Tutorial: Run Gatsby on HostGator?

12 minutes read

To run Gatsby on HostGator, you need to follow a few steps:

  1. Log in to your HostGator cPanel account. Locate the "Software" section and click on the "Node.js" icon.
  2. In the Node.js section, click on the "Create Application" button. This will allow you to create a new Node.js application.
  3. Provide a name for your application and select the document root where you want to install Gatsby. Click the "Create" button to proceed.
  4. Once the application is created, you will see a success message. Under the "Actions" column, click the "Setup" button for your application.
  5. On the setup page, choose the desired Node.js version and select the main file for your Gatsby application. Usually, it is the file named index.js or app.js. Click the "Next" button to proceed.
  6. Configure environment variables if required for your Gatsby application. This step is optional and depends on your specific project requirements. Click the "Next" button to continue.
  7. Review the final setup details and click the "Finish" button to complete the process.
  8. After the setup is complete, you will be redirected to the Node.js application management page. Here you can start, stop, restart, and manage your Gatsby application.
  9. To deploy your Gatsby application, you need to upload the project files to the document root you selected during setup. Use FTP or cPanel File Manager to transfer the files.
  10. Once the project files are uploaded, navigate to the "Node.js" section in cPanel, click on your application's name, and then click the "Reload" button. This will load your Gatsby application on HostGator.


That's it! Your Gatsby application should now be up and running on HostGator. You can access it by visiting your website's URL in a web browser.

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How to enable code splitting in a Gatsby site on HostGator?

To enable code splitting in a Gatsby site on HostGator, follow these steps:

  1. Build your Gatsby site by running the command gatsby build locally.
  2. Once the build is complete, you will have a public folder containing your optimized static files.
  3. Connect to your HostGator server via FTP or cPanel's File Manager.
  4. Upload the contents of the public folder to your desired directory on the server.
  5. Create or edit the .htaccess file in the root of your server directory. If the file already exists, append the following code at the end:
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<IfModule mod_headers.c>
  <FilesMatch "\.(js)$">
    Header set Cache-Control "max-age=31536000, immutable"
  </FilesMatch>
</IfModule>


This code sets a Cache-Control header for JavaScript files, instructing the browser to cache them for a year.

  1. Save the .htaccess file and close the editor.


Note: If your HostGator server doesn't support .htaccess files, you may need to contact their support for guidance on enabling code splitting specifically.


By following these steps, your Gatsby site on HostGator should now be enabled with code splitting, allowing for faster loading times and improved performance.


How to connect a custom domain to a Gatsby site on HostGator?

To connect a custom domain to a Gatsby site on HostGator, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your HostGator account.
  2. Go to the cPanel, and under the "Domains" section, click on "Addon Domains".
  3. On the "Create an Addon Domain" page, enter your custom domain name in the "New Domain Name" field. Leave the "Subdomain/FTP Username" field empty as it will be auto-filled.
  4. Choose a document root directory for your domain. You can either select the default option or specify a custom directory.
  5. Click on the "Add Domain" button to create the addon domain.
  6. Now, you need to update your DNS settings for your custom domain. This step usually involves going to your domain registrar or DNS provider and adding the necessary DNS records. Obtain the nameservers for your HostGator account from the HostGator support team or by checking your account details within the cPanel. Log in to your domain registrar or DNS provider's website. Find the DNS management section or domain settings for your custom domain. Update the nameservers by replacing the existing ones with the HostGator nameservers. Save the changes.
  7. After updating the DNS settings, it may take some time for the changes to propagate. This process is known as DNS propagation, and it usually takes a few hours to complete. During this time, your custom domain may not be accessible.
  8. Once the DNS propagation is complete, you can access your Gatsby site using your custom domain. You may need to build and deploy your Gatsby site if you haven't done so. On your local machine, navigate to the root directory of your Gatsby site in the command line. Run the command gatsby build to build your site. This will generate the static files needed for deployment. Upload the contents of the public folder (generated by the build command) to your HostGator account. You can use FTP or cPanel's file manager for this. Your Gatsby site should now be accessible using your custom domain.


Note: Domain propagation can take a few hours or up to 48 hours in some cases. Be patient if your custom domain doesn't work immediately; it usually resolves itself within a day or two.


How to add new pages to a Gatsby site on HostGator?

To add new pages to a Gatsby site on HostGator, you need to follow these steps:

  1. Connect to your HostGator account via FTP or cPanel File Manager.
  2. Locate your Gatsby project directory on the server.
  3. Navigate to the src/pages directory within your Gatsby project. This is where you can add new pages to the site.
  4. Create a new file with a .js extension in the src/pages directory. For example, you can create a file called newpage.js.
  5. Open the newly created file and define your new page using React components. You can refer to existing pages in the src/pages directory as a template, or you can write your own custom component.
  6. Save the file.
  7. Run the Gatsby build command to generate the static files for your website. You can do this by running gatsby build in the command line of your local development environment and then uploading the generated public folder to your HostGator server. Alternatively, if you have direct access to the server terminal, you can run gatsby build directly on the HostGator server.
  8. Once the build is complete, upload the generated files from the public folder to the appropriate location on your HostGator server using FTP or cPanel File Manager.
  9. After the upload is complete, visit the newly created page by navigating to the corresponding URL on your website, typically in the format of https://www.yourdomain.com/newpage/.


