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Quick Guide to Using Gatsby's useStaticQuery Hook

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The useStaticQuery React Hook was added to Gatsby.js starting with version 2.1.0, and it’s an incredibly convenient way to make (build-time) GraphQL queries from any component within a Gatsby site. In this quick lesson, we’ll go over how to implement useStaticQuery in your project!

Overview and Requirements

For this simple example, we’re going to add a ContactInfo component to our website. This will just be a re-usable component that fetches and displays some contact info from your Gatsby site’s siteMetadata configuration. Let’s get started!

This lesson only has one requirement: that you already have a Gatsby project set up, and you’re ready to edit along with me! If you need help getting to that point, just follow along with the intro tutorial in the Your First Steps with Gatsby v2 post, and then come back here.

Add Contact Info

To begin, let’s add some extra contact info to the siteMetadata object inside the gatsby-config.js file. To keep it simple, we will just add a phone number and an email address:

gatsby-config.js
siteMetadata: {
  title: "Gator's Empanada Express",
  siteUrl: "https://example-site.com/",
  phone: "(555) 567-0123",
  email: "info@example-site.com",
}
// plugins: { ... }

Create the Component

With our contact data in place, we just need to make a component that fetches and displays it. And of course, we’ll make use of the useStaticQuery Hook to do it!

Let’s create a new file at /components/ContactInfo.js, and then add the following code:

/components/ContactInfo.js
import React from "react";
import { useStaticQuery, graphql } from "gatsby";

const ContactInfo = () => {
  const data = useStaticQuery(graphql`
    query ContactInfoQuery {
      site {
        siteMetadata {
          phone,
          email
        }
      }
    }
  `);

  const { phone, email } = data.site.siteMetadata;

  return (
    <div>
      <h3>Contact Us:</h3>
      <p>phone: {phone}</p>
      <p>
        email: <a href={`mailto:${email}`}>{email}</a>
      </p>
    </div>
  )
};

export default ContactInfo;

See how simple this is? No confusing render props to deal with, and we’re making a GraphQL query within a non-page component! 🎉

You can now include this component anywhere on your site to display the contact info, and anytime you change these settings in siteMetadata they will update site-wide.

Note that this data does not have to come from siteMetaData! You could fetch data from any source where you would make a GraphQL query, such as fetching a list of recent blog posts, customer ratings, or upcoming product releases.

Exceptions

While useStaticQuery is incredibly useful, it currently has two limitations:

  • When using useStaticQuery, you cannot use variables within GraphQL queries. (It’s called useStaticQuery for a reason, after all! 😁) You still have to do those via page-level queries.

  • You can only use one instance of useStaticQuery per component. (But you can make several queries inside it! You could query siteMetadata, recent posts, and more all via one query/instance.)

Conclusion

As you can see, Gatsby’s built-in useStaticQuery Hook is an extremely useful and easy-to-use feature to incorporate into your Gatsby Toolbelt! I use it quite frequently, particularly for things like recent blog posts or product releases. (And yes, I have even used it for meta/contact info! 👍)

For more detailed info and examples, I recommend heading over to Gatsby’s official documentation on useStaticQuery. Like always, their docs are well-written and heavily maintained, so that page will always provide the most up-to-date information and examples!

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