Incremental builds with Gatsby and Contentful

Developer working with Gatsby and Contentful to build a site
June 12, 2020

Kim Maida



Gatsby recently launched incremental builds, a new feature of Gatsby Cloud that increases preview and publishing speeds.

Now when your editors log into Contentful and publish new content, your Gatsby site will only re-build the content that has changed — not the entire site. The result rivals the instant publishing experience your team has come to expect from monolithic CMSes.

Developers that use Gatsby Cloud with their Contentful projects get up to 1000x faster build times, often just 10 seconds or fewer. Gatsby keeps your users and content editors happy, even with large and media rich projects.

Incremental builds

Gatsby sites that run on Gatsby Cloud are unbelievably fast. Here’s why.

True incremental builds require granular caching and splitting work between concurrent processes. This can only happen in a highly specialized CI/CD pipeline. That’s exactly why we created Gatsby Cloud. We wanted Gatsby users to have the best experience possible, and not rely on generic build services that have to support a variety of projects. Gatsby Cloud is optimized for Gatsby sites and apps. 

Gatsby and Contentful give you lightning fast build times

Gatsby and Contentful have always worked well together. Contentful empowers you to control all of your content from a single hub and publish to any digital channel. Gatsby helps you create a blazing fast frontend for the web with data sourced from Contentful. 

With Gatsby Cloud you get the additional benefit of content previews within Contentful, Lighthouse reports on every build, and connections to leading CDNs. Now incremental builds break the speed barrier for build times, and opens up new types of websites you can create with Gatsby and Contentful. 

Not every content management framework is a candidate for incremental builds. To build incrementally, Gatsby requires tight integration with a CMS to be able to detect changes. Simply fetching all recent data and figuring out what’s changed is nowhere near fast enough. To get to those 1000x quicker build speeds, Gatsby must integrate with the CMS at a deeper level. We recommend using a CMS like Contentful to guarantee your project can take advantage of Gatsby Cloud’s current and future build speed breakthroughs. 

Starting up your Contentful site on Gatsby Cloud is as easy as visiting and choosing the Contentful starter. You’ll also receive a free, 14 day trial of incremental builds.  

We can’t wait to see the sites you build!

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