12 Amazing Plugins for Gatsby.js for 2024

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Tanya A Mishra
on September 04, 2023 · · filed under Technical Writing Gatsby Extension

Gatsby is a blazingly fast static site generator built on React and powered by GraphQL. One of the things that makes Gatsby sites incredibly fast and flexible is its plugin ecosystem. Gatsby plugins are NPM packages that implement Gatsby APIs to extend functionality and customize sites. In this article, we will explore some of the most popular and useful Gatsby plugins for tasks like image optimization, offline support, styling, metadata management, and more.

As per HubSpot, 70% of clients are more likely to buy from a company with a fast-loading website. This means that if your website takes too long to load, people will most probably abandon it. These plugins demonstrate how the Gatsby plugin architecture lets you adapt your site to leverage virtually any JavaScript library or web feature. By mixing and matching plugins, you can craft a Gatsby site tailored precisely to your needs and take advantage of the performance and capabilities of React and modern web technologies.

In this article we will discuss some of the popular plugins and try to provide some insights on how to use them.

What are some of the most popular Gatsby plugins?

Here are a few popular Gatsby themes & plugins:

  1. Gatsby-plugin-image: Enhancing website performance through improved responsiveness of image components is the specialty of gatsby-plugin-image.

  2. Gatsby-plugin-sharp: Addressing image processing and optimization, gatsby-plugin-sarp shines as a plugin that significantly boosts website performance.

  3. Gatsby-plugin-manifest: Empowering users to create web app manifests for Progressive Web Apps (PWAs), Gatsby-plugin-manifest contributes to an enhanced mobile user experience.

  4. Gatsby-plugin-offline: Stepping in during network downtimes, gatsby-plugin-offline is the solution for adding offline support and service workers to ensure seamless user experiences.

  5. Gatsby-plugin-react-helmet: Handling crucial metadata in a document's head, gatsby-plugin-react-helmet takes the lead in optimizing content for search engines.

  6. Gatsby-plugin-sitemap: Simplifying the process of generating SEO sitemaps for search engine visibility, gatsby-plugin-sitemap proves its value.

  7. Gatsby-plugin-styled-components: Supporting the CSS-in-JS approach, gatsby-plugin-styled-components become the cornerstone for achieving elegant website layouts.

  8. Gatsby-source-filesystem: Organizing GraphQL data seamlessly by tapping into system files, gatsby-source-filesystem is a go-to plugin for efficient data management.

  9. Gatsby-transformer-remark: Leveraging the power of Remark, gatsby-transformer-remark converts Markdown files into HTML, streamlining website construction and management.

  10. Gatsby-plugin-google-analytics: Unlocking insights into website performance using Google Analytics, gatsby-plugin-google-analytics becomes an indispensable asset.

  11. Gatsby-theme-docz: Simplifying the creation of comprehensive documentation for Gatsby sites, gatsby-theme-docz facilitates user onboarding.

  12. Docsie-gatsby-plugin: Streamlining the process of crafting website documentation, docsie-gatsby-plugin effortlessly imports data from Docsie workspaces.

How do I use gatsby-plugin-docsie to build documentation websites with Gatsby?

This plugin adds Docsie content to your GatsbyJs website. It can auto generate pages or you can query the graphql yourself to have more control over page creation.

How to Use gatsby-plugin-docsie?

`{ resolve: require.resolve(`gatsby-source-docsie`), options: { deploymentId: "deployment_iigwE2dX4i7JVKmce", [required] generatePages: true, [optional, defaults to true] path: "docs", [optional, root path for slugs of all nodes, no slashes needed, defaults to docs] language: "English", [optional, if not provided defaults to primary language] } }`

Use gatsby-plugin-docsie With Page Generation

By default the plugin auto-generates pages.

You can style the default pages using the following CSS classes:

  • .docsie-main-container

  • .docsie-nav-container

  • .docsie-page-container

  • .docsie-nav

  • .docsie-nav-items

  • .docise-nav-item

Use gatsby-plugin-docsie Without Page Generation

If you need more control on how the content is generated, you can set generatePages above to false, and fetch the data directly from GatsbyJs using graphql.

The plugin adds 4 graphql nodes to GatsbyJs:

  • DociseDoc

  • DociseBook

  • DocsieArticle

  • DocsieNav

You can find an example of how to generate pages in /plugin/createPages.js, and you can also look at /plugin /DocsieTemplate.js for an example of how to build React components.

How do I use gatsby-plugin-manifest to configure a web app manifest?

