Gatsby JS is a React-based static site generator. If you don't know what that means then you are not alone! Put most simply, Gatsby JS is a platform that enables developers to create faster, more secure, more attractive websites that are just better. Traditional WordPress websites rebuild the site every time someone loads a page, communicating with the hosting server to ask questions like "do you have any new blog posts I need to display?" or "did you change any text". In comparison, when an edit is done to a Gatsby JS site, the update is saved, and the site is then rebuilt into a static form, this static form can then be quickly sent assembled to the end-user on the browser. Each time an edit is made, the entire site is rebuilt on the server ready to be sent out to end users all over the world.
These differences may seem small and somewhat trivial, however, these differences are what allowed us to get a desktop speed score on this site of 95%. Additionally, as an industry shift begins to occur with more website developers harnessing the power of Gatsby JS, the amount of software that works seamlessly with this website is growing and fast enabling developers to do more than ever before.
Now that you have a basic overview lets get into our top 5 reasons why we have moved our website to Gatsby JS:
1. Website Speed
Compared to traditional WordPress sites, the structure and design of Gatsby JS allow for it to remove previously necessary steps when loading, less steps means faster loading, faster loading means better user experience and better user experience means better search engine ranking. In addition, the amount of support on how to optimise your Gatsby JS site even more is growing.
2. No Hosting Cost
In Australia good website hosting costs north of $400, it doesn't take a genius to workout that this means every 5 years you are spending over $2000 just to have your website exisiting like an Amoeba floating. With Netlify you can host your website completely for free! Your total savings over 5 years would be $2000, if you are a small business we know you could put those dollars to good work.
3. Increased Search Engine Ranking
Whilst, upon its first release Gatsby JS was know to have some limitations in terms of SEO, this is no longer the case. With simple SEO plugins you can gain all the features you would benefit from on WordPress and use them to boost your organic traffic. Plus the improved speed and usability of your Gatsby JS site may even help increase your search rankings.
4. No More Over Complicated Backends
With WordPress websites you interact with the same backend as the developer does. Why is this a problem? Well because you are probably not a developer, and so 90% of those menus are useless to you! With a Gatsby JS site, there are options to connect it to a WordPress backend if you wanted, but there are also a number of other backend options that allow you to edit and update your content in a simple and easy way. There is also no possibility of you somehow breaking your website, as your developer has to carefully connect each element they think you might wish to edit.
5. Less Maintenance
Given the simplified nature of Gatsby JS sites, there are less opportunities for your site to become compromised, or for something to break. Everything simply works. This means you probably don't need to keep paying that costly web retainer, or if you still want that peace of mind if something does go wrong, because the risks are so much smaller, the retainer will also be smaller than a traditional website retainer.
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