How to Build a Markdown Plugin for Your Gatsby Blog

How to Build a Markdown Plugin for Your Gatsby Blog

Learn how to build a Markdown plugin for your Gatsby blog. Learn about Markdown, how to build a Markdown plugin, and how Gatsby enables users to hook into and format Markdown files. Gatsby and several other frameworks support Markdown.

Learn about Markdown, how to build a Markdown plugin, and how Gatsby enables users to hook into and format Markdown files.

Since the advent of Markdown, writing articles (and text in general) has taken a new turn. In previous days, you would either have to use HTML directly or were limited to the text editing options an online text editor provided. But now, any service that supports Markdown content makes writing easier.

Gatsby and several other frameworks support Markdown. These Markdown files can be used for creating web pages or blogs. Furthermore, Gatsby allows developers to create tools — called plugins — that can hook into the Markdown files and modify the outputted HTML.

In this article, you’ll learn how to build a Markdown plugin for your Gatsby blog. As an example, we’ll build a text highlighting plugin so that when it finds a specified syntax that you’ve defined around a text, it processes it into a styled HTML that displays the text as highlighted. Here’s the plugin live on my website — in particular, the text “share code and functionality”.

Note that you are not limited to the example used in this article. This article only aims to teach you how to build a Markdown plugin. You can use the knowledge from this article to build other awesome plugins and open-source it for other developers.

Gatsby and Markdown for blogs

Markdown provides a special syntax that enables easy creation of documents. The result of the Markdown content is usually HTML, but it may be different depending on the tool used.

For example, the following HTML…

<h2>I am a header</h2>
<p>I am a paragraph</p>
<code>
   <pre>
     console.log('I am JavaScript')
  </pre>
</code>
<img src='https://google.com' alt='This is not an image'>

…can be achieved with the following Markdown content:

## I am a header

I am a paragraph

console.log('I am JavaScript')


[!This is not an image](https://google.com)

Because the end result after processing the Markdown content is HTML, using Markdown becomes a seamless process for writing regular content.

Gatsby is a static site generator used for creating different web applications, including blogs. The framework supports Markdown, making it easier for developers to write blogs in Markdown files that are transformed into full-fledged pages. This article is not focused on how Gatsby creates these pages, so check out their documentation for more information.

gatsby web-development programming developer markdown

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