Gatsby is inventing a new category of websites

Imagine a static site generator that can rebuild a website with fresh data in less than five seconds (or even one second).

Combined with a CDN that deploys to hundreds of locations around the world in ~200ms (Fastly), new data would be live for all visitors in less than ten seconds.

That would make it possible for many (now) dynamic sites to be built as static ones, with all The benefits of static websites (performance, scalability, uptime, cost,…) included!

While it’s technically a set of static HTML files on a CDN in the end, the architecture is neither truly static or dynamic, but something in-between.

That is what Gatsby is working towards—and we are getting close. 🤯

I was sold on this idea when I realised that we could have architected Spectrum, a public real-time chat app, like this. Here is what I wrote in our Slack at the time:

If build + deployment of new content is fast and stable enough (< 1s?) new content is available super quickly everywhere around the world, no matter where the db is—it’s just a bunch of static HTML files after all. In theory, we could’ve built Spectrum with that architecture and made it much more scalable, performant and stable!