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Debugging replaceRenderer API

What is the replaceRenderer API?

The replaceRenderer API is one of Gatsby’s Server Side Rendering (SSR) extension APIs. This API is called when you run gatsby build and is used to customise how Gatsby renders your static content. It can be implemented by any Gatsby plugin or your gatsby-ssr.js file - adding support for Redux, CSS-in-JS libraries or any code that needs to change Gatsby’s default HTML output.

Why does it cause build errors?

If multiple plugins implement replaceRenderer in your project, only the last plugin implementing the API can be called - which will break your site builds.

Note that replaceRenderer is only used during gatsby build. It won’t cause problems as you work on your site with gatsby develop.

If multiple plugins implement replaceRenderer, gatsby build will warn you:

warning replaceRenderer API found in these plugins:
warning plugin-name-a, default-site-plugin
warning This might be an error, see: https://www.gatsbyjs.org/docs/debugging-replace-renderer-api/

warning Duplicate replaceRenderer found, skipping gatsby-ssr.js for plugin: plugin-name-a

Note that default-site-plugin refers to your local gatsby-ssr.js file, if this file exists it will always be used in favor of gatsby-ssr.js from other plugins.

Fixing replaceRenderer build errors

If you see errors during your build, you can fix them with the following steps.

1. Identify the plugins using replaceRenderer

Your error message should list which plugins implement replaceRenderer:

warning replaceRenderer API found in these plugins:
warning plugin-name-a, default-site-plugin

In this example, your gatsby-ssr.js file and plugin-name-a are both using replaceRenderer.

2. Copy the plugins’ replaceRenderer functionality to your site’s gatsby-ssr.js file

You’ll need to override your plugins’ replaceRenderer code in your gatsby-ssr.js file. This step will be different for each project, keep reading to see an example.

Example

Initial setup

In this example project we’re using redux and Gatsby’s Styled Components plugin.

gatsby-config.js
module.exports = {
  plugins: [`gatsby-plugin-styled-components`],
}

gatsby-ssr.js (based on the using Redux example)

gatsby-ssr.js
import React from "react"
import { Provider } from "react-redux"
import { renderToString } from "react-dom/server"

import createStore from "./src/state/createStore"

exports.replaceRenderer = ({ bodyComponent, replaceBodyHTMLString }) => {
  const store = createStore()

  const ConnectedBody = () => <Provider store={store}>{bodyComponent}</Provider>
  replaceBodyHTMLString(renderToString(<ConnectedBody />))
}

Note that the Styled Components plugin uses replaceRenderer, and the code in gatsby-ssr.js also uses replaceRenderer.

Fixing the replaceRenderer error

Our gatsby-config.js file will remain unchanged. However, our gatsby-ssr.js file will update to include the replaceRenderer functionality from the Styled Components plugin

gatsby-ssr.js
import React from "react"
import { Provider } from "react-redux"
import { renderToString } from "react-dom/server"
import { ServerStyleSheet, StyleSheetManager } from "styled-components"
import createStore from "./src/state/createStore"

exports.replaceRenderer = ({
  bodyComponent,
  replaceBodyHTMLString,
  setHeadComponents,
}) => {
  const sheet = new ServerStyleSheet()
  const store = createStore()

  const app = () => (
    <Provider store={store}>
      <StyleSheetManager sheet={sheet.instance}>
        {bodyComponent}
      </StyleSheetManager>
    </Provider>
  )
  replaceBodyHTMLString(renderToString(<app />))
  setHeadComponents([sheet.getStyleElement()])
}

Now gatsby-ssr.js implements the Styled Components and Redux functionality using one replaceRenderer instance. Run gatsby build and the site will build correctly.

All the code from this example is available on GitHub.


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