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How to Contribute

We want contributing to Gatsby to be fun, enjoyable, and educational for anyone and everyone. Contributions go far beyond pull requests and commits; we are thrilled to receive a variety of other contributions including the following:

  • Blogging, speaking about, or creating tutorials about one of Gatsby’s many features. Mention @gatsbyjs on Twitter and/or email shannon [at] gatsbyjs [dot] com so we can give pointers and tips (if you want them 😄) and help you spread the word. Please add your blog posts and videos of talks to our Awesome Gatsby page.
  • Submitting new feature ideas through an RFC
  • Submitting new documentation; titles in the side navigation on docs which are lighter in color on are stubs and need contributions
  • Tweeting about things you #buildwithgatsby (make sure to use the hashtag and/or @ mention us!)
  • Submitting documentation updates, enhancements, designs, or bugfixes
  • Submitting spelling or grammar fixes
  • Adding unit or functional tests
  • Triaging GitHub issues — especially determining whether an issue still persists or is reproducible
  • Reporting bugs or issues
  • Searching for Gatsby on Discord or Spectrum and helping someone else who needs help
  • Teaching others how to contribute to Gatsby’s repo!

As our way of saying “thank you” to our contributors, all contributors are eligible for free Gatsby swag — whether you’re contributing code, docs, a talk, an article, or something else that helps the Gatsby community. Learn how to claim free swag for contributors.

Not sure how to start contributing?

If you are worried or don’t know where to start, you can always reach out to Shannon Soper (@shannonb_ux) on Twitter or submit an issue and a maintainer can help give you guidance!

Looking to speak about Gatsby? We’d love to review your talk abstract/CFP! You can email it to shannon [at] gatsbyjs [dot] com, and we can give pointers or tips!

Creating your own plugins and loaders

If you create a loader or plugin, we would <3 for you to open source it and put it on npm. For more information on creating custom plugins, please see the documentation for plugins and the API specification.

Contributing to the repo

Gatsby uses a “monorepo” pattern to manage its many dependencies and relies on Lerna and Yarn to configure the repository for active development.

Using Yarn

Yarn is a package manager for your code, similar to NPM. While NPM is used to develop Gatsby sites with the CLI, contributing to the Gatsby repo requires Yarn for the following reason: we use Yarn’s workspaces feature that comes really handy for monorepos. It allows us to install dependencies from multiple package.json files in sub-folders, enabling a faster and lighter installation process.

  "workspaces": ["workspace-a", "workspace-b"]
  • Install the Yarn package manager.
  • Ensure you have the latest version of Yarn installed (>= 1.0.2). yarn --version
  • Fork the official repository.
  • Clone your fork: git clone --depth=1<your-username>/gatsby.git
  • Set up repo and install dependencies: yarn run bootstrap
  • Make sure tests are passing for you: yarn test
  • Create a topic branch: git checkout -b topics/new-feature-name

    • Note: if making a docs only change, consider using git checkout -b docs/some-change or git checkout -b docs-some-change, as this will short circuit the CI process and only run linting tasks
  • Run yarn run watch from the root of the repo to watch for changes to packages’ source code and compile these changes on-the-fly as you work. Note that the watch command can be resource intensive. To limit it to the packages you’re working on, add a scope flag, like yarn run watch -- --scope={gatsby,gatsby-cli}. To watch just one package, run yarn run watch -- --scope=gatsby.
  • Install gatsby-dev-cli globally: yarn global add gatsby-dev-cli
  • Run yarn install in each of the sites you’re testing.
  • For each of your Gatsby test sites, run the gatsby-dev command inside the test site’s directory to copy the built files from your cloned copy of Gatsby. It’ll watch for your changes to Gatsby packages and copy them into the site. For more detailed instructions see the gatsby-dev-cli README and check out the gatsby-dev-cli demo video. Note: if you plan to modify packages that are exported from gatsby directly, you need to either add those manually to your test sites so that they are listed in package.json (e.g. yarn add gatsby-link), or specify them explicitly with gatsby-dev --packages gatsby-link).
  • Add tests and code for your changes.
  • Once you’re done, make sure all tests still pass: yarn test.
  • Commit and push to your fork.
  • Create a pull request from your branch.

