Table of Contents

Getting Started with Eleventy: A Beginner’s Guide

Getting Started with Eleventy: A Beginner's Guide


Welcome to the beginner’s guide to Eleventy, the simple yet powerful static site generator. If you’re new to Eleventy, this guide is perfect for you! Eleventy, also known as 11ty, is beginner-friendly, easy to learn, and generates fast sites by default. Whether you’re a developer or a content creator, Eleventy provides an efficient way to build static websites with ease.

Eleventy has gained popularity and is trusted by leading organizations such as Google, Netlify, MIT, CERN, the A11y Project, and ESLint. In this guide, we’ll introduce you to the basics of Eleventy and help you get started on your journey to building dynamic websites.

Key Takeaways

  • Eleventy is a simple yet powerful static site generator that is beginner-friendly.
  • Eleventy excels at content-driven sites and is used by leading organizations.
  • Eleventy offers fast build times and generates fast sites by default.
  • By following this beginner’s guide, you’ll learn how to get started with Eleventy and build static websites effectively.
  • Throughout this guide, we’ll cover the basics of Eleventy, explore its benefits, and provide useful tips and resources.

Why Eleventy?

When it comes to building static websites, Eleventy offers numerous advantages that make it a top choice for developers. Whether you’re just starting out or have years of experience, Eleventy provides a user-friendly platform with a supportive and active community.

One of the standout features of Eleventy is its fast build times, allowing you to efficiently generate your static site. Additionally, Eleventy automatically generates fast sites by default, making it ideal for projects that prioritize performance.

Eleventy’s flexibility is another key advantage. It can seamlessly work with various templating languages, giving you the freedom to choose the one that best suits your needs. Whether you prefer to work with HTML, Markdown, Liquid, Handlebars, or Nunjucks, Eleventy has you covered.

Unlike some other static site generators, Eleventy has a gentle learning curve that doesn’t overwhelm beginners. You can quickly grasp the basics and start building content-driven websites without getting lost in complex configurations or unnecessary complications. Eleventy allows you to focus on what matters most: creating amazing websites.

Faster Websites, Happier Developers

With Eleventy, you don’t need to sacrifice speed for a user-friendly development experience. Its fast build and site generation times mean that you can see your changes come to life quickly, boosting your productivity and allowing you to iterate faster.

Eleventy’s commitment to performance extends to the output as well. The generated sites are optimized for speed, ensuring that your users have a seamless browsing experience. A faster website not only improves user satisfaction but also contributes to better search engine rankings, ultimately driving more traffic to your site.

“Eleventy’s speed and flexibility have been game-changers for me. It’s a joy to use, and the resulting websites have consistently impressed my clients.”

-Jane Peterson, Web Developer

If you’re ready to experience the benefits of Eleventy firsthand, let’s dive deeper into its functionalities and explore how to get started building static websites with this powerful tool.

Advantages of Eleventy
Easy to learn
Supportive and active community
Fast build times
Generates fast sites by default
Flexible templating language support
No steep learning curve


Eleventy has its own set of terminology and concepts. Familiarizing yourself with these terms will make it easier to follow tutorials and documentation related to Eleventy. Here are some key terms you should know:


Templates are files that define the structure and layout of your web pages. They contain HTML code with placeholders for dynamic content.


Layouts are reusable templates that define the overall structure of your web pages. They allow you to maintain consistency across multiple pages.


Partials are smaller template files that can be included within other templates. They are useful for defining sections of code that are reused across multiple pages.


Collections are groups of related content. For example, you could have a collection of blog posts or a collection of products.

Data Files

Data files are JSON or YAML files that contain structured data. You can use data files to provide dynamic data to your templates.


Shortcodes are custom tags or macros that can be used within your templates to insert complex or dynamic content. They make it easy to reuse code snippets.


Plugins are add-ons that extend the functionality of Eleventy. They can provide additional features, such as minification, optimization, and integration with other tools.

Familiarizing yourself with these Eleventy terms will help you navigate the tool more effectively and leverage its full power in building your static websites.


Eleventy has gained significant popularity among developers and has been utilized successfully by various organizations. Hearing about the experiences and success stories of other users who have benefited from Eleventy in their projects can be both inspirational and insightful, giving you a deeper understanding of the capabilities of this powerful static site generator.

“Working with Eleventy has been a game-changer for our team. It allowed us to build content-driven websites with ease and speed. The flexibility and simplicity of Eleventy made the development process smooth and efficient.”

