(re)Building my website with Astro + MDX + Preact
Relaunching my website, again based on another Typescript SSG framework. 🚀 Not React-Static anymore, not even React "at all". Introducing the magnificent Astro. 🌔
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.
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
- ✅ (extensible) Markdown & MDX support.
- ✅ Fully SSG first.
- ✅ with opt-in, micro client side islands.
- ✅ with opt-in route pre-fetching support.
- ✅ 100/100 Lighthouse performance.
- ✅ SEO-friendly with canonical URLs / OpenGraph.
- ✅ Sitemap support.
- ✅ 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.
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.
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:
- Exploding showcase of awesome websites built with Astro.
- Impressive development pace since v0 to the recent v2.
- Growing number of integrations and extensions.
- Comprehensive documentation, accessible, easy to use.
- Volume of issues closed.
- Structured, transparent approach via RFCs.
- High energy in discord sever.
- Exciting community call videos.
Congrats to all the people involved this! SSG with Astro is kicking ass!
😍 Great dev experience.
🏆 An SSG for the next decade.
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 - 👋 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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