The Gatsby team shipped an update to its source plugin for WordPress, graduating it to a beta release. The new version brings a new set of features to Gatsby’s headless WordPress configuration, which brings together WPGraphQL and WPGatsby to power a Gatsby front-end that pulls in data from WordPress.
If you haven’t encountered these plugins before, that’s probably because they’re only available on GitHub rather than the WordPress Plugin Directory.
And if you’re wondering what the big deal is, then you’re in for a treat because this may very well be the most straightforward path to using React with WordPress. WPGraphQL turns WordPress into a GraphQL API server, providing an endpoint to access WordPress data. WPGatsby optimizes WordPress data to conform to Gatsby schema. Now, with the latest version of gatsby-source-wordpress@v4, not only is the GraphQL schema merged with Gatsby schema, but Gatsby Cloud is tossed into the mix.
That last bit is the magic. Since the plugin is able to cache data to Gatsby’s node cache, it introduces some pretty impressive features that make writing content and deploying changes so dang nice via Gatsby Cloud. I’ll just lift the feature list from the announcement:
- Preview content as you write it with Gatsby Preview
- Update or publish new content almost instantly with Incremental Builds, available only on Gatsby Cloud
- Links and images within the HTML of content can be used with gatsby-image and gatsby-link. This fixes a common complaint about the original source plugin for WordPress.
- Limit the number of nodes fetched during development, so you can rapidly make changes to your site while creating new pages and features
- Only images that are referenced in published content are processed by Gatsby, so a large media library won’t slow down your build times
- Any WPGraphQL extension automatically makes its data available to your Gatsby project. This means your site can leverage popular WordPress SEO, content modeling, translation, and ecommerce plugins through a single Gatsby source plugin.
Live previews are super nice. But hey, check out the introduction of incremental builds. That means no more complete site rebuilds when writing content. Instead the only things that get pushed are the updated files. And that means super fast builds with fewer bugs.
Oh, and hey, if you’re interested in putting a React site together with WordPress as the CMS, Ganesh Dahal just started a two-part series today here on CSS-Tricks that provides a step-by-step walkthrough.