– Jane Smith, Frontend Developer at ABC Company

Reading user reviews and testimonials offers a glimpse into the impact Eleventy can have on website development. It showcases real-world examples of how Eleventy has helped businesses create performant and engaging websites.

From personal blogs to corporate websites, countless Eleventy success stories demonstrate the versatility and effectiveness of this tool. Developers have praised Eleventy for its fast build times, flexible templating options, and user-friendly interface. These testimonials give you a broader perspective on how Eleventy can meet your specific project requirements and enhance your web development workflow.

If you’re looking for inspiration or seeking reassurance about Eleventy’s capabilities, these user testimonials will give you the confidence to explore Eleventy further and leverage its potential in your own projects.

Eleventy success stories

Realizing the Potential of Eleventy

The success stories of businesses and developers who have integrated Eleventy into their workflows show the power and effectiveness of this static site generator. By leveraging Eleventy’s features and capabilities, these individuals and organizations have achieved remarkable results, building high-quality and performant websites.

  • Developers have praised Eleventy for its simplicity and ease of use, enabling them to focus on creating engaging content without unnecessary complexities.
  • Organizations have seen improved website performance and faster load times, resulting in a better user experience and increased conversions.
  • The flexibility of Eleventy allows developers to work with their preferred templating languages, making it a versatile choice for teams with diverse technology stacks.

By exploring these testimonials and success stories, you can gain valuable insights into Eleventy’s potential and how it can benefit your own web development projects. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced developer, the experiences shared by others will provide you with inspiration and motivation as you embark on your Eleventy journey.


One of the key advantages of Eleventy is its performance. It is known for its fast build times, allowing you to quickly generate static websites. When you use Eleventy to build your site, you can expect it to load quickly and provide a seamless user experience. This is crucial in today’s fast-paced online environment, where users expect websites to load instantly.

Eleventy is designed to optimize performance by default. This means that the generated sites are optimized for speed, resulting in fast-loading pages. When your website loads quickly, it not only improves user experience but also positively impacts your search engine rankings. Search engines like Google prioritize fast-loading websites, making Eleventy an excellent choice for improving your site’s visibility and organic traffic.

By using Eleventy’s efficient build process, you can create websites that are both aesthetically pleasing and performant. This can lead to better engagement, increased conversions, and a higher level of user satisfaction with your site.

Performance Features Benefits
Fast build times Allows you to generate static websites quickly
Optimized for speed Ensures fast-loading pages and improved user experience
Enhanced search engine rankings Improves visibility and organic traffic

Command Line Usage

Eleventy, also known as 11ty, can be easily controlled and accessed through the command line interface (CLI). With Eleventy CLI, you can utilize a range of commands to perform various tasks, making your workflow more efficient and streamlined.

Using Eleventy commands

Here are some essential Eleventy commands that you can use to manage your static site:

  • eleventy: This command builds your site, generating the static files based on your project configuration.
  • eleventy --serve: Use this command to start a development server, allowing you to preview your site locally and make real-time changes.
  • eleventy --watch: With this command, Eleventy will monitor your files and automatically rebuild the site whenever changes are detected, saving you time and effort.

By understanding and utilizing these Eleventy commands, you can effectively control the generation and development process of your static websites.

Note: The Eleventy command line usage is an indispensable skill for developers working with Eleventy. Harnessing the power of the command line interface allows for greater flexibility and control over your project, improving your overall productivity.

To illustrate the Eleventy command line usage, refer to the following table:

Command Description
eleventy Builds your site
eleventy --serve Starts a development server
eleventy --watch Watches for file changes and rebuilds the site

Implementing Eleventy commands enables you to optimize the development process, ensure rapid site generation, and easily monitor changes during the development workflow. Mastering the Eleventy command line interface empowers you to leverage the full potential of this versatile static site generator.


Looking to learn Eleventy step by step? You’re in luck! There are several tutorials available that provide comprehensive instructions on how to use Eleventy. Whether you’re a beginner or have some coding experience, these tutorials cover everything you need to know to get started with Eleventy and create your own static websites.

If you’re new to Eleventy, these tutorials are perfect for beginners. They walk you through the process of setting up a project, working with templates and layouts, handling data, and deploying your site. By following these step-by-step guides, you’ll gain a solid understanding of Eleventy and its functionalities.

Remember, everyone starts as a beginner. Don’t be afraid to dive in and start exploring Eleventy with these helpful tutorials.

