I can use React to build websites, and it won’t take forever to load and it’ll play nice with SEO?
That’s the dream. And that’s why I keep coming back to Gatsby whenever I want to toss a small static website together. I’ve used it for a few projects now, including this one, and every time I’m left… wanting. I don’t really have strongly thought out reasons to say that. And on a technical level, it seems to deliver everything it promises (it’s react, but static, hosted for free and easily on netlify), so I should be happy.
Yet. No matter how proficient I am in React (and I’m pretty damn fast), I always get about halfway through and I start to wonder if it would have been faster/easier to just toss a simple wordpress/squarespace pre-built site together and customize it with content and images and be done with it. I get that websites are important, maybe even this one is, but it’s just not where my heart is. I like to build experiences for users, in applications that are making people’s lives better. As much as I love React, I don’t find writing gatsby marketing websites to be nearly as satisifying.
So, this post isn’t really about Gatsby at all. It’s about valuing my own time, and trying to prioritize working on things that I find fulfilling such as Dev Internship Dotcom, the applications that power it, or the applications we build together. That’s where I really enjoy myself, because that’s where I’m really adding value.
Gatsby is a fine piece of technology, and maybe we’ll even cover it in one of our internships some day. But just because it’s a fine piece of technology, powered by another piece of technology that I’m quite partial to, doesn’t mean I have to love it. It’s a tool, designed to solve a problem I’m just not passionate about.
And maybe that’s why this website was built to try to look like an application.