Using Amplify to launch your first Gatsby app
A short tutorial that shows you how to deploy a web app using AWS Amplify.
29 May 2019

I’m building the future of this website on plkt.io. I’m using React, Gatsby, and Amplify to build a single page application that’ll be performant, accessible, and modular.
This tutorial will show you how I got started from only a web development background of HTML/CSS/Javascript.

Resources and definitions

React: JavaScript library for building using interfaces using declarative components and reusable components. Created by Facebook.
Gatsby: JavaScript framework for building static web apps. Created by thousands of community members.
Amplify: PaaS that coordinates between backend and frontend across various platforms. Created by Amazon.

Installing software

Get started by installing React followed by Gatsby and Amplify. I’m using Gentoo as my local dev environment so I will use Portage to install React and the npm package manager. If you don’t have git installed you will need that too.
# emerge --ask --verbose net-libs/nodejs dev-vcs/git
# npm install --global gatsby-cli @aws-amplify/cli

Create sample app

Once installed, we’ll use Gatsby to serve a basic page and then enable remote building and deployment using Amplify.
~ $ gatsby new hello-world
~ $ cd hello-world
~/hello-world $ gatsby develop

Now we have a new hello world single page application viewable at localhost:8000. Open the provided address and make sure you can access the web page. If you’re using Visual Studio Code remote development, then forward the port to your local machine.

Deploy to Amazon S3 with Amplify

Next we can configure Amplify as a publishing path. You can use the defaults for most options. Some of the configuration will require you to open the AWS Web Console to create IAM users.

~/hello-world $ amplify configure
~/hello-world $ amplify init

Now we can immediately publish the sample app to an S3 bucket with one command. Run this command and select “DEV (S3 only with HTTP)
~/hello-world $ amplify add hosting

After about 2 – 3 minutes you should see a link to the S3 bucket with your web app deployed.

And that’s it — you now have used the modern JavaScript, API, Mobile stack to deploy a web app. I highly recommend you install VS Code and walk yourself through the tutorials available on the Gatsby and Amplify homepages.
Gatsby tutorial: https://www.gatsbyjs.org/tutorial/part-one/
Amplify tutorial: https://aws-amplify.github.io/docs/js/react