Sanna Kramsi - Blog A peek into my life

Comparison of my two portfolios

September 10, 2019 | Tech

I created two versions of my portfolio. With the first (and the official) one, I wanted to try out Gatsby for the first time. At a tech meet-up during the summer, I heard people talking about having Drupal as a data source for Gatsby. As a Drupal developer, I wanted to give it a go. That way I could focus my learning more on Gatsby.

If you aren't familiar with Drupal and Gatsby you can learn more about Drupal and learn more about Gatsby. But in short, Drupal is an open-source CMS and Gatsby is an open-source framework based on React.

After starting the project, I decided to use the Drupal one as its own site as well. Because it would give me the opportunity to compare working with only Drupal and working with more modern solutions.

Local development

Developing both sites was relatively easy since I could plan my content and site structure to be simple. And I prefer simpler solutions, anyway, so that wasn't really an issue for me.

There were some problems with getting the local environment up and running and the Drupal installed. Luckily my fiancé was around to help me with those issues. He is an expert with Docker and pretty much all kinds of things on the server-side. Gatsby's installation was much easier. And one thing I love about Gatsby is its excellent documentation. Most of the documentation is very newbie-friendly. And the community is very welcoming.


The big difference came when it was time to host the sites. I outsourced the hosting setup to my fiancé. He fought with the setup for days, trying to make it as good as possible without too many compromises. The difficulties with the Drupal site were mostly because of PHP. I had originally planned to set up the Gatsby version on Netlify, but he suggested it could coexist with the Drupal site. That way I could also better see the differences in the sites' speed and all those juicy bits. It was a good idea so that became the plan.

The production sites are hosted on Kubernetes.

Lighthouse audits

The Lighthouse audit results on my local machine have huge differences in performance. The Drupal version got 37 (mobile) and 38 (desktop) on performance while the Gatsby version 100 on both. The Drupal is running with Docker4Drupal setup. I had noticed that the local Drupal was slow but in my case, they often are so I paid it no attention. Speed wasn't that important with this project since the site is tiny.

On the server-side, the Drupal version got 98 (mobile) and 100 (desktop) points in performance. So good job on the hosting side of things. The site is pretty simple, though, so I was expecting good results. I'd like to see if there is more difference when working with larger projects, so maybe I will need to come up with a large project at some point.

If you're interested in the sites, the Drupal portfolio is located here and the Gatsby portfolio is located here.