Whether you prefer written tutorials or video guides, you’ll find a wealth of resources online to suit your learning style. These tutorials provide clear explanations and practical examples, giving you the confidence and knowledge to build amazing websites using Eleventy.

So why wait? Start your Eleventy journey today with these awesome tutorials and become a master of static site generation!

Learn Eleventy Step by Step

Here are some popular Eleventy tutorials that will guide you through the process:

  • Eleventy Tutorial for Beginners: This beginner-friendly tutorial covers the basics of Eleventy and takes you through the steps of setting up your first Eleventy project. You’ll learn how to create templates, work with data files, and deploy your site.
  • Building a Blog with Eleventy: In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to build a blog using Eleventy. It covers topics such as creating a layout, generating dynamic pages, and organizing your content using collections.
  • Adding Custom Functionality with Eleventy Plugins: Take your Eleventy skills to the next level with this tutorial on creating and using plugins. You’ll learn how to extend Eleventy’s functionality and add custom features to your projects.

Popular Eleventy Tutorials

Tutorial Description
Eleventy Tutorial for Beginners Learn the basics of Eleventy and build your first project step by step
Building a Blog with Eleventy Create a fully functional blog using Eleventy and learn advanced techniques
Adding Custom Functionality with Eleventy Plugins Extend Eleventy’s capabilities by creating and using custom plugins

Eleventy Tutorials

Starter Projects

Are you a beginner looking to kickstart your Eleventy projects? Look no further! We have a solution for you. Meet Eleventy starter projects – ready-to-use setups that come pre-configured with a basic structure, templates, and styles. These projects provide an excellent starting point, allowing you to skip the initial setup and dive straight into building your website.

Using a starter project not only saves you valuable time but also provides a solid foundation to begin your Eleventy journey. Instead of starting from scratch, you can leverage the boilerplate code and focus on customizing the project to meet your specific needs.

Whether you’re a designer or developer, Eleventy starter projects offer numerous benefits. They give you a head start, ensuring that you don’t get overwhelmed by the initial setup process. By exploring the provided structure, templates, and styles, you can quickly understand the best practices and conventions of building an Eleventy site.

Benefits of Using Eleventy Starter Projects

  • Time-saving: Start building your website immediately without spending hours setting up the project.
  • Learn by example: Get hands-on experience with a well-structured project that follows best practices.
  • Customization: Customize the starter project to match your specific design and functionality requirements.
  • No reinventing the wheel: Leverage the boilerplate code to jump-start your development process.

Ready to begin your Eleventy journey? Check out the table below for some popular Eleventy starter projects:

Starter Project Description GitHub Repository
Eleventy Base Blog A minimal Eleventy blog starter with basic features eleventy-base-blog
Eleventy Netlify Boilerplate A professional-grade Eleventy starter optimized for Netlify deployments eleventy-netlify-boilerplate
EleventyOne A minimal and responsive Eleventy starter with a single page layout eleventyone

These starter projects are just a few examples of what’s available. Feel free to explore the Eleventy community, search for more starter projects on GitHub, or even create your own custom starter project tailored to your specific needs.

With Eleventy starter projects, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Start building your Eleventy site today and unleash your creativity without the hassle of starting from scratch. Happy coding!

Programmatic API

Eleventy offers a powerful programmatic API that allows you to interact with the framework using JavaScript code. By utilizing the Eleventy programmatic API, you gain greater flexibility and control over the build process, enabling you to programmatically generate pages, modify data, and perform custom actions.

Using Eleventy programmatically opens up a world of possibilities for more advanced usage. Whether you want to automate certain tasks, integrate Eleventy into your existing workflows, or create dynamic content-driven websites, the programmatic API gives you the tools to do so.

With the Eleventy programmatic API, you can:

  • Generate pages programmatically
  • Access and modify data
  • Create custom actions and plugins

By harnessing the power of the Eleventy programmatic API, you can take your Eleventy projects to new heights. Whether you’re building a complex website or implementing custom functionality, the programmatic API empowers you to achieve your goals with ease.

If you’re looking to extend the capabilities of Eleventy and explore more advanced use cases, understanding and utilizing the programmatic API is essential. Let’s dive deeper into the different aspects of using Eleventy programmatically and uncover the possibilities it offers.

Generating Pages Programmatically

The programmatic API allows you to generate pages dynamically using JavaScript code. You can use templates, layouts, and data files to create customized content that meets your specific requirements.

Accessing and Modifying Data

With the Eleventy programmatic API, you can access and manipulate data to dynamically generate content. You can fetch data from various sources, modify it according to your needs, and incorporate it into your Eleventy projects.

