Moving to 11ty

Rewriting my website in 11ty

Well I've tried a few static site generators over the years.

I started out with Jekyll (didn't we all?) and built a website for my partner with that. But after a while I had some problems. The build was taking about 5 minutes, the template I based the site off made some interesting choices when it came to how stuff was structured, so I ended up rewriting a bunch of stuff - creating a very messy code base.

From there I was tempted by the speed of Hugo (and the fact that it was written in Go) and used that to build the first version of this website. And it went really well!

This time I started from scratch instead of using a template and that helped keep the code base a bit cleaner. It was a really fun project and I was able to achieve everything I wanted.

After a while I found some limitations though. On one hand there was some duplication of code because of the separate concepts of partials and shortcodes ( I hacked a way around that ), and more importantly, the tool was very opinionated, so when I wanted to go a bit outside the expected file/folder structure, I found myself in a fight with the tool.

So I was looking for my next static site generator.

So this is where 11ty came in!

I was a bit hesitant due to it being based on javascript. I had tested out Gatsby a few months ago and was immediately turned off by how much slower it was than Hugo.

But I gave 11ty a try and created a POC project where I tested out all the features I wanted to implement. A kind of playground project. I was quite impressed by both how fast it is and how flexible it is. I was able to easily implement everything I wanted - including stuff that was impossible in Hugo.

So from there I decided to take on the project of rewriting my website in 11ty. It took about a week and I'm now much happier with what it looks like. I feel the structure is much cleaner, easier to change, and files are in more logical places (at least for me)!

So, to summarise: I'm really happy with 11ty and would recommend it for anyone looking for a static site generator 👍