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Gatsby plugin for easy integration with Node.js servers


gatsby-plugin-nodejs gives you a way to integrate your Gatsby site with a custom Node.js server. Use your favorite backend framework and set up your Gatsby.js site normally - the plugin will take care of everything:

  • Supported frameworks:
    • Express
    • Fastify 2.x
  • Serving built site
  • 404 page middleware
  • Gatsby redirects
  • Client-side paths
  • Running the server during the build, so that you can fetch the data from your API during build
  • Running and automatically restarting the server during development, so that you can develop your backend along with frontend
  • Serving the site with pathPrefix - set it up inside gatsby-config.js, the plugin will take care of it


Install the plugin using npm or yarn

npm install gatsby-plugin-nodejs

and add it to your gatsby-config.js

module.exports = {
  /* Site config */
  plugins: [
    /* Rest of the plugins */


Install the plugin as shown above, and create an index.js file inside server directory of your project

The server will run automatically during site build, and during development. In addition, when running in development mode (gatsby develop), it uses nodemon to automatically restart the server, when its’ files change.

With Express

First install express as a dependency to your project - npm i express --save

Next, create a base of an Express server, and initialize Gatsby.

const express = require("express");
const gatsby = require("gatsby-plugin-nodejs");

const app = express();

gatsby.prepare({ app }, () => {
  // Here you can define your routes

const port = process.env.PORT || 1337;

app.listen(port, () => console.log(`listening on port ${port}`));

With Fastify

Install fastify 2.x and fastify-static as dependencies to your project - npm i fastify fastify-static --save

Next, create a basic Fastify server, and initialize Gatsby.

const fastify = require("fastify")();
const gatsby = require("gatsby-plugin-nodejs");

gatsby.prepare({ app: fastify, framework: "fastify" }, () => {});

const port = process.env.PORT || 1337;

fastify.listen(port, (err) => {
  if (err) {

  console.log(`listening on port ${port}`);

As you can see, you’ll need to use prepare function. It creates a middleware, that serves static files, defines routes that handle Gatsby redirects and client paths, and sets up the 404 page.

Under the hood, your routes are added to server at the end, just before the 404 page route.

The prepare function accepts the config object as the first argument:

Property Value Description
app object App instance of your framework
framework string If you use framework other than Express, pass a string with its name

And a callback function as a second. It is executed just before 404 page route is defined, and should contain all your routes like API, etc.

When the server is set up, add an npm script:

  "_comment": "...rest of your package.json",
  "scripts": {
    "_comment": "...rest of your npm scripts",
    "start": "node server/index.js"

Next build the page using gatsby build, and your server is ready to launch (npm start)

The server will launch during the build process, and when running gatsby develop. In addition, gatsby-plugin-nodejs uses nodemon, to automatically restart the server when its’ files change.



  • Integration with Express.js
  • Support for creating pathPrefix
  • Run server on build, so that Gatsby could be able to fetch data from it
  • Run server along with development server
  • Integration with Fastify
  • If the site isn’t built when server is launched, build it automatically
  • Custom server filename and location


MIT © Adam Siekierski

© 2023 Gatsby, Inc.