Tim's Tech Blog

Setting up this blog (quickly) with Eleventy.

Hey, welcome! #

I've been wanting to have a tech blog of my own I could write stuff on for a while now...
And so I have tried to set one up a few times over the years, always with the same goals:

All my previous attempts failed, roughly at the same stage, whether it was full-features CMSs such as Wordpress or Ghost, or static site generators such as Gatsby. Every time, something felt off: it would require too much work for me to get what I wanted, or, more accurately: it would require too much work for me to get rid of all the stuff that I did not want.

Here are a few examples of things I do not want:

Paradoxically (or, is it?), it is now that I have much more time on my hands that I have found the way forward.

Eleventy (11ty), a simpler static site generator #

I have been hearing about Eleventy (11ty), a simpler static site generator for quite some time now and decided to give it a spin.
Immediately upon opening Eleventy Documentation, I stumbled upon the Starter Projects, and more specifically, the eleventy-base-blog starter project. Skipping further reading of the documentation, let's take a look at the steps I followed that led me to having this blog ready for ~production within a few hours.

This is a not a tutorial #

$ cd Repositories
$ git clone git@github.com:11ty/eleventy-base-blog.git timtech.blog
$ cd timtech.blog
$ npm install
$ npm start
$ rm -rf .git
$ git init
$ git remote add git@github.com:ziir/timtech.blog.git
$ git add .
$ git commit -m "initial commit"
$ git push origin master

timtech.blog scoring 100s on Lighthouse

Now, is this blog perfect? #

Absolutely not, it's just the bare minimum for me to push my content out there.

What about Eleventy, is it good? #

The fact that I was able to hack together a decent blog out of it without being familiar with it or reading any documentation puts it in a good position I believe.
There's one thing in particular that I appreciate of Eleventy: I mentionned earlier that the other options I had tried previously didn't satisfy me and, in some way, would be forcing too much work on me to remove all of the stuff that I did not want, and so far, Eleventy hasn't given me any of those.

timtech.blog post requests as seen in Firefox Devtools

What next? #

Now begins the journey of this blog, built with Eleventy. There's a bunch of things that this blog is currently missing and that I am fairly confident I will be able to implement with ease using Eleventy:

What if Eleventy is not up to the task? #

If, for some reason, I am not satisfied by Eleventy for the purposes of this blog, moving away from it to some other tool should be pretty easy.
Let's take a look of the things I would want to keep in such a scenario:

Wrapping things up #

While it's usually best to weigh the pros and cons of available options before committing to either of them, sometimes it really is fine to just try it, move forward and adapt along the way, even if the first results are far from perfection.

Note: please do not build your startup's app the same way I built this blog.