Contributing to the documentation

Gatsby, unsurprisingly, uses Gatsby for its documentation website. Thank you in advance and cheers for contributing to Gatsby documentation! It’s people like you that make this community great!

Top priorities

Check the GitHub repo for issues labeled with “documentation” and “good first issue” for your first time contributing to Gatsby, or “documentation” and “status: help wanted” to see all documentation issues that are ready for community help. Once you start a PR to address one of these issues, you can remove the “help wanted” label.

Modifying markdown files in Gatsby documentation

  1. If you want to add/modify any Gatsby documentation, go to the docs folder on GitHub and use the file editor to edit and then preview your changes.
  2. Before committing the change and raising a PR in the UI, you need to make sure the PR meets the docs contribution criteria: make sure your contribution meets the standards outlined in the Gatsby Style Guide. Also, if your PR did not come from an issue written by the core team, please add a comment to your PR that explains why it should be included in the docs, according to the Docs Decision Tree.

    Note: If your issue and/or PR doesn’t meet the above contribution criteria, it may receive a comment reminding you to do so. If, after two weeks, these updates haven’t been made, your issue and/or PR may be closed, which helps us triage issues and PRs efficiently. You can request that it be reopened if and when you are ready to make the updates required.

  3. GitHub then allows you to commit the change and raise a PR right in the UI. This is the easiest way you can contribute to the project!

If you wrote a new document that was previously a stub, update www/src/data/sidebars/doc-links.yaml accordingly by removing the asterisk behind the document’s title:

- - title: Example Document*
+ - title: Example Document
    link: /docs/example-document/

Making changes to the website

If you want to make more changes to the website functionality in documentation, that is, change layout components or templates, add sections/pages, follow the steps for contributing to the repo. You can then spin up your own instance of the Gatsby website and make/preview your changes before raising a pull request.

Making changes to the starter library

Note: You don’t need to follow these steps to submit to the starter library. This is only necessary if you’d like to contribute to the functionality of the starter library. To submit a starter, follow these steps instead.

To develop on the starter library, you’ll need to supply a GitHub personal access token.

  1. Create a personal access token in your GitHub Developer settings.
  2. In the new token’s settings, grant that token the “public_repo” scope.
  3. Create a file in the root of www called .env.development, and add the token to that file like so:

The .env.development file is ignored by git. Your token should never be committed.

Contributing to the blog

Note: Before adding a blog post ensure you have approval from a member of the Gatsby team. You can do this by opening an issue or contacting @gatsbyjs on Twitter.

To add a new blog post to the blog:

  • Clone the Gatsby repo and navigate to /www
  • Run yarn to install all of the website’s dependencies.
  • Run gatsby develop to preview the blog at http://localhost:8000/blog.
  • The content for the blog lives in the /docs/blog folder. Make additions or modifications here.
  • Add your avatar image to /docs/blog/avatars
  • Add your name to /docs/blog/author.yaml
  • Add a new folder following the pattern /docs/blog/yyyy-mm-dd-title. Within this newly created folder add an file.
  • Add title, date, author, and tags (view existing tags or add a new one) to the frontmatter of your If you are cross posting your post you can add canonicalLink for SEO benefits. You can check the other blog posts in /docs/blog for examples.
  • If your blog post contains images add them to your blog post folder and reference them in your post’s
  • Ensure any links to are relative links - /docs/how-to-contribute instead of
  • Follow the Style Guide to make sure you’re using the appropriate wording.
  • Double check your grammar and capitalise correctly
  • Commit and push to your fork
  • Create a pull request from your branch

    • We recommend using a prefix of docs, e.g. docs/your-change or docs-your-change

Development tools

Debugging the build process

Check Debugging the build process page to learn how to debug Gatsby.

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