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Eleventy (11ty)

Eleventy, also known as 11ty, is a powerful and flexible static site generator that leverages simplicity and speed. Built on JavaScript, it allows developers to create fast, modern websites without the complexity of heavier frameworks.

What is Eleventy (11ty)?

Eleventy, often referred to as 11ty, is an open-source static site generator written in JavaScript. Known for its simplicity and flexibility, 11ty enables developers to build fast and modern websites with ease. It gives you the power to create your site using simple templating languages and minimizes the need for extensive configurations.

Eleventy stands out because it doesn’t lock you into a specific setup or architecture, offering you the freedom to structure your project as you prefer. You can pull content from a variety of sources, including Markdown files, JavaScript objects, JSON, and more. This adaptability makes Eleventy an attractive choice for developers who want a customizable solution.

Core Features of Eleventy

One of the main features of Eleventy is its support for multiple template languages. Whether you're comfortable with Nunjucks, Liquid, Pug, or even plain HTML, 11ty supports them all. This feature is particularly appealing to developers who want the flexibility to choose the best tool for their needs.


Eleventy is designed with performance in mind. By generating static HTML files, it reduces the need for server-side processing, resulting in faster page loads and a better user experience. This performance benefit is compounded when combined with a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to distribute content globally.

Simplicity and Ease of Use

Eleventy’s simplicity is one of its strongest selling points. Its configuration is minimal, and it follows the “convention over configuration” principle, making it easy to get started. The learning curve is relatively low, which helps new developers get productive quickly.


Eleventy is highly flexible. It doesn’t enforce a particular folder structure, allowing you to organize your project in a way that makes sense for you. Furthermore, it’s easy to integrate with other tools and workflows, which makes it a very adaptable option for diverse projects.

Plugin Ecosystem

Though Eleventy is lightweight, it boasts a growing plugin ecosystem that extends its capabilities. You can find plugins for optimizations like image compression, markdown transformations, and integrations with other systems and APIs.

Comparison with Other Static Site Generators

Eleventy has some distinct advantages over other popular static site generators like Gatsby and Next.js. While frameworks like Gatsby and Next.js rely heavily on JavaScript and complex toolchains, Eleventy sticks to the basics, focusing on delivering performant HTML with minimal overhead.

Gatsby is built on React and leverages GraphQL, which is excellent for dynamic applications but can introduce complexity for simple static sites. Eleventy, on the other hand, provides a straightforward approach without unnecessary abstractions.

Similarly, Next.js offers both static and dynamic rendering capabilities, which adds versatility but also complexity. Eleventy’s simplicity is its strength, making it a preferable option for those who value ease of use and performance.

Common Use Cases for Eleventy

Eleventy is ideal for a wide range of applications, from personal blogs to complex documentation sites and even marketing websites.

Personal Blogs

For personal blogs, Eleventy’s support for Markdown makes it easy to write and manage posts. Its straightforward setup means you can quickly get your blog up and running.

Documentation Sites

Eleventy is often used for documentation sites due to its simplicity and configurability. It allows you to focus on content rather than setup, making it an excellent choice for technical writers and developers.

Marketing Websites

Marketing websites benefit from Eleventy’s performance gains. Fast load times improve user experience and can contribute to better search engine optimization (SEO). The flexibility in templating also allows for highly customized and aesthetically pleasing layouts.

How to Get Started with Eleventy

Getting started with Eleventy is a breeze. First, you need to install it using npm:

npm install @11ty/eleventy

Then, you can create your project and start building your site using the template language of your choice. The official Eleventy documentation is an excellent resource to help you through the setup and development process.


Eleventy (11ty) is a powerful yet simple static site generator that offers developers flexibility, performance, and ease of use. Whether you’re building a personal blog, a documentation site, or a marketing website, Eleventy is an excellent choice that enables you to focus on what matters the most—your content.

Further Reading

For more information, check out these authoritative sources: