Top 5 Gatsby.js Books for Beginners in 2021


Gatsby is a modern site generator and is one of the most popular tools for building websites today. It consists of React.js, GraphQL, Webpack and other modern technologies.

In this article, I’ve compiled a list of best Gatsby books for beginners through a collection of book reviews.

Each book review will highlight the taste of the book, the contents covered, and how it can benefit you. 


Why Learn Gatsby?

If you want to delve into the world of front-end development with something simple and sleek, then Gatsby.js is for you!

  • Speed: It is blazingly fast! Gatsby.js is going to be way faster than many of the alternatives.

  • Plugins: Gatsby Has a Rich Plugin Ecosystem. There are amazingly useful plugins that are available at Gatsby's official website, which you can install and use. They will speed up your work and make your website look feature rich.

  • ReactJs based: Gatsby.js works with React. The React.js community is powerful and you can use the existing techniques and components of React.js here.

  • SEO: The use of GatsbyJs enables your websites to harness a lot of optimization techniques used by the internal code. This helps your website to rank higher in search engines.

  • Ease of use with Markdown: You can use Markdown in Gatsby that makes things very simple. Whenever you need to write a new blog or article, all you need to do is add a new markdown file and push the code.

  • Gatsby is open-source: Gatsby has a solid team open-source community and great documentation.


What Makes Best Gatsby Books? 

Here are our criteria for selection of the books:

  • The book should contain a variety of instructional materials, including exercises, examples, questions, learning activities, and other features that promote a programmer’s engagement and active learning.

  • It must have a structured, clear, and logical progression of topics.

  • Content must be up-to-date and should thoroughly teach and explain the basic concepts of Gatsby JS.

  • Use clear, precise, and easy-to-understand language.

  • The book should have a clear layout and must be friendly toward self-taught programmers.


Best Books on Gatsby

Here, we have reviewed a list of five excellent Gatsby.js books for beginners.

1. Best Book for Hands-on Learners: Foundation Gatsby Projects: Create Four Real Production Websites with Gatsby

Foundation Gatsby Projects by Nabendu Biswas will enhance your Gatsby skill set by building a series of ready-to-use web sites. You will learn to use Gatsby alongside the other technologies, including Contentful, Twillio, and Stackbit.

This book includes seven chapters and has 452 pages. The contents covered in these chapters are:

  • Creating an Agency Site

  • Creating a Blog Site Using Stackbit

  • Creating a Tourism Site with Contentful: Part One

  • Creating a Tourism Site with Contentful: Part Two

  • Creating a Tourism Site with Contentful: Part Three

  • Creating a Tourism Site with Contentful: Part Four

  • Creating a Video Chat Site

As you go through the book, you will be able to:

  • Use Contentful CMS with Gatsby

  • Build sites quickly with Stackbit service

  • Develop a video chat site similar to Skype with Twilio services 

  • Deploy all sites in Netlify

  • Add functionalities with the powerful Gatsby plugin ecosystem 

  • Integrate advertisements

This book for anyone who wants to create a site using Gatsby. Start reading this book and get ahead of the crowd.


2. Best Book for Completionists: Practical JAMstack: Blazing Fast, Simple, and Secure Web Development, the Modern Way

Practical JAMstack by Frank Zammetti shows you how to create sites and apps on the JAMstack using GatsbyJS. You will learn to build three separate projects. It starts with a relatively simple site and then a more robust and dynamic application to get insight into API usage and data storage.  Finally, to fit together all the pieces, you’ll learn to build a game on the JAMstack.

The book is divided into eight chapters and the contents covered are:

  • Chapter 1 gives you the introduction of JAMstack 

  • Chapter 2 talks about making a simple Sandwich with JAMstack

  • Chapter 3 talks about bringing in the Big Guns: Gatsby

  • Chapter 4 takes a deep dive into React

  • Chapter 5 talks about building JAMboard

  • Chapter 6 covers the “A” in JAMstack

  • Chapter 7 talks about JAMstack for fun

  • Chapter 8 talks about completing the Game

This book is the best guide you will find to learn the Gatsby framework.


