SEO comparison of Gatsby vs. Next.js vs. Astro
This comparison between Gatsby, Next.js and Astro (Astro.js) is focused entirely on their SEO. Let’s leave things like how easy they are to maintain, how developer friendly they are, how good their ecosystems are, and everything else, to some other article. We only focus on SEO here.
As you can create the same custom components and content on any of them, the technical SEO side is a high deciding factor in this comparison.
SEO comparison in table form
By clicking the question in the table you can get more in-depth information about the specific comparison point. They will direct you lower on this page.
|Can provide static sites||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Can automatically generate a sitemap||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Has image optimization||Yes||Yes||Yes, but it is more limited at the moment|
|Is crawler friendly||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Has an SEO plugin similar to Yoast SEO on WordPress||No||No||No|
|Can achieve a 100 Lighthouse performance score by an advanced developer||Yes, somewhat easily||Yes, somewhat easily||Yes, very easily|
|Can achieve 100 scores on Lighthouse Best practices, Accessibility and SEO||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Can have a Robots.txt file||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Can have custom metadata at <head>||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Gatsby vs. Next.js vs. Astro SEO comparison more in-depth
Static site generation
Gatsby, Next.js and Astro all support SSG (Static Site Generation). Out of these Gatsby and Astro have been built mainly as SSG tools, whereas Next.js was built as an SSR tool. Nowadays Next.js does have full SSG support and is completely equal to Gatsby and Astro in terms of that. Static generation means that the site is generated into static HTML, CSS and JS files that can be hosted anywhere, and does not require a backend server to serve pages to users. SSR is very beneficial for SEO as it improves page loading speed and is great for crawlers.
Automatic sitemap generation
Both Gatsby and Next.js have wonderful image optimization out of the box.
Astro.js on the other hand is still a bit untested and has some weird image optimization behaviour. For example, the images don't have height and width properties out of the box at all! You have to use really hacky Node.js logic to add the height and width attributes to them. Google Lighthouse goes crazy when with the size attribute warnings when you run an Astro site through it.
All three are extremely crawler friendly and you will get a lot out of your crawler budget with them.
Has an SEO plugin similar to Yoast SEO on WordPress
Unfortunately, none of the three have anything like Yoast SEO built-in, even as plugins.
Some headless CMS services might have something similar, but no built-in solutions within the frameworks itself.
Getting Lighthouse 100 performance score
All three can achieve a Lighthouse 100 performance score, but Astro has the easiest time at it.
Getting Lighthouse 100 scores on Best practices, Accessibility and SEO
All three have equal chances of reaching a full 100 score on these. These are not affected by the framework, they are more about the skills of your web developer.
All three have a way of adding a
robots.txt file. With Gatsby, you create the file inside the
static folder. With Astro and Next.js, you create the file inside the
Custom metadata at <head>
All three support metadata at <head>. Gatsby does it by using its Head API. Next.js does it by using
next/head. Astro.js does it by using its page template files.
However, it is easier to accidentally make content be rendered via JS on Gatsby and Next.js. That's due to React, where you often don't notice something blocking the static site generation process. I do technical SEO consultation, and I quite often see that happening with even large sites.
In terms of SEO functionality, Gatsby, Next.js, and Astro are very similar. All of them can handle static site generation and have almost the same features. Going with any of them is beneficial for SEO and will give you great results.
If your site needs a lot of interactivity, where users click on things and new things appear, you might want to use Gatsby or Next.js. Reason for that is the fact that the two have been built to do just that: static sites with a lot of interactivity.