Is Gatsby a CMS?

5 mins

When it comes to content management systems (CMS), there are a variety of popular options to choose from. WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal are some of the most common options, but is Gatsby a viable CMS option?

Gatsby has plugins that work with several headless CMS services, including Contentful and Ghost.

If you use WordPress there’s no need to switch because it also supports the REST API which can be used as an alternative way of editing content without having any extra software installed on your computer or mobile device!

What is the Gatsby Platform?

Gatsby is a free and open-source framework based on React that helps developers build blazing-fast websites and apps.

Its main focus is speed and performance, which is why it’s used by some of the biggest companies in the world, such as Airbnb, Netflix, and Twitter.

Furthermore, because Gatsby uses modern technologies like React and GraphQL, it’s also perfect for creating dynamic web applications.

In a nutshell, Gatsby is a tool that lets you create static websites that are incredibly fast and responsive. But unlike other static site generators, Gatsby uses powerful modern technologies like React and GraphQL to make your website more interactive and engaging.

What is a CMS?

A content management system (CMS) is a software application or set of tools that enables you to create, edit, manage, and publish content. It supports multiple users with different roles who can collaborate in the creation and publication of content.

A CMS typically has two components: a content management interface (CMI) and a content delivery application (CDA).

The CMI is the front-end interface through which users interact with the CMS. This could be a web-based interface, a desktop application, or even a mobile app. The CDA is the back-end engine that powers the CMS and delivers the content to end users.

There are many different types of CMSs available, ranging from simple systems that enable you to create and manage basic websites, to complex enterprise solutions that support large-scale digital businesses.

Is Gatsby a CMS?

Gatsby is a free and open-source framework based on React that helps developers build blazing-fast websites and apps.

While it is not a traditional content management system (CMS), it does offer some unique capabilities that make it well-suited for certain types of projects. 


For example, Gatsby uses GraphQL to fetch data from a variety of sources, which means that you can easily pull in data from third-party APIs or your own database.

Additionally, Gatsby’s static rendering eliminates the need for a backend server, which can result in significant performance gains.

Of course, there are also some drawbacks to using Gatsby – it requires a bit more developer expertise to set up and use, and it’s not as widely adopted as some other frameworks.

However, if you’re looking for a fast and flexible way to build dynamic websites, Gatsby is definitely worth checking out.

Do I Need a CMS for Gatsby?

No, you do not need a CMS for Gatsby. However, if you want to use one, there are some excellent choices available.

For example, integrates really well with Gatsby and can make your life a lot easier when it comes to managing content.

Is Gatsby a Full Stack Framework?

No, Gatsby is not a full-stack framework. It is a static site generator that turns React code into HTML and CSS. This means you will still need to use a backend technology to create dynamic content and handle user data.

However, Gatsby does offer some features that make it easier to work with data from a backend, such as its GraphQL interface.

The Best CMS for Gatsby

If you’re looking for a CMS to use with Gatsby, there are a few options to choose from.

Here are some of the best CMS for Gatsby:

Forestry CMS

Forestry is a headless CMS that’s built specifically for static sites. It has an intuitive interface that makes it easy to manage your content, and it integrates seamlessly with Gatsby. Plus, Forestry comes with Git sync out of the box, so you can easily push your changes to GitHub or Bitbucket.

Netlify CMS

Netlify CMS is another popular option for Gatsby sites. It’s open source and free to use, and it integrates well with Netlify’s hosting platform (which is also designed for static sites). It also supports media uploads, so you can easily add images and other files to your posts and pages.

Contentful CMS

Contentful is a commercial headless CMS that offers a free tier for small projects. It’s got a great set of features, including support for media uploads, taxonomies, and preview environments. And like Forestry and Netlify CMS, Contentful integrates seamlessly with Gatsby.

The Benefits Of Using Gatsby CMS

There are numerous benefits of using Gatsby CMS.


One key benefit is that it helps to speed up the process of website development. With Gatsby, you can quickly create and iterate on content, without having to worry about setting up a complex content management system. This can save you a considerable amount of time and effort in the long run.

Another key benefit is that Gatsby CMS makes it easy to create well-structured content. With its built-in content hierarchy and flexible block system, you can easily create pages and posts that are well organized and easy to navigate. This can be a valuable asset for both users and search engines.

In addition, Gatsby CMS provides a wide range of features and plugins that can further improve the process of website development.

Finally, with the help of plugins, you can easily add social media integration, contact forms, e-commerce functionality, and much more. This makes Gatsby an extremely versatile platform that can be used for a wide range of projects.

Overall, there are many compelling reasons to use Gatsby CMS for your next web development project. With its vast array of features and benefits, Gatsby is sure to help you save time, money, and effort in the long run.

The Limitations of Gatsby CMS

Gatsby is one of the newer kids on the block when it comes to CMSs. While it has a lot of potentials, there are also some limitations to consider before using it for your next project.

One limitation of Gatsby is that it relies heavily on React, which not everyone is familiar with. React is a JavaScript library for building user interfaces.

While it’s becoming more popular, not all web developers are familiar with it yet. This can make learning Gatsby more difficult for some people.

Another limitation is that Gatsby can be challenging to use for larger projects. This is because it’s designed for static sites, which are typically smaller than dynamic sites.

So if you’re planning on building a large website, you may want to consider another CMS like Drupal or WordPress.

Additionally, Gatsby doesn’t have as many plugins and themes available as other CMSs yet. This means there’s less support if you run into problems while using it.

Finally, Gatsby is still fairly new and changes frequently. This can be both good and bad.

On one hand, it means there’s always something new to learn. But on the other hand, it can also be difficult to keep up with the changes and make sure your site doesn’t break as a result.

All in all, Gatsby is a powerful tool with a lot of potentials. However, it’s important to be aware of its limitations before using it for your next project.

Final Thoughts

Gatsby is a CMS. It offers benefits such as speed, performance, and scalability. However, it has limitations in terms of flexibility and customizability. 

Overall verdict: Gatsby is an excellent choice for a CMS if you are looking for speed, performance, and scalability.

If you need more flexibility or customizability, then another option may be better for you.


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Michael Fied is the founder and CEO of and SpamBurner. In addition, he’s an internationally top-rated and award-winning website advisor and website architect with a global team of 55. You can find Michael on LinkedIn or contact him directly here.

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