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(re)Building my website with Astro + MDX + Preact

Relaunching my website, again based on another Typescript SSG framework. πŸš€ Not React-Static anymore, not even React "at all". Introducing the magnificent Astro. πŸŒ”


Previous version of the website, back from 2019, was also SSG but built with React Static, which is now sponsor-less and in maintenance mode.

Meanwhile, my website's core metrics have been degrading over the last 3 years and I could use the opportunity to dream up some exciting new features.

After some reflection about the (great) react-static + unified.js experience I am moving on to something newer, faster, better.

Why Astro?

Is this the static site generator I have always been looking for?

I have been having a great experience while helping friends build the Button School website and it really delivers on some of the promises.

It is a great experience

  • Easy to setup, uncomplicated.
  • Sensible defaults but extensible.
  • Amazing documentation.
  • Fast builds.
  • Very fast development server.

It meets all my requirements

  • βœ… (extensible) Markdown & MDX support.
  • βœ… Fully SSG first.
  • βœ… with opt-in, micro client side islands.
  • βœ… with opt-in route pre-fetching support.
  • βœ… 100/100 Lighthouse performance.
  • βœ… SEO-friendly with canonical URLs / OpenGraph.
  • βœ… Sitemap support.
  • βœ… RSS Feed support.

Of course, there are always some trade-offs to consider, but no deal breakers there.

The project looks very healthy

I did chose the smaller community when I chose React Static. Kudos to Tanner Linsley, great work! But eventually React Static died out, and 4 years flew by 😡 meanwhile.

I wanted to make sure the next iteration of this website doesn't run into the same oops, so I have been watching Astro's community for signs.

And the signs are all good.

Solid foundation

First of, Astro is built on a solid, well supported, but also quite modern stack:

It uses vite as a build orchestrator, famous for already using ESM during development, which noticeably speeds ups HRM. Also under the hood, rollup.js. The Vite + Rollup pair is definitely mature, well tested, firmly set in our landscape for a while.

Astro's Markdown and MDX capabilities are also built around a super solid ecosystem. As I blogged ✍️ recently, in my opinion, Unified.js is going to be around for a long time.

Plugin architecture

Astro has a neat plugin architecture and plenty of tools to plug in already.

I am already using the following:

Also, because Unified.js has a pipeline architecture, you can plug in any remark and rehype plugins as you want.

I am already using:


Finally, the community looks very healthy, high energy, operating at high performance, and well governed.

Just take a look at:

Big kudos

Congrats to all the people involved this! SSG with Astro is kicking ass!

😍 Great dev experience.

πŸ”₯ Fast.

πŸ† An SSG for the next decade.

Next steps

Take it to the next level! Tweak this website until it provides me with that 🀩 awesome experience while authoring the content, and it provides you - πŸ‘‹ hey there! - with a pleasant, performant, and accessible experience.

Then on to make it entertaining, informative, and useful as well.

On the next post I describe my ideal MDX authoring experience and later I'll explain what I did to make it happen.

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