Note that Gatsby's static site generation means that all pages are pre-generated during the build process, so you'll need to run the build command whenever you make changes to your site, including adding new pages.


What is the difference between Gatsby's development and production builds on HostGator?

Gatsby is a popular static site generator that allows developers to build fast and optimized websites. When deploying a Gatsby site on HostGator, there are differences between development and production builds. Here is an overview of those differences:

  1. Development builds: During the development phase, Gatsby generates development builds. These builds prioritize speed and ease of development over optimization and performance. Development builds include features like hot module replacement (HMR), which allows developers to see instant changes in the browser without a full rebuild of the site. These builds typically have larger file sizes and can be slower compared to production builds.
  2. Production builds: Once the development phase is complete, Gatsby generates production builds that are optimized for performance and user experience. Production builds are usually smaller in size, optimized for caching, and contain compressed and minified assets. These builds remove unnecessary development-related code and include special features like code splitting to load only the required resources. Production builds aim to provide the best website performance for end-users.


When deploying a Gatsby site on HostGator, the primary difference between development and production builds lies in how the site is built and optimized for performance. Development builds assist developers during the development process, while production builds focus on delivering the best possible experience to end-users.


How to deploy a Gatsby site to a hosting provider other than HostGator?

To deploy a Gatsby site to a hosting provider other than HostGator, you will need to follow these general steps:

  1. Build your Gatsby site: Run the command gatsby build in your project's root directory. This will generate your static site files in the public folder.
  2. Choose a hosting provider: Select a hosting provider that supports static sites. Some popular options include Netlify, Firebase Hosting, AWS Amplify, Vercel, GitHub Pages, and Azure Static Web Apps. Each provider has its own deployment process, so you will need to follow their documentation.
  3. Create an account: Sign up for an account with your chosen hosting provider if you haven't already.
  4. Connect your site to the hosting provider: Follow the provider's documentation to connect your Gatsby site to their service. This usually involves linking your repository (if using Git) or manually uploading your static files.
  5. Configure your deployment settings: Depending on the hosting provider, you may need to configure some deployment settings. For example, you may need to specify the build command (gatsby build) and output directory (public).
  6. Deploy your site: Once everything is set up, trigger the deployment process. This can be done through the hosting provider's web interface or using their command-line tools if available. The provider will then build and host your Gatsby site.


Note: The specific steps may vary depending on the hosting provider you choose. Make sure to refer to their respective documentation for detailed instructions.


How to set up a new Gatsby project on HostGator?

To set up a new Gatsby project on HostGator, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your HostGator cPanel account.
  2. In the cPanel dashboard, navigate to the "File Manager" section and click on it.
  3. In the File Manager, locate the public_html folder, which is the root folder for your website. Click on the folder to open it.
  4. Click on the "New File" button in the toolbar to create a new file. Name the file "package.json" and click on the "Create New File" button.
  5. Edit the "package.json" file by clicking on the "Edit" button in the toolbar. Add the following content to the file:
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{
  "name": "gatsby-site",
  "version": "1.0.0",
  "private": true,
  "scripts": {
    "build": "gatsby build",
    "develop": "gatsby develop",
    "start": "gatsby develop -p 8080",
    "serve": "gatsby serve",
    "clean": "gatsby clean"
  },
  "dependencies": {
    "gatsby": "^3.12.0",
    "react": "^17.0.2",
    "react-dom": "^17.0.2"
  },
  "devDependencies": {
    "babel-plugin-styled-components": "^1.13.2",
    "gatsby-plugin-styled-components": "^5.12.0",
    "prettier": "^2.4.1",
    "styled-components": "^5.3.3"
  }
}


  1. Save the changes to the package.json file.
  2. Go back to the public_html folder and click on the "New Folder" button in the toolbar to create a new folder. Name the folder "src" and click on the "Create New Folder" button.
  3. Inside the "src" folder, create a new file named "index.js" by clicking on the "New File" button in the toolbar.
  4. Edit the "index.js" file by clicking on the "Edit" button in the toolbar. Add the following content to the file:
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import React from "react"

const IndexPage = () => (
  <div>
    <h1>Welcome to my Gatsby site on HostGator</h1>
    <p>Congratulations! You have successfully set up a new Gatsby project on HostGator.</p>
  </div>
)

export default IndexPage


  1. Save the changes to the index.js file.
  2. Go back to the public_html folder and click on the "New File" button in the toolbar. Name the file ".htaccess" (including the dot at the beginning of the name) and click on the "Create New File" button.
  3. Edit the ".htaccess" file by clicking on the "Edit" button in the toolbar. Add the following content to the file:
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Options -Indexes
<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
  RewriteEngine on
  RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
  RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
  RewriteRule ^(.*)$ index.html [L,QSA]
</IfModule>


  1. Save the changes to the .htaccess file.
  2. Your Gatsby project is now set up on HostGator. You can access it by visiting your domain name in a web browser.


Note: Make sure you have Node.js installed on your local machine and have Gatsby CLI installed globally (npm install -g gatsby-cli) to develop and build your Gatsby project before uploading it to HostGator.

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