Building My Site, Part 2


No portfolio site is complete without a blog where you can listen to the owner ramble about their current projects, right? Right! And this site is no different.

My requirements for a blog was that it should be easy to create and customize as needed, and MDX was the perfect solution for that.

For those not in the know, MDX is essentially a fancy Markdown file with the ability to embed React components. Super cool! I know it's kind of a staple for a lot of popular front end bloggers, judging by the sheer number of tutorials that exist for making a blog like this, but I was still blown away by how easy it is to author content like this.

Setting up the correct configurations was... less easy. But there's a bit of a story to that.

I've been working on getting a Meta Frontend Developer Certification, and one of the courses in that certification is what spurred me to create a portfolio site in the first place. The thing is, though, that the official Meta React course has you create your app using create-react-app, which I later learned has essentially been deprecated. What the heck, Meta?

I mean, I kind of get it. The certification is primarily for people who are brand new to React, so it would probably be a big ask to have people learn Next.js or Vite or one of the alternatives to CRA on top of that. But if I had known, I would have picked one of said alternatives! Purely because installing MDX and configuring it with CRA and webpack was just such a headache.

For the most part, MDX worked out of the box for me, but I wanted to do some fancier stuff with frontmatter and metadata. To do that, I installed remark-frontmatter, which is a plugin for MDX that handles the metadata at the beginning of each blog post. Sidenote, that metadata is what I use for the blog homepage to create links to each post with the title and excerpt from each post.

So this is the part where I share some code! Many thanks to dilanx, who created/maintains CRACO. CRA may be close to deprecated, but there are still awesome people out there making it work.

The problem was that CRA, webpack, and MDX don't always get along, but I was able get the remark plugin working thanks to some CRACO phenagling. The CRACO config file I ended up needing is as follows:

const { addAfterLoader, loaderByName } = require("@craco/craco");
const remarkFrontmatter = require("remark-frontmatter");

module.exports = {
  webpack: {
    configure: (webpackConfig) => {
      addAfterLoader(webpackConfig, loaderByName("babel-loader"), {
        test: /\.(md|mdx)$/,
        loader: require.resolve("@mdx-js/loader"),
        options: {
          providerImportSource: "@mdx-js/react",
          remarkPlugins: [remarkFrontmatter, { type: "yaml", marker: "-" }],

      return webpackConfig;

Pretty simple stuff in the end, but it took a lot of hair-pulling to figure out what I needed to do. Hopefully this helps someone in the future!

I also want to talk about how I pull out the metadata from each blog post. I wrote a simple script that I configured to run before each git commit, which reads the metadata using the gray-matter library, then writes it to a JSON file, which I can then read from the Blog home. Neat!

Here's the code for that (thanks to Caleb Olojo for a great tutorial on this):

var path = require("path");
var fs = require("fs");
var matter = require("gray-matter");
var { sync } = require("glob");

const articlesPath = path.join(process.cwd(), "src/data/posts");

async function getSlug() {
  const paths = sync(`${articlesPath}/*.mdx`);

  return => {
    const pathContent = path.split("/");
    const fileName = pathContent[pathContent.length - 1];
    const [slug, _extension] = fileName.split(".");

    return slug;

async function getArticleFromSlug(slugs) {
  const allArticleMetadata = [];

  for (const slug of slugs) {
    const articleDir = path.join("src/data/posts", `${slug}.mdx`);

    const source = fs.readFileSync(articleDir);
    const { _content, data } = matter(source);

    const metadata = {
      filePath: articleDir,
      slug: data.slug,
      excerpt: data.excerpt,
      title: data.title,


      flag: "w",
    function () {}

  console.log("Successfully wrote metadata to json file");

getSlug().then((slugs) => getArticleFromSlug(slugs));

And that's about it for creating a blog with MDX! See you next time!