I recently started DBM Solutions Inc. so that I could return to contracting/freelancing. Seeing as it was a new company, it needed a new website. Naturally, being a Drupal guy, my first thought was let's build this in Drupal. However, with the meteoric rise in decoupled sites, and a slew of new tools, I decided to try something different. I began experimenting with React and Angular, and eventually stumbled across Gatsby and Netlify.

Gatsby & Netlify logos

When you put those two tools together, you get a very fast, easy to use static site. There is no database back-end like in Drupal, no PHP, just plain old HTML, CSS and Javascript. Gatsby uses React to build your site, but its final output is just those three things. The process is pretty straight-forward and is a workflow I really enjoy: develop on your local machine, commit and push to Github, link Github to Netlify, and then Netlify builds your site on each commit to Github.

GitHub logo

As an added bonus, I found Stackbit that offers themes already integrated with Gatsby. So I grabbed one of their templates and built the site you see now. It's been changed a lot to fit my requirements - removing extraneous pages, updated styling, etc. Oh, and it also integrates with Netlify CMS, so that I have a nice editor to write my blog posts (and other content) in. Netlify CMS does not use a database back-end, it simply outputs Markdown files, so those are part of the codebase. I can even edit them manually in a code editor if I wanted to.

Stackbit logo

There are a couple of things I don't really like about the setup, but for now it will do. For example, I want a simpler HTML DOM structure, I want to use Grid CSS, the back-end setup of Gatsby is a little odd and it doesn't actually seem to use GraphQL. I'm still learning all this stuff, but I'll probably rebuild this whole thing from scratch at some point. I just wanted something decent out there before too much time passes.

I'll be posting about all this stuff as I learn it, as well as Drupal stuff, of course, so stay tuned.