The gatsby-plugin-manifest plugin allows you to easily configure and generate a web app manifest for your Gatsby site. A web app manifest is a JSON file that provides metadata about your web app, including name, icons, start URL, colors, and more. This allows your site to be installed as a progressive web app on mobile devices with a home screen icon.

To use gatsby-plugin-manifest, first install the plugin:

`npm install --save gatsby-plugin-manifest` Then configure the plugin in your gatsby-config.js file. You can specify properties like name, short_name, start_url, background_color, theme_color, display, icons, etc. For example:

`{ resolve: `gatsby-plugin-manifest`, options: { name: `GatsbyJS`, short_name: `GatsbyJS`, start_url: `/`, background_color: `#f7f0eb`, theme_color: `#a2466c`, display: `standalone`, icon: 'src/images/icon.png' } }` This will generate a manifest.webmanifest file when you build your Gatsby site. Make sure to reference the manifest in your site's HTML template by adding:

`<link rel="manifest" href="/manifest.webmanifest">` Some key things to note when configuring gatsby-plugin-manifest:

  • short_name is a required property for the name displayed on the home screen.

  • start_url configures the start page when launching the app from a device home screen.

  • icon should point to a square png file at least 512x512px.

  • You can configure an array of icon objects for different sizes/densities.

  • display lets you specify if the app launches in fullscreen (standalone) or browser tab (browser).

  • theme_color and background_color define the app's color scheme.

Overall, gatsby-plugin-manifest makes it really easy to configure and generate the manifest file needed to make your Gatsby site installable as a PWA. This improves the mobile experience and allows users to launch your site like a native app.

What is gatsby-plugin-offline and how can I use it to create an offline-capable site?

gatsby-plugin-offline is a Gatsby plugin that adds support for creating offline-capable websites. It uses Workbox, a set of libraries and build tools that make it easy to build Progressive Web Apps.

When installed and configured properly, gatsby-plugin-offline will:

  • Create a service worker file that caches app shell resources like HTML, JavaScript, CSS, media and web fonts. This allows your site to load faster on repeat visits.

  • Cache page data to allow sites to be accessible offline. The plugin will cache pages as users visit them.

  • Add manifest support for "Add to Homescreen" installation.

To use it, first install the plugin:

`npm install gatsby-plugin-offline` Then add it to your gatsby-config.js:

`{ resolve: `gatsby-plugin-offline`, options: { precachePages: [`/about/`], }, }` The key options are:

  • precachePages - Specify pages to precache for offline support. It's important to include the home page here.

  • workboxConfig - Customize Workbox options like runtime caching and manifest settings.

  • appendScript - Inject custom service worker code into the generated service worker file.

Some best practices for using gatsby-plugin-offline:

  • Test your site with the Chrome DevTools Audits panel to catch issues early.

  • Set a short cache expiration time for API data and frequently updated assets.

  • Check the "Update on reload" option in Workbox to ensure users get the latest files.

  • Register a service worker in gatsby-browser.js to control the service worker lifecycle.

  • Consider configuring a fallback page or offline UI for when the user has no connectivity.

Emphasized text Submit your live site to Lighthouse to benchmark your PWA score. Aim for >90.

Overall, gatsby-plugin-offline makes it straightforward to make your Gatsby site work offline. This results in a much better, app-like experience for users who return or lose their internet connection. Be sure to test regularly across browsers and devices to ensure full offline support.

How do I implement Google Analytics on a Gatsby site with gatsby-plugin-google-analytics?

Google Analytics is a popular analytics tool that allows you to monitor and track traffic and engagement on your website. gatsby-plugin-google-analytics is the recommended way to integrate Google Analytics into a Gatsby site.

To add Google Analytics support, first install the plugin:

`npm install --save gatsby-plugin-google-analytics` Then configure it in gatsby-config.js, specifying your Google Analytics tracking ID:

`{ resolve: `gatsby-plugin-google-analytics`, options: { trackingId: 'YOUR_GOOGLE_ANALYTICS_TRACKING_ID', }, }` This will automatically add the necessary Google Analytics tracking code to all pages on your site.

Some additional configuration options include:

  • head - Allows you to add extra scripts to . Useful for additional analytics tools.

  • anonymize - Masks IP addresses if you need to comply with GDPR.

  • respectDNT - Doesn't load GA if users have "Do Not Track" enabled.

  • pageTransitionDelay - Sets timeout for page change analytics events.

  • optimizeId - Enables Google Optimize for A/B testing.

  • experimentId - Adds Google Optimize experiment ID.

  • variationId - Specifies Google Optimize experiment variation.

  • defer - Defers script loading to improve page speed.

  • sampleRate - Sets sampling rate, useful for high traffic sites.

