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Adding Markdown Pages


  • using-remark

Gatsby can use markdown files to create pages in your site. You add plugins to read and understand folders with markdown files and from them create pages automatically.

Here are the steps Gatsby follows for making this happen.

  1. Read files into Gatsby from the filesystem
  2. Transform markdown to HTML and frontmatter to data
  3. Add a markdown file
  4. Create a collection route component for the markdown files


  • A Gatsby project set up. (Need help creating one? Follow the Quick Start)


Read files into Gatsby from the filesystem

Use the plugin gatsby-source-filesystem to read files and let Gatsby create File nodes in its GraphQL data layer. Install it like so:

Open gatsby-config to add the gatsby-source-filesystem plugin. The path option is how you set the directory to search for files.

Create a folder in the src directory of your Gatsby application called content. Now create a markdown file inside it with the name post-1.md.

When you create a markdown file, you can include a set of key/value pairs that can be used to provide additional data relevant to specific pages in the GraphQL data layer. This data is called frontmatter and is denoted by the triple dashes at the start and end of the block. This block will be parsed by gatsby-transformer-remark as YAML. You can then query the data through the GraphQL API from your React components.

What is important in this step is the key pair slug. The value that is assigned to the key slug is used for the final URL of the post.

Completing the above step means that you’ve sourced the markdown files from the filesystem. You can now transform the markdown to HTML and the YAML frontmatter to JSON.

Transform markdown to HTML and frontmatter to data using gatsby-transformer-remark

You’ll use the plugin gatsby-transformer-remark to recognize files which are markdown and read their content. The plugin will convert the frontmatter metadata part of your markdown files as frontmatter and the content part as HTML. Install the plugin:

Add this to gatsby-config after the previously added gatsby-source-filesystem.

Create a collection route for the markdown files

Use the File System Route API to create a collection route (you can learn all details in the linked document). Create src/pages/blog/{markdownRemark.frontmatter__slug}.jsx and add the following code:

When you now start gatsby develop, you should be able to navigate to localhost:8000/blog/my-first-blog-post.

Two things are important in the file above:

  1. A GraphQL query is made in the second half of the file to get the markdown data. Gatsby has automagically given you all the markdown metadata and HTML in this query’s result. You can learn more about page queries if you’re interested.

  2. The result of the query is injected by Gatsby into the component as the data prop. props.data.markdownRemark is the property that has all the details of the markdown file.

Next you could create a page component at src/pages/blog/index.jsx to serve as a listing page for all your blog posts.

This should get you started on some basic markdown functionality in your Gatsby site. You can further customize the frontmatter and the component file to get desired effects!

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