I really enjoy working with Github gists. They have a great look without having to tinker around with themes (such as with Prism), are highly readable, and provide out-of-the-box syntax highlighting and line numbering for numerous languages and formats.

I also like having all of my code snippets stored in one central place. Whenever I need to reference or update them again, it’s easy.

For these reasons, I wanted to use gists for writing blog posts. As things are, I ran into some roadblocks along the way.

My first plan of attack was the gatsby-remark-embed-gist plugin. I spent a good chunk of time trying to get this to work, but was only ever able to render the literal code block:


By this time, I was investigating transitioning to MDX files.

As written in the docs:

MDX is an authorable format that lets you seamlessly write JSX in your Markdown documents. You can import components, such as interactive charts or alerts, and embed them within your content. This makes writing long-form content with components a blast 🚀.

Having the freedom to write JSX into my markdown sounded great, and it would open the door for writing more visual and potentially interactive content in the future.

In addition, I had recently come across react-gist. This package provides the user with a gist component. This would serve as a perfect use-case for a MDX file, and would solve my gist rendering problem.

Once I had gatsby-plugin-mdx set up properly, all I needed to do was import, and include my gist components wherever I needed them:



  • Do not forget the quotes around your id string else your gist will not render

  • Please be aware that if you are using a frontmatter, you will need to include your import statement after the frontmatter.

  • If you are experiencing errors, be sure to try clearing your .cache and public folders by running `gatsby-clean.