard. Read more about Gatsby here.

What I enjoyed

  • Performance: Gatsby makes fast applications. Gatsby follows Google’s PRPL (Push, Render, Pre-Cache, Lazy-load) standards for building apps that work well even during unreliable network connections. Find out more about why Gatsby is fast here.

  • It’s React: I had experience working with React already, so it was very easy for me to work with Gatsby as I was able to understand what was going on.

  • Good Documentation: Gatsby has good documentation, so it was easy for me to learn how to use packages and plugins like gatsby-image, gatsby-source-filesystem, gatsby-plugin-react-helmet and so on when developing.

  • It uses GraphQL: Gatsby uses GraphQL for managing data, and can be used for creating/generating pages, querying data and so on. I had always wanted to learn how to use GraphQL, Gatsby allowed me to do that. I learned how to use GraphQL when querying data on Gatsby. Learn more about why Gatsby uses Graphql here.

  • Good Community: Gatsby has a good community and learning resources, and starters to help you get started quickly, and I also got to find solutions to challenges I had quickly.
  • Get started easily: You can easily get started with Gatsby, as Gatsby has lots of starters that can get you easily started.

  • Plugins: Gatsby has a plugin system that makes it easy to extend the functionality of Gatsby e.g Responsive image support, Typescript support. Find out more here.

Challenges I faced

  • When developing my portfolio, I mostly got the error TypeError: Cannot read property 'internal' of undefined when starting the application. To solve this error, I had to delete the .cache directory at the root of the project and restart the application by running gatsby develop on the terminal.
  • I also ran into issues when using the GraphQL playground, I changed my Graphql query in the code but was not reflecting on the Graphql playground until I had to refresh the playground.

I also ran into some other issues like querying for an image with a relative path and sizing an image with Gatsby Image, which i solved by googling, checking documentation and StackOverflow.


In conclusion, developing with Gatsby has been fun and easy to work with, and proven to be the perfect tool for me to develop my portfolio with.

Portfolio Link:

Find resources to learn more on Gatsby below

If you have any questions or feedback about this article or my portfolio, please feel free to reach out on Twitter

Thanks for reading.

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