Other books you may be interested in:


3. Best Book for Serious Learners: Using Gatsby and Netlify CMS: Build Blazing Fast JAMstack Apps Using Gatsby and Netlify CMS

Using Gatsby and Netlify CMS by Joe Attardi helps you to leverage the powerful new combination of Gatsby and Netlify CMS. You will be able to create a React-powered website using the Gatsby framework for the frontend, and Netlify CMS as the content backend.

In this book, you will gradually learn to build a website for a coffee shop that includes a blog and a bakery/coffee menu that is customizable through Netlify CMS. The book is divided into fourteen chapters and the contents are:

  • Chapter 1 introduces the Netlify CMS

  • Chapter 2 gives you Gatsby Crash Course

  • Chapter 3 talks about setting up the Example Project

  • Chapter 4 talks about setting up the Netlify CMS

  • Chapter 5 covers the Netlify CMS Application

  • Chapter 6 covers the Sourcing Blog Data

  • Chapter 7 covers the Dynamic Page Creation

  • Chapter 8 covers Blog Pagination

  • Chapter 9 talks about adding more content

  • Chapter 10 talks about creating the Coffee Menu

  • Chapter 11 talks about working with Images

  • Chapter 12 talks about customizing the CMS

  • Chapter 13 covers the Editorial Workflow

  • Chapter 14 is the wrap up

This book is an ideal guide for anyone looking to build their own sites and manage their own content.


4. Best Book for Step by Step Learners: Jumpstart Jamstack Development: Build and deploy modern websites and web apps using Gatsby, Netlify, and Sanity

Jumpstart Jamstack Development by Christopher Pecoraro and Vincenzo Gambino uses a hands-on approach to implementation and related methodologies. The book will have you up and running with modern web development in no time.

The book is packed with step-by-step explanations of essential concepts, practical examples, and self-assessment questions.

After reading the book, you will be able to:

  • Discover the Jamstack approach and build speedy, secure, and accessible websites and web apps with its component technologies

  • Build an events website by using the Jamstack and the Gatsby static site generator

  • Create and modify your templates and pages to build creative web apps

  • Build, modify, and extend structured content schemas in Sanity

  • Understand Gatsby plugins, project structure, and files, and how it can be used to build Jamstack apps

  • Find out how GatsbyJS uses GraphQL to source content

By the end of this book, you’ll have gained the knowledge and skills you need to install, configure, build, extend, and deploy a simple events website by using the Jamstack. This book is a must read.


5. Best Book for Practical Learners: Gatsby E-Commerce: A Practical Introduction to Creating E-Commerce Sites with the Gatsby Framework

Gatsby E-Commerce by Alex Libby simplifies the process of setting up a Gatsby e-commerce site from start to finish. This project-oriented book provides a starting toolset that you can use to develop future projects and incorporate into your existing workflows.

After reading the book, you will be able to:

  • Implement e-commerce sites using Gatsby

  • Explore some of the options for architecting an e-commerce site using this framework

  • Gain an appreciation of pointers around maintenance requirements and ancillary needs (such as SEO)

  • Compare your site to others that use different tools

  • Work through a project from start to finish, understanding what can be achieved using Gatsby, and where other tools may need to be brought into play

The contents of the book will help you learn:

  • How to source data

  • Build a catalog

  • Add a blog

  • Finesse your site (including performance)

  • Implement the checkout and payment processes with the help of third-party tools such as Stripe

  • Deploy to production

  • Learn to migrate existing WooCommerce sites to Gatsby, and adapt for mobile.

This book helps you to use the Gatsby framework to rapidly create and deploy e-commerce sites that are performant and secure, with the minimum of fuss.


More Ways to Learn Gatsby

We hope our book curation will help you to pick the right book to learn Gatsby JS.

If you have made it this far then certainly you are willing to learn more from online courses and tutorials. Here's a list that can help:

  • Udemy:

    • Gatsby Tutorial and Projects Course is a 22-hours high-rated Udemy course by John Smilga. It will help you to learn how to create Blazingly Fast Websites/Projects with Gatsby.

    • Gatsby.js for beginners created by Bluelime Learning Solutions will let you learn to build and deploy static websites quickly.

In case you want to explore free online resources, suggest here over 70 coding resources. Do check it out.

Good luck on your journey with the Gatsby.js!

Miranda Limonczenko

Miranda is the founder of Books on Code, with a mission to bring book-lover culture to programmers. Learn more by checking out Miranda on LinkedIn.

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