Web log

Why Gatsby and Netlify?

August 29, 2019

To expand on my previous post, I’m really striving to keep things simple. Many times have I started projects and thought, “This is the perfect opportunity to do this from scratch and learn more about Kubernetes!” (or any other, for the time being, non-essential skill). I still want to learn more about Kubernetes, but that’s an exercise for another time. The main point right here and now is to get a blog up and running. That other stuff can come later.

So why Netlify? Well, I’ve previously used Digital Ocean, and I really love them. I’ve hosted blogs there through their awesome one-click installs. The problem is that I really want a Markdown-based blog, and I preferably want a static site. At least to begin with. That way, it doesn’t matter if I’m offline, which is a common case when I’m writing on the train. When I discovered Netlify, I was pleased to see their many options for static site generators.

If you haven’t guessed it already, this site is built on Gatsby. A couple of years ago I was charmed by Hugo, and I love the Go programming language. Netlify supports them both, so why didn’t I choose to go with Hugo? There are a couple of reasons for that.

First of all, I’ve come to like the Gatsby approach better, where I just create the files I want. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with Hugo’s approach, where I use the command line tool to generate new content. The thing for me is that Hugo would require me to learn new commands, and these commands are only valuable in Hugo. In my opinion, that is a case of brain waste. That brain mental effort is better spent on other things. I could of course choose to not use the command line tool, and just create the files as I please, but then I wouldn’t feel like I was using Hugo as intended.

My second reason for choosing Gatsby over Hugo is that my current job has my stranded in backend Java land for a while, and as a generalist I’m really starting to miss the front end stuff. I really like JavaScript, and I see this blog as an opportunity to improve.

So there you have it. It’s Gatsby on Netlify this time around. Let’s see how long it sticks around. My intention is to use this blog as a sort of brain dump, a place to put solutions to problems I’ve had, or deep dives into topics I’m curious about. You’re welcome to stay.


Written by Simon Wessel.