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Gatsby Theme Catalyst

After 2 years and over 2000 commits I have made the difficult decision to shutdown Gatsby Theme Catalyst. This project will not be migrated to Gatsby v4.

You will be able to access the docs indefinetely and I will continue to respond to any issues on GitHub.

Before I talk about why, I want to say thank you to everyone who helped out and contributed to this project in any way. A retweet, a comment, an issue, or a pull request - they were all appreciated. For those of you I collaborated with more closely it was exciting and fun to work with, and learn from you.

A few quick notes about why I made this decision. TLDR; I don't think Gatsby Themes are the best approach for my own freelance work anymore, however I still rely heavily on Gatsby as a framework.

  • Customization: I struggled with the themes when needing to do a really custom piece of code and found myself using more and more component shadowing to the point it was frustrating to develop with.
  • Maintainability: With all of the dependencies tucked away inside the themes coming back to a project after 6 months or a year was a daunting task as I didn't have the power to granularly manage updating dependencies as I needed to.
  • Speed: Themes are great at the start - you can go from zero to hero in a matter of minutes but then as projects grew and got more complex I found myself being slowed down by having to reference files back inside of the theme. I found it much more efficient to have all of the components, hooks, and files together in single repo and not siloed off into themes.
  • Lack of use: This one didn't matter as much to me, but no one really uses these themes much as far as I can tell. Given that now I am also migrating my own freelance work away from the themes it just isn't worth the time and effort to maintain a complex project very few people are using.

If you are currently using these themes I have updated and published a release that supports Gatsby v3.14 which is the last version of Gatsby before v4.

With moderate effort you can reconfigure your site into a traditional Gatsby site, ejecting from the themes. The main tasks involve copy and pasting the theme components into your own repo, and merging gatsby-node as needed. If you are familiar with Gatsby projects this is fairly straightforward but could be a struggle if you are less familiar with the internal workings of Gatsby.

I apologize for any frustration this may cause you.

If you get stuck please feel free to reach out to me, and I will do my best to help. I hope to also have an example repo of what this could look like available in the near future.

Happy coding!

Eric Howey

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