Why I picked Eleventy as a static site generator

In the summer of 2019, a little voice inside of me said: "You need to start going to meetups if you want to become a developer".

And out comes the little devil on your shoulder: "But I don't know anyone else who goes to meetups. So I'll be there alone!".
Luckily, I'm past that stage. You won't find me entertaining the whole crowd, but I'll look for a friendly face and say "Hi". So I joined some groups and started scanning them for events in my area.

My first meetup

One of the first events that caught my eye was "HackJam Workshop on Docker". I'm not really familiar with Docker, the topic was just of lesser importance. I was looking for a platform to interact with other (aspiring) developers. And this meetup had another important characteristic: convenience. Close to work, not too late in the evening. Perfect!

Wondering where I'm going with this? Bear with me.

So in the weeks leading up to this event, I looked at the program of the previous events. One of them was "HackJam intro to GraphQL".
Terra incognita, so as a keen developer you look it up. And I was lead to Jamstack.org.

Javascript, APIs and Markup

It all started to make sense:

  • Serving static pages is much faster than generating pages on the fly. Logical, right?
  • Automated build workflows make changes a piece of cake.
  • Content and code follow the same flow. Meaning: local = production !

Further exploration led me to Hugo, Gatsby and Jekyll.
But when the idea of a personal website sprung to life, it was Eleventy which caught my eye.

Not long after, I was browsing the docs and was convinced that this would be my weapon of choice.
Without going into too much detail, I'll share my findings:

  • It's very easy to set up. Getting it rolling with Netlify took me just a couple of minutes.
  • Use almost any templating engine: Markdown, Liquid, EJS, Mustache, Pug and the list keeps going.
    For now, Nunjucks is my preferred partner.
  • Lots of oomph in the configuration options.

Don't believe me? Just check out some of the projects built with Eleventy.

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