Getting started with Gatsby Cloud and Sanity.io
Learn how to connect Gatsby Cloud with Sanity
Table of Contents
Sanity.io is a headless CMS that content editors can use to edit and publish content. Gatsby Cloud allows you to integrate your site with Sanity.io in order to run performant builds and preview content changes made in the CMS before publishing.
First, you’ll need a Gatsby site that’s connected to a Sanity project and its source code needs to live on GitHub. If you haven’t set that up yet, you can quickly create a new project by selecting one of the Gatsby templates on sanity.io/create.
Make sure that
overlayDrafts are set to
true in the Sanity plugin options (this is enabled by default in sites from sanity.io/create). With
watchMode, Gatsby injects content changes on the fly, without you having to reload the development server, or refresh the browser. This is done via a listener that receives the content changes from Sanity’s real-time backend. In addition, with Sanity, multiple people in the same Sanity studio can make content edits that are instantly reflected on the frontend development server and on Gatsby Preview.
Sign in with GitHub. You’ll be asked to authorize the Gatsby Cloud app with your GitHub account. If you need to request access to one or more repositories, you can click “request access” here or later, when creating an instance.
Once signed in, configuring Gatsby Cloud with Sanity requires several steps that are walked through below.
Once you’ve authenticated with Cloud and GitHub, you can create an instance from the “Create a new Gatsby Cloud site” page.
Use the “I already have a Gatsby site” flow to manually integrate your site.
Pick your Gatsby site from the list of GitHub repositories. You can use the search input to narrow down the list.
If you don’t see your site, it might be because it belongs to a GitHub organization, rather than your personal account. You can connect a new GitHub Organization.
Note: Repositories must contain one Gatsby project configured at their root to be enabled. Gatsby Cloud works best with Gatsby version 2.20.16 and higher.
You’ll need to select a branch and then indicate the publish directory where the
gatsby-config.js lives. If you leave the field blank, it defaults to the root of the site.
Once the branch and base directory are correct, select “Next.”
If you have already configured an instance of Sanity or if you don’t see Sanity in the “Automatic Provisioning” list, skip to Manual Integration.
If you do see Sanity in the “Automatic Integrations” section, consider using the “Automatic Integration” flow and Gatsby Cloud will set-up your CMS for you!
Find Sanity in the automatic integrations section, press “Connect” and follow the set-up instructions to link Sanity with Gatsby Cloud.
Once you’ve authorized Sanity and selected the appropriate organization, press “Create site” which will create your instance.
First, click “Skip this step” to configure Sanity manually.
Gatsby Cloud will automatically try and detect environment variables necessary in your
gatsby-config.js. However — consider adding any additional variables that automatic detection may have missed. See “Setting up Environment Variables” for more info.
Note that you will be able to add, delete, or update these later on in “Site Settings”.
Once you’ve added the necessary environment variables, you can press “Create site” which will create your instance in Gatsby Cloud!
After following the “Automatic Integration” or “Manual Integration” flow you now have an instance of Gatsby Cloud configured with environment variables and a provided Gatsby Preview instance you can share with your team. Woo-hoo!
An environment variable references a value that can affect how running processes will behave on a computer, for example in staging and production environments. You must save environment variables in Gatsby Cloud to authorize your instance to pull source data from Sanity.
You will need to add into Gatsby Cloud any environment variable required for your app to run, such as deployment or test environment configuration settings.
You will also need to add in the following Gatsby Cloud-specific environment variables:
Set an environment variable called
SANITY_READ_TOKEN and its value is the token you generate from
- Create a token (Manage -> Settings -> API), and Add New Token. You can double check
gatsby-config.jsand the plugin entry for
gatsby-source-pluginfor the variable name. If you find
process.env.SANITY_TOKENyou should enter the variable in Gatsby Cloud’s configuration as
Next and wait for the first instance to be generated. Now, when you change any copy or content in Sanity, Gatsby Cloud should be up to date with your changes.
Follow the steps in this doc to add the Gatsby Cloud widget to the Sanity Studio dashboard. This makes it much easier for content editors to access the preview instance.
If you’d also like to develop your site locally, add the
SANITY_TOKEN to the .env file.
Create a file called .env in the web folder:
~/PATH_TO_PROJECT/web cp .env-example .env
Next, create a read token. Go to
https://manage.sanity.io/projects/<YourProjectId>/settings/api (Manage -> Settings -> API), and Add New Token. Give it a nice descriptive label, and only read rights. Copy this token to the
.env file as
If you use one of the templates from sanity.io/create, you can add a token with read rights to the
/web/.env.development.template file and rename it to .env.development to make it work on local development. The env files with your token should not be committed to git.
To load the token into Gatsby, you’ll need to restart the local development server again.