By testing the site, you can ensure that Google Analytics events are being received without any problems. Verify data like pageviews on Google Analytics. Using GA Debugger add-ons, you may check to see if the tracking code is being loaded on sites.

Using the gatsby-plugin-google-analytics implementation of Google Analytics, a Gatsby site may have robust analytics added to it with no effort. Gatsby's code splitting and server-side rendering make it ideal for incorporating Google Analytics. Make sure it displays correctly on each and every page and device your site supports.

What is gatsby-plugin-react-helmet and how can I use it to manage document head metadata?

gatsby-plugin-react-helmet allows you to manage document head metadata in your Gatsby site using React Helmet. React Helmet is a cemphasized textomponent that lets you control elements like title, meta tags, scripts, etc. in the document head.

Some reasons to use gatsby-plugin-react-helmet:

  • Easily set page title, description, canonical URL, JSON-LD, etc. for SEO.

  • Dynamically generate meta tags based on props, queries, etc.

  • Set og:image, twitter:card meta tags for social sharing.

  • Add third-party scripts safely to head without affecting other pages.

  • Works perfectly with Gatsby's server-side rendering.

To use it, first install the plugin:

`npm install --save gatsby-plugin-react-helmet react-helmet`Copy code Then wrap your pages with a component to add metadata:

``import React from "react" import { Helmet } from "react-helmet"

export default () => (

My Title
)`Copy code ``` You can include multiple instances on a page.

Things to note:

  • Use Helmet on pages, templates, components. Not in gatsby-browser.js.

  • Helmet will merge duplicate tags, rather than overwrite.

  • Server-rendered HTML will correctly contain head metadata.

  • Client-rendered HTML will also include metadata.

  • Perfect for dynamically generated titles, descriptions, canonical URLs for each page.

Overall, gatsby-plugin-react-helmet gives you enormous control over document head metadata for SEO, social sharing, UI control. Highly recommended for every Gatsby site. Just be careful not to include it in the wrong places like gatsby-browser.js where server-rendering can't work.

How do I implement a sitemap for a Gatsby site using gatsby-plugin-sitemap?

A sitemap is an XML file that lists the pages on your site and helps search engines like Google and Bing crawl and index your content more efficiently. gatsby-plugin-sitemap is the easiest way to generate a sitemap for a Gatsby site.

To add a sitemap, first install the plugin:

`npm install --save gatsby-plugin-sitemap` Then add it to your gatsby-config.js:

`{ resolve: `gatsby-plugin-sitemap`, options: { output: `/sitemap.xml`, }, }` This will generate a sitemap.xml file in your site's root folder.

You can specify a few options:

  • output - Where to save the sitemap file.

  • exclude - Array of paths to exclude from the sitemap.

  • query - A GraphQL query to filter which nodes to include.

  • serialize - Custom function to format each url in the sitemap.

The plugin will automatically crawl all pages generated from Gatsby nodes and include them.

Some tips for optimal use:

  • Submit the sitemap to Google Search Console for indexing.

  • Ping search engines whenever you update the sitemap.

  • Set a reasonable sitemap cache time using the sitemapSize option.

  • Exclude pages you don't want indexed like user profile pages.

  • Use exclude or query to limit large sitemaps if exceeding 50k urls.

  • Add sitemap url to your robots.txt file.

  • Compress the sitemap using gzip for faster indexing.

  • Dynamically generate sitemap data at build time for freshness.

Overall, gatsby-plugin-sitemap provides an easy way to generate a comprehensive sitemap to improve your Gatsby site's search engine visibility and crawling efficiency. Make sure to customize options for your use case and submit it to search engines for maximum SEO value.

How can I add support for styled-components in Gatsby using gatsby-plugin-styled-components?

Styled-components is a popular CSS-in-JS library that allows you to write component-scoped CSS using template literals. gatsby-plugin-styled-components is the recommended way to add styled-components support to a Gatsby site.

To use styled-components in Gatsby, first install the dependencies:

`npm install --save gatsby-plugin-styled-components styled-components babel-plugin-styled-components` Then add the plugin to your gatsby-config.js:

`module.exports = { plugins: [ `gatsby-plugin-styled-components`, ], }` Now you can import styled-components and create styled elements anywhere in your site:

``import styled from 'styled-components';

const Header = styled.headerbackground: red; color: white;;` ``` Benefits of using styled-components with Gatsby:

  • Scoped CSS avoids conflicts and specificity issues.

  • Works with CSS-in-JS features like theming, mixins, nesting.

  • Integrates smoothly with React component architecture.

