Tyler Dean

How I made this website

July 02, 2021

I made this website with Gatsby, Netlify, and coffee. I prefer Gatsby to Wordpress for its simplicity, fast load times, and freedom from databases.

Learning Gatsby

To learn Gatsby, I started with a foundational understanding of Javascript and moved onto React. Gatsby is built on top of React and uses a querying language called GraphQL to manage data. No need to host a database and PHP server for Wordpress. I write content in Markdown files, and Gatsby generates my static Javascript websites using GraphQL queries.

Deploying the site

I use Git for version control and deploy the site to Netlify, a free static website host. The deployment process is clean and quick, and Netlify handles everything from domain names to TLS to web forms.

Managing content

Gatsby wouldn't be great if I needed to manually rebuild the website every time I added a blog post or changed a photo. Enter a Content Management System, where I (or my clients) can update the site in a graphical user interface, then automatically rebuild the website with the new content. I've used Sanity in the past and am experimenting with Netlify CMS.


Gatsby is a great tool for large and small static sites and can replace Wordpress for the most common website needs. To see whether Gatsby is right for you, see my guide to launching a website.