Create Wordpress Category Widget in Gatsby

I've recently moved this blog from WordPress to Gatsby. So far, I'm very happy with the move, but I missed a couple of the things WordPress gave me out of the box. One of those things were the various widgets you can add to the sidebar. In particular, I missed the Category Widget.

How to query and count categories?

First thing we need to do is figure out what categories are being used and count them. I'd only just completed the Adding Tags and Categories to Blog Posts guide, so knew about the group query syntax, so we need:

query {
    allMarkdownRemark(limit: 2000) {
        group(field: frontmatter___categories) {
            fieldValue
            totalCount
        }
    }
}

Now we know what query to use, but how to use it?

Adding the query in a component

We'd ideally add this to a React component. Thankfully Gatsby v2 added StaticQuery which is exactly what we want.

As usual with Gatsby, the documentation is excellent, so I recommend you read that. Once you have, you'll see we have two parts to create. The first is the above query, the second is a render prop.

The render prop is how you want to display the result of the query. I used:

<div>
    <h2 className="widget-title">Choose a category:</h2>
    <ul>
    {data.allMarkdownRemark.group.map(tag => (
        <li key={tag.fieldValue}>
        <Link to={`/blog/categories/${kebabCase(tag.fieldValue)}/`}>
            {tag.fieldValue} ({tag.totalCount})
        </Link>
        </li>
    ))}
    </ul>
</div>

So far so good, but I also wanted to display a similar widget for tags.

Tags and Categories

Initially I duplicated the above query and replaced the words categories with tags. I got this error:

Fields "allMarkdownRemark" conflict because subfields "group"
conflict because they have differing arguments.
Use different aliases on the fields to fetch both if this was intentional.

Not being familiar with aliase, after a quick search I ended up with the following query:

tagsGroup: allMarkdownRemark(limit: 2000) {
    group(field: frontmatter**_tags) {
        fieldValue
        totalCount
    }
}
categoriesGroup: allMarkdownRemark(limit: 2000) {
    group(field: frontmatter_**categories) {
        fieldValue
        totalCount
    }
}

Which I can use in render prop with data.tagsGroup.group or data.categoriesGroup.group. You can see the final code at https://github.com/mattdufeu/mattdufeu.co.uk/blob/master/src/components/layout_sidebar.js.

Conclusion

Creating an equivalent of the WordPress Category Widget for Gatsby turned out nicely.

StaticQuery is a fantastic addition to the API and I can see myself using it a lot more in the future.

Please let me know on twitter if you have any suggestions on better ways to achieve this.

Posted on in React | Tagged Gatsby