  • Lets you create reusable styled components.

  • Supports SSR - critical CSS gets generated.

  • Easy to customize and extend styles.

  • Avoids unwanted code-splitting from CSS imports.

Some best practices when using styled-components:*

  • Use // @ts-ignore comments to avoid TypeScript errors.

  • Enable the named export convention.

  • Use shouldForwardProp to limit props passed to DOM.

  • Customize labelFormat if needed.

  • Consider emotion for slightly better performance.

Overall, gatsby-plugin-styled-components enables excellent integration with Gatsby's build process to use the styled-components CSS-in-JS library. It's a great option for component-oriented styling that plays nicely with React and SSR.

What is gatsby-plugin-sharp and how does it help process images in Gatsby?

gatsby-plugin-sharp is an official Gatsby plugin that handles image processing and optimization using the Sharp image manipulation library. It allows you to transform image files in your static sites and Gatsby apps.

Some key capabilities gatsby-plugin-sharp provides:

  • Resizing images for responsive design. You can define a set of sizes for an image and gatsby-plugin-sharp will automatically generate appropriately sized versions.

  • Cropping and selecting portions of images. Useful for focusing on key areas and thumbnail generation.

  • Format conversion between image types like JPEG, PNG, WebP, and GIF. This helps optimize file size and quality.

  • Watermarking and applying overlays onto images.

  • Optimizing compression, quality, metadata to reduce image file sizes.

  • Processing images using the gatsby-transformer-sharp plugin and GraphQL queries at build time for performance.

  • Lazy loading support through integration with Gatsby Image and gatsby-image plugins.

  • Accepts common image formats like JPEG, PNG, TIFF, GIF, SVG.

  • Can process images hosted locally and remotely.

Install the gatsby-plugin-sharp and gatsby-transformer-sharp plugins and include them in your gatsby-config.js for gatsby-plugin-sharp to work. Filtering by fixed, fluid, or responsive resolution, as well as other properties, may then be applied to the processed photos through GraphQL queries.

In sum, gatsby-plugin-sharp frees up robust image processing resources via Sharp, which can enhance performance and responsiveness. Gatsby relies on it heavily in its image processing pipeline. Play around with its many image processing features to develop professional, high-performing websites.

How do I use gatsby-theme-docz to build documentation websites with Gatsby?

gatsby-theme-docz is an official Gatsby theme that helps you build documentation websites using MDX and React components. It integrates with Docz, a toolkit for technical writing.

Some key features of gatsby-theme-docz:

  • Write docs in MDX - Combines Markdown syntax with JSX components.

  • Theme UI support - Styling with Constraint-based Design System.

  • Code block rendering with Prism.js - Syntax highlighting.

  • Responsive mobile-friendly layouts.

  • Live reloading with Hot Module Replacement.

  • SEO optimization with react-helmet.

  • Docs organized in nested routes.

  • Sidebar navigation generation.

  • Quick search documentation content.

  • Dark mode support.

  • Customizable layouts and components.

To use gatsby-theme-docz:

  1. Install theme and Docz dependencies.

  2. Add gatsby-theme-docz config to gatsby-config.js.

  3. Create docs using MDX in src/pages.

  4. Customize theme by shadowing components.

  5. Deploy documentation site.

It provides a great developer experience for writing technical and component documentation using familiar tools like React and Markdown. And generating a Gatsby site means the docs get all the performance and capabilities of Gatsby like pre-rendering.

Overall, gatsby-theme-docz offers a straightforward way to create documentation websites leveraging Gatsby speed and React component architecture. It's ideal for developers writing technical component libraries and APIs.

How can I customize and configure gatsby-theme-docz?

The gatsby-theme-docz theme has a number of options to customize the style, layout, components, and behavior to suit your documentation needs.

Some key ways to configure and customize gatsby-theme-docz:

  • Set themeConfig in gatsby-config.js - Change colors, fonts, styles.

  • Shadow docz components- Override internal components by placing replacements in src/gatsby-theme-docz/

  • Custom doc layout - Shadow the docz/Wrapper.js layout component.

  • Add MDX components - Import and register components that can be used in MDX.

  • Modify sidebar nav - Adjust links and structure.

  • Custom theme - Pass a Theme UI theme object to themeConfig.

  • Add global CSS - Import a CSS file in gatsby-browser.js.

  • Plugin options - Set options like docgenConfig when configuring the plugin.

  • Custom index page - Shadow the index MDX page.

  • Change page metadata - Set frontmatter in MDX pages.

  • Add headers/footers - Use docz/Layout wrapper components.

