July 12, 2019

Using Tailwind with Gatsby

The Gatsby blog starter kit I have used to kickstart my migration from Hugo to Gatsby makes use of the Typography plugin for some basic styling, along with a couple of custom typefaces. For my website, I want to make use of the Tailwind CSS library. In this blog post, I demonstrate the steps I used to remove the Typography styling and add Tailwind to my website.

Removing the starter kit styling

Removing the existing styling from the starter kit was as simple as removing a few NPM packages, and cleaning up the code to remove all usage of these packages. In particular, I removed the following NPM packages:

  • gatsby-plugin-typography
  • react-typography
  • typeface-merriweather
  • typeface-montserrat
  • typography
  • typography-theme-wordpress-2016

I also had to remove the usages in the source code.

Installing Tailwind

Installing Tailwind was pretty straightforward and I followed the Gatsby documentation for the most part. The only missing part was how to create a new CSS file which uses Tailwind.

First, install the tailwindcss and gatsby-plugin-postcss packages:

npm install tailwindcss gatsby-plugin-postcss --save-dev

Next, you can create a Tailwind Configuration file. It is not needed, but I did this as I know I want to play around with this later to try and reduce the size of the generated CSS.

./node_modules/.bin/tailwind init

This will create a tailwind.config.js file in the root of the project which you can use to customise Tailwind.

You will also need to create a postcss.config.js file in the root directory of your website:

module.exports = () => ({
  plugins: [require("tailwindcss")],

And include the PostCSS plugin for Gatsby in your gatsby-config.js:

plugins: [`gatsby-plugin-postcss`],

The final bit is to create a global CSS file and include it in Gatsby. I created a file called /src/styles/site.css with the following content:

@tailwind base;

@tailwind components;

@tailwind utilities;

You can also refer to the Tailwind CSS Installation docs for more information on this.

Once the file has been created, you need to update your gatsby-browser.js to import this CSS file:

import "./src/styles/site.css"

For more information, refer to the Gatsby tutorial on Styling in Gatsby.

Using Tailwind

You can now start using the Tailwind utility classes in your website. For example, to use the Tailwind container, you can specify it in the className prop as follows:

import React from "react"
import { Link } from "gatsby"

class Layout extends React.Component {
  render() {
    // some code omitted

    return (
      <div className="container mx-auto">
          © {new Date().getFullYear()}, Built with
          {` `}
          <a href="https://www.gatsbyjs.org">Gatsby</a>

export default Layout


In this blog post, I demonstrated how you could remove the styling that is included in the Gatsby blog starter kit and replace it with Tailwind. I also showed how you could start using the Tailwind utility classes in your components.