June 10, 2020

Create a site with Gatsby + Sanity + Tailblocks

In this post I share my learnings on how to create Sanity schemas, deploy them and use as data source for a Gatsby site. To save time on coding design, I’m going to use the ready-to-use Tailwind CSS blocks: Tailblocks.


For more details, follow the official docs’ instructions on Getting started with Sanity CLI. TL;DR here’s the code:

Bootstrap project

$ npm install -g @sanity/cli
$ sanity init
$ sanity start

Schema defs

Schemas needs to be defined in the schemas/schema.js

It’s practical to add each schema document or object in separated files and include them in the schema types list:

import createSchema from 'part:@sanity/base/schema-creator'
import schemaTypes from 'all:part:@sanity/base/schema-type'
import feature from './feature'
import portfolioImage from './portfolio-image'

export default createSchema({
  name: 'default',
  types: schemaTypes.concat([
    // here

Read more: Content modelling in Sanity Studio


Sanity has the following types:

  • string, number, boolean, datetime, url
  • custom types via object types

Read more: Understanding content types

Create document type

These will appear in the studio and we can create multiple docs using their structure.

Here as example (schemas/feature.js)

export default {
  title: 'Feature',
  name: 'feature',
  type: 'document',
  fields: [
      title: 'Title',
      name: 'title',
      type: 'string'
      title: 'Description',
      name: 'description',
      type: 'string'
      title: 'Cover',
      name: 'cover',
      type: 'image'

Create object type

This defines a shape of a field, can be assigned to a document.

export default {
  title: 'Portfolio image',
  name: 'portfolioImage',
  type: 'object',
  fields: [
      title: 'Image',
      name: 'image',
      type: 'image'
      title: 'Caption',
      name: 'caption',
      type: 'string'
      title: 'Date of creation',
      name: 'dateOfCreation',
      type: 'datetime'

Add this to the schemas/schema.js file’s schemaTypes.concat(). Then we can add field to another schema.

  title: 'Images',
  name: 'images',
  type: 'array',
  of: [{ type: 'portfolioImage' }],

Deploy Sanity Studio

$ sanity deploy

Then our Studio will be available on the <project>.sanity.studio URL. If we change something in the studio locally, this is also how we would upload changes.


Create app, set up source

Create bare Gatsby app using the hello world starter. This one doesn’t contain any boostrap code and dependencies, but it’s ok, we can add them. First let’s add Sanity source plugin.

$ gatsby new my-site https://github.com/gatsbyjs/gatsby-starter-hello-world
$ npm i gatsby-source-sanity --save

Configure Sanity plugin in gatsby-config.js

module.exports = {
  plugins: [
      resolve: 'gatsby-source-sanity',
      options: {
        // these values can be found in manage.sanity.io once the app is deployed
        projectId: 'project-id',
        dataset: 'production',

Deploy GraphQL API for Sanity

$ sanity graphql deploy

See data in Gatsby

Now the Sanity data should be visible in Gatsby’s GraphiQL. Start the app by running

$ gatsby develop

Explore schema and query data on the http://localhost:8000/__graphql site

Find more info in the source plugin’s site: gatsby-source-sanity


Setup Tailwind CSS

Install dependencies in the repo

$ npm install --save gatsby-plugin-postcss tailwindcss autoprefixer

Update Gatsby config (gatsby-config.js)

module.exports = {
  plugins: [`gatsby-plugin-postcss`],

Add postcss config: create a postcss.config.js file in the project root with the following content:

module.exports = () => ({
  plugins: [

Create a css file (eg. root.css) with these imports

@import "tailwindcss/base";
@import "tailwindcss/components";
@import "tailwindcss/utilities";

Import the recently created css to our app, somewhere on the top of the tree to make it available everywhere

import React from 'react'
import '../components/root.css'

function App() {
  return (
    <div className="bg-gray-900">
      Tailwind classes should work now! 🎉

Using Tailblocks

  1. Visit https://mertjf.github.io/tailblocks/ site and select an element
  2. Click “View code” in the top bar and then copy the code
  3. Paste it to your app
  4. Rename all class="" attributes to className="" and transform “kebab-case” attributes names with “camelCase”.


Installation - Tailwind CSS

Tailwind CSS


tailblocks - Ready-to-use Tailwind CSS blocks

Replace hardcoded data

Once we have built the site using Tailblocks, it’s time to replace the hardcoded example text with data we get from Sanity.

Let’s say we have a Features block. We can create a Features component in React, get and map data right in the component like this:

import React from 'react'
import { graphql, useStaticQuery } from 'gatsby'
import Img from 'gatsby-image'

function Features() {
  const { allSanityFeature } = useStaticQuery(graphql`
      allSanityFeature {
        nodes {
          cover {
            asset {
              fixed(width: 80) {

  return (
    <section className="text-gray-500 bg-gray-900 body-font">
      <div className="container px-5 py-24 mx-auto">
        <div className="flex flex-wrap sm:-m-4 -mx-4 -mb-10 -mt-4">
          {allSanityFeature.nodes.map(feature => (
              className="p-4 md:w-1/3 md:mb-0 mb-6 flex flex-col text-center items-center"
              <div className="w-20 h-20 inline-flex items-center justify-center rounded-full bg-gray-800 text-purple-400 mb-5 flex-shrink-0">
                <Img fixed={feature.cover.asset.fixed} />

              <div className="flex-grow">
                <h2 className="text-white text-lg title-font font-medium mb-3">

                <p className="leading-relaxed text-base">

export default Features

Don’t forget to install gatsby-image to make responsive, lazy-loaded image rendering work.

$ npm install gatsby-image --save


Now we have a real Jamstack site with a headless CMS and a server side rendered responsive frontend! As a next step we can set up hosting and auto rebuild using webhooks.

Other resources

Nandor Biro

Software Engineer working at Whereby, lover of all things countryside, life-long learner with a passion for IT and woodworking. Find him on Twitter.