  • Integrate auth - Pass auth provider config and wrap routes.

  • Algolia integration - Enable search with Docz algolia plugin.

  • Custom 404 page - Create a 404.mdx page.

  • Deployment to GitHub Pages - Use pathPrefix in gatsby-config.js.

  • Extended Markdown features - Add Markdown-it plugins.

  • Modify Prism theme - Pass prismTheme to themeConfig.

Overall, gatsby-theme-docz is built to be customizable to your docs site needs. Take advantage of its extension points like component shadowing and layout wrapping to craft a polished docs experience using Gatsby and MDX.

Incorporating Gatsby.Js with Docsie.io

Docsie.io is a platform that aids in all your enterprise documentation needs. Save time and simply documentation by centralizing all your work in one location without the need of diverse tools. Instead of leveraging Markdown files, Gatsby and Docsie come along together to enable efficient development of websites as well as documentation.

The efficient and useful gatsby plugins have a ton of benefits, as mentioned in this blog. These plugins can be used in Docsie as well. So, click on this link to generate a gatsby document via docsie.


In summary, Gatsby plugins provide an enormous range of functionality to customize and extend Gatsby sites by tapping into the power of the React ecosystem and JavaScript language. Popular plugins like gatsby-plugin-image for responsive images, gatsby-plugin-manifest for web app manifests, and gatsby-plugin-styled-components for CSS-in-JS styling demonstrate how plugins enable developers to easily integrate modern web capabilities. The vibrant Gatsby plugin community means there's likely a plugin already available for many common web development tasks. Learning to leverage Gatsby plugins unlocks the true potential and productivity of building with Gatsby. With the right set of plugins selected for your use case, you can craft a blazing fast, modern website tailored exactly to your needs.

Key Takeaways

  • The plugin ecosystem for Gatsby increases its speed and versatility, making it simple for developers to add new features and modify existing ones.

  • Website speed is enhanced by plugins like gatsby-plugin-image and gatsby-plugin-sharp, which enhance pictures for responsive design.

  • To improve the user experience even when there is no network connection, gatsby-plugin-offline may be used to generate offline-capable webpages using service workers.

  • The gatsby-plugin-react-helmet takes care of the metadata in the document's head, making it suitable for search engine optimization and social media sharing.

  • The gatsby-plugin-sitemap produces XML sitemaps for better crawling and indexing by search engines.

  • To facilitate component-scoped CSS with top-notch performance, the gatsby-plugin-styled-components incorporates styled-components.

  • webpages for Technical Documentation: gatsby-theme-docz makes it possible for programmers to use MDX and React components to create webpages for technical documentation.

  • Gatsby plugins provide a great deal of configuration choices, from theming to component shadowing, allowing the framework to adapt to a wide range of requirements.

  • The wide variety of plugins created by the active Gatsby plugin community streamlines and simplifies the process of building websites.

  • Gatsby plugins allow programmers to easily incorporate cutting-edge web features, resulting in lightning-fast, individualized websites that are optimized for speed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q.1 How can I use the gatsby-plugin-sharp image optimizer in Gatsby?

The Sharp library is used by the gatsby-plugin-sharp. You may resize, trim, change the format, and even add a watermark. You may process pictures throughout the build process by configuring it in gatsby-config.js and then using GraphQL queries.

Q2. When using Gatsby, how can I add Google Analytics tracking code?

If you want to integrate Google Analytics monitoring into your Gatsby site, the gatsby-plugin-google-analytics is the way to go. To begin tracking and monitoring user activity, edit gatsby-config.js and include your tracking ID.

Q3. How can I utilize the gatsby-theme-docz documentation website template?

Using MDX and React components, the gatsby-theme-docz is an approved Gatsby theme for creating documentation webpages. In order to provide flexible and thorough documentation, it is necessary to install the theme, create MDX pages in the src/pages directory, and modify the theme.

Q4. How do I utilize the gatsby-plugin-sitemap to generate an XML sitemap?

For SEO purposes, XML sitemaps may be generated with the help of the gatsby-plugin-sitemap. After the plugin has been installed and its settings have been adjusted in gatsby-config.js, a thorough sitemap will be built automatically from pages generated by Gatsby nodes.

Q5. Which Gatsby plugins are there, and how can I use them to make my site better and bigger?

With Gatsby plugins, you can get many different features, such as picture optimization, information management, offline support, and more. With the right tools and careful changes to their settings, you can make a fast, reliable website.

Q6. What does Gatsby's community of plugins mean for the future of designing and building websites?

Gatsby's large community of plugins makes it easy for developers to add cutting-edge web features to their sites without much work.

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