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Testing Gatsby's Head API With Vitest & Playwright

Created: Jul 23, 2022 – Last Updated: Jul 23, 2022

Tags: Gatsby

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With Gatsby’s 4.19 release (opens in a new tab) a new API was added: Gatsby Head API (opens in a new tab). Gatsby includes a built-in Head export that allows you to add elements to the document head of your pages.

In this short post I want to explain how to unit test and end to end (E2E) test components that you use with Gatsby Head API. The examples will use Vitest (opens in a new tab) and Playwright (opens in a new tab).

If you want to follow along, make sure that you have a SEO component first. You can follow the official Adding an SEO component guide (opens in a new tab) to learn how to create one.

You can find the complete project used for these examples on GitHub: testing-gatsby-head-api (opens in a new tab)

#Unit Testing with Vitest

Install dependencies:

npm install -D @testing-library/jest-dom @testing-library/react c8 jsdom vitest

Create a vitest.config.ts:

import { defineConfig } from "vitest/config"
export default defineConfig({
test: {
globals: true,
setupFiles: `./vitest-setup.ts`,
include: [`src/**/__tests__/*.{ts,tsx}`],
coverage: {
reporter: [`text`, `json`, `html`],

Create a vitest-setup.ts file:

import { vi } from "vitest"
import React from "react"
import "@testing-library/jest-dom"
vi.mock(`gatsby`, async () => {
const gatsby = await vi.importActual<typeof import("gatsby")>(`gatsby`)
return {
graphql: vi.fn(),
Link: vi.fn().mockImplementation(({ to, }) =>
React.createElement(`a`, {,
href: to,
StaticQuery: vi.fn(),
useStaticQuery: vi.fn(),

Add scripts to package.json:

"test:watch": "vitest watch",
"test:ci": "vitest run",
"test:coverage": "vitest run --coverage",

If you followed the Adding an SEO component guide (opens in a new tab) you’ll have a <SEO /> component at src/components/seo that has a bunch of props and uses a custom React hook to fetch data from siteMetadata. You’ll need to mock the usage of useStaticQuery in your test file to be able to render it with @testing-library/react.

Here’s an example test file for an SEO component:

* @vitest-environment jsdom
import * as React from "react"
import * as Gatsby from "gatsby"
import { render } from "@testing-library/react"
import { vi } from "vitest"
import { SEO } from "../seo"
const useStaticQuery = vi.spyOn(Gatsby, `useStaticQuery`)
const mockUseStaticQuery = {
site: {
siteMetadata: {
siteTitle: `Testing Gatsby Head API`,
siteUrl: `https://www.yourdomain.tld`,
siteDescription: `Showing how to test Gatsby Head API with Vitest and Playwright`,
describe(`SEO component`, () => {
beforeEach(() => {
useStaticQuery.mockImplementation(() => mockUseStaticQuery)
afterEach(() => {
it(`should have sensible defaults`, () => {
const result = render(<SEO />, { container: document.head }).baseElement
it(`should accept all common props`, () => {
const result = render(
title="Custom Title"
description="Custom Description"
{ container: document.head }

The .baseElement.parentElement?.firstChild is quite important here to get the correct element to look at. Without it the result from render() is just too verbose.

Run Vitest to fill the inline snapshots. Your tests should pass.

npm run test:ci

#E2E Testing with Playwright

Install Playwright using their CLI:

npm init playwright@latest

Choose e2e as your folder name and don’t install any GitHub actions (unless you know you need them).

Once installation is done, add the following scripts to package.json:

"playwright": "playwright test",
"playwright:debug": "playwright test --debug",
"playwright:init": "playwright install chromium",

While the initial installation added more devices than only chromium, I’m only interested in using Chromium. And when you clone the project to a new device, run playwright:init to only install that.

Change the automatically created playwright.config.ts to the following:

import type { PlaywrightTestConfig } from "@playwright/test"
import { devices } from "@playwright/test"
const config: PlaywrightTestConfig = {
testDir: `./e2e`,
timeout: 30 * 1000,
expect: {
timeout: 5000,
forbidOnly: !!process.env.CI,
retries: process.env.CI ? 2 : 0,
workers: process.env.CI ? 1 : undefined,
reporter: `list`,
webServer: {
command: `yarn serve`,
port: 9000,
reuseExistingServer: !process.env.CI,
use: {
actionTimeout: 0,
trace: `on-first-retry`,
projects: [
name: `chromium`,
use: {
...devices[`Desktop Chrome`],
export default config

Delete tests-examples folder and delete the example.spec.ts in e2e folder. Create a new file called meta.spec.ts inside e2e:

import { test, expect } from "@playwright/test"
const siteTitle = `Testing Gatsby Head API`
test.describe(`Index Page`, () => {
test(`should have correct meta tags`, async ({ page }) => {
await page.goto(`/`)
await expect(page).toHaveTitle(siteTitle)
const twitterTitle = await page
const ogTitle = await page
await expect(twitterTitle).toBe(siteTitle)
await expect(ogTitle).toBe(siteTitle)

Assuming you have a Head export in your src/pages/index.tsx like this your meta tags should be all set up:

export const Head = () => <SEO />

Build your Gatsby site:

npm run build

You now can run Playwright:

npm run playwright

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