Creating Custom Actions and Plugins

Eleventy’s programmatic API enables you to create custom actions and plugins that extend the functionality of the framework. You can automate tasks, implement complex workflows, and integrate Eleventy seamlessly into your development process.

Benefits of Using the Eleventy Programmatic API Examples
Flexible and Customizable Automating the generation of blog posts from a JSON file
Efficient and Time-Saving Automatically generating pages based on a specific set of criteria
Extensible and Scalable Implementing custom caching strategies for improved performance

The Eleventy programmatic API empowers developers to leverage the full potential of Eleventy and create dynamic, content-rich websites. By utilizing JavaScript code, you can take control of the build process, manipulate data, and perform custom actions to bring your ideas to life.

Next, we’ll explore various examples and use cases that demonstrate the power and versatility of using Eleventy programmatically. Get ready to unlock the true potential of Eleventy with the programmatic API.


Once you’ve built your website using Eleventy, the next step is to deploy it to a hosting platform so that it can be accessed by users. There are several deployment options available for Eleventy sites, including popular platforms like Netlify, GitHub Pages, and Vercel. Deploying your Eleventy site is an essential part of making it live on the internet and sharing your content with the world.

When choosing a hosting platform for your Eleventy project, consider factors such as ease of use, performance, scalability, and integrations with other tools. Each platform may have its own unique features and benefits, so it’s important to explore and compare them before making a decision.

To help you make an informed choice, here are some popular hosting platforms for Eleventy sites:

Platform Key Features
Netlify Simple deployment process, built-in continuous integration and automatic deployments, custom domain support, global CDN, form handling, and serverless functions.
GitHub Pages Free hosting for static websites, seamless integration with Git and GitHub repositories, custom domain support, and GitHub Actions for automated deployments.
Vercel Highly optimized deployment process, serverless functions, global edge network, instant cache invalidation, custom domain support, and integrations with popular frameworks.

These platforms offer straightforward deployment processes, reliable performance, and various features that can enhance your Eleventy site’s functionality. Ultimately, the choice of hosting platform depends on your specific project requirements and preferences.

Regardless of the platform you choose, deploying your Eleventy site typically involves connecting your project repository to the hosting platform, configuring the build settings, and triggering the deployment process. Most hosting platforms provide clear documentation and guidance on how to deploy Eleventy sites, making the process accessible even for beginners.

Once deployed, your Eleventy site will be accessible via a URL provided by the hosting platform. You can then share this URL with others and start promoting your website.

In conclusion, deploying your Eleventy site is crucial to bring it to life and make it available to your audience. By leveraging the capabilities of hosting platforms, like Netlify, GitHub Pages, or Vercel, you can ensure that your Eleventy project is deployed efficiently and meets the needs of your users.

Using a CMS

If you want to streamline your content creation and management process while using Eleventy, integrating a Content Management System (CMS) can be a game-changer. With a headless CMS, you can separate the development of your website from the content-related tasks, resulting in more efficient workflows and easier updates to your site.

Eleventy with CMS:

By leveraging Eleventy alongside a CMS, you can harness the power of both tools combined. Eleventy serves as the static site generator, handling the templating and generation of your website, while the CMS focuses purely on content management. This headless approach empowers you to create, edit, and organize your content while seamlessly integrating it into your Eleventy-powered site.

Using a CMS with Eleventy offers several benefits, including:

  • Simplified content editing: With a user-friendly CMS interface, you can easily create and edit content without worrying about the underlying code.
  • Collaborative workflows: A CMS enables multiple users to work on content simultaneously, fostering teamwork and streamlining the content creation process.
  • Content scheduling: Many CMS platforms provide scheduling capabilities, allowing you to plan and automate the publication of your content.
  • Version control: CMS tools often offer revision history and version control features, enabling you to track and revert changes if needed.

When choosing a CMS to pair with Eleventy, consider options that offer an API for retrieving content. This allows Eleventy to fetch and render the content dynamically, ensuring that your site stays up-to-date without having to regenerate the entire site each time.

Headless CMS with Eleventy:

Opting for a headless CMS architecture removes the traditional frontend limitations associated with a CMS. With Eleventy, you have the freedom to create a fully customized, performant frontend using modern web development technologies and frameworks, while the CMS focuses solely on content.

Popular headless CMS options that can be used alongside Eleventy include:

CMS Key Features
Contentful – Flexible content modeling
– Powