⚠️ Breaking changes in v7.x

Starting at v7.0.0, this plugin requires Gatsby v3 and no longer supports Gatsby v2 or earlier. See the migration guide for instructions on how to upgrade to v7 of this plugin. If you’re not yet ready to upgrade to Gatsby v3 we recommend staying at v6.x of this plugin.


Source plugin for pulling data from Sanity.io into Gatsby websites. Develop with real-time preview of all content changes. Compatible with gatsby-image. Uses your project’s GraphQL schema definitions to avoid accidental missing fields (no dummy-content needed).

Get up and running in minutes with a fully configured starter project:

Watch a video about the company website built with Gatsby using Sanity.io as a headless CMS

Table of contents

See the getting started video


From the command line, use npm (node package manager) to install the plugin:

npm install gatsby-source-sanity

In the gatsby-config.js file in the Gatsby project’s root directory, add the plugin configuration inside of the plugins section:

module.exports = {
  // ...
  plugins: [
      resolve: `gatsby-source-sanity`,
      options: {
        projectId: `abc123`,
        dataset: `blog`,
        // a token with read permissions is required
        // if you have a private dataset
        token: process.env.SANITY_TOKEN,

        // If the Sanity GraphQL API was deployed using `--tag <name>`,
        // use `graphqlTag` to specify the tag name. Defaults to `default`.
        graphqlTag: 'default',
  // ...
  // ...

You can access projectId and dataset by executing sanity debug --secrets in the Sanity studio folder. Note that the token printed may be used for development, but is tied to your Sanity CLI login session using your personal Sanity account - make sure to keep it secure and not include it in version control! For production, you’ll want to make sure you use a read token generate in the Sanity management interface.

Basic usage

At this point you should set up a GraphQL API for your Sanity dataset, if you have not done so already. This will help the plugin in knowing which types and fields exists, so you can query for them even without them being present in any current documents.

You should redeploy the GraphQL API everytime you make changes to the schema that you want to use in Gatsby by running sanity graphql deploy from within your Sanity project directory

Explore http://localhost:8000/___graphql after running gatsby develop to understand the created data and create a new query and checking available collections and fields by typing CTRL + SPACE.


Options Type Default Description
projectId string [required] Your Sanity project’s ID
dataset string [required] The dataset to fetch from
token string Authentication token for fetching data from private datasets, or when using overlayDrafts Learn more
graphqlTag string default If the Sanity GraphQL API was deployed using --tag <name>, use this to specify the tag name.
overlayDrafts boolean false Set to true in order for drafts to replace their published version. By default, drafts will be skipped.
watchMode boolean false Set to true to keep a listener open and update with the latest changes in realtime. If you add a token you will get all content updates down to each keypress.

Preview of unpublished content

Sometimes you might be working on some new content that is not yet published, which you want to make sure looks alright within your Gatsby site. By setting the overlayDrafts setting to true, the draft versions will as the option says “overlay” the regular document. In terms of Gatsby nodes, it will replace the published document with the draft.

Keep in mind that drafts do not have to conform to any validation rules, so your frontend will usually want to double-check all nested properties before attempting to use them.

Real-time content preview with watch mode

While developing, it can often be beneficial to get updates without having to manually restart the build process. By setting watchMode to true, this plugin will set up a listener which watches for changes. When it detects a change, the document in question is updated in real-time and will be reflected immediately.

If you add a token with read rights and set overlayDrafts to true, each small change to the draft will immediately be applied.


By deploying a GraphQL API for your dataset, we are able to introspect and figure out which schema types and fields are available and make informed choices based on this information.

Previous versions did not require this, but often lead to very confusing and unpredictable behavior, which is why we have now made it a requirement.

Using images

Image fields will have the image URL available under the field.asset.url key, but you can also use gatsby-plugin-image for a smooth experience. It’s a React component that enables responsive images and advanced image loading techniques. It works great with this source plugin, without requiring any additional build steps.

import React from 'react'
import {GatsbyImage} from 'gatsby-plugin-image'

const sanityConfig = {projectId: 'abc123', dataset: 'blog'}

const Person = ({data}) => {
  return (
      <GatsbyImage image={data.sanityPerson.profileImage.asset.gatsbyImageData}/>

export default Person

export const query = graphql`
  query PersonQuery {
    sanityPerson {
      profileImage {
        asset {
          gatsbyImageData(fit: FILLMAX, placeholder: BLURRED)

Using images outside of GraphQL

If you are using the raw fields, or simply have an image asset ID you would like to use gatsby-plugin-image for, you can import and call the utility function getGatsbyImageData

import {GatsbyImage} from 'gatsby-plugin-image'
import {getGatsbyImageData} from 'gatsby-source-sanity'

const sanityConfig = {projectId: 'abc123', dataset: 'blog'}
const imageAssetId = 'image-488e172a7283400a57e57ffa5762ac3bd837b2ee-4240x2832-jpg'

const imageData = getGatsbyImageData(imageAssetId, {maxWidth: 1024}, sanityConfig)

<GatsbyImage image={imageData} />

Generating pages

Sanity does not have any concept of a “page”, since it’s built to be totally agnostic to how you want to present your content and in which medium, but since you’re using Gatsby, you’ll probably want some pages!

As with any Gatsby site, you’ll want to create a gatsby-node.js in the root of your Gatsby site repository (if it doesn’t already exist), and declare a createPages function. Within it, you’ll use GraphQL to query for the data you need to build the pages.

For instance, if you have a project document type in Sanity that you want to generate pages for, you could do something along the lines of this:

exports.createPages = async ({graphql, actions}) => {
  const {createPage} = actions

  const result = await graphql(`
      allSanityProject(filter: {slug: {current: {ne: null}}}) {
        edges {
          node {
            launchDate(format: "DD.MM.YYYY")
            slug {
            image {
              asset {

  if (result.errors) {
    throw result.errors

  const projects = result.data.allSanityProject.edges || []
  projects.forEach((edge, index) => {
    const path = `/project/${edge.node.slug.current}`

      component: require.resolve('./src/templates/project.js'),
      context: {slug: edge.node.slug.current},

The above query will fetch all projects that have a slug.current field set, and generate pages for them, available as /project/<project-slug>. It will use the template defined in src/templates/project.js as the basis for these pages.

Most Gatsby starters have some example of building pages, which you should be able to modify to your needs.

Remember to use the GraphiQL interface to help write the queries you need - it’s usually running at http://localhost:8000/___graphql while running gatsby develop.

“Raw” fields

Arrays and object types at the root of documents will get an additional “raw JSON” representation in a field called _raw<FieldName>. For instance, a field named body will be mapped to _rawBody. It’s important to note that this is only done for top-level nodes (documents).

Quite often, you’ll want to replace reference fields (eg _ref: '<documentId>'), with the actual document that is referenced. This is done automatically for regular fields, but within raw fields, you have to explicitly enable this behavior, by using the field-level resolveReferences argument:

  allSanityProject {
    edges {
      node {
        _rawTasks(resolveReferences: {maxDepth: 5})

Portable Text / Block Content

Rich text in Sanity is usually represented as Portable Text (previously known as “Block Content”).

These data structures can be deep and a chore to query (specifying all the possible fields). As noted above, there is a “raw” alternative available for these fields which is usually what you’ll want to use.

You can install block-content-to-react from npm and use it in your Gatsby project to serialize Portable Text. It lets you use your own React components to override defaults and render custom content types. Learn more about Portable Text in our documentation.

Using .env variables

If you don’t want to attach your Sanity project’s ID to the repo, you can easily store it in .env files by doing the following:

// In your .env file
SANITY_DATASET = production
SANITY_TOKEN = my-super-secret-token

// In your gatsby-config.js file
  path: `.env.${process.env.NODE_ENV}`

module.exports = {
  // ...
  plugins: [
      resolve: 'gatsby-source-sanity',
      options: {
        projectId: process.env.SANITY_PROJECT_ID,
        dataset: process.env.SANITY_DATASET,
        token: process.env.SANITY_TOKEN
        // ...
  // ...

This example is based off Gatsby Docs’ implementation.

How this source plugin works

When starting Gatsby in development or building a website, the source plugin will first fetch the GraphQL Schema Definitions from a Sanity deployed GraphQL API. The source plugin uses this to tell Gatsby which fields should be available to prevent it from breaking if the content for certain fields happens to disappear. Then it will hit the project’s export endpoint, which streams all the accessible documents to Gatsby’s in-memory datastore.

In other words, the whole site is built with two requests. Running the development server, will also set up a listener that pushes whatever changes come from Sanity to Gatsby in real-time, without doing additional API queries. If you give the source plugin a token with permission to read drafts, you’ll see the changes instantly. This can also be experienced with Gatsby Preview.


Huge thanks to Henrique Doro for doing the initial implementation of this plugin, and for donating it to the Sanity team. Mad props!

Big thanks to the good people backing Gatsby for bringing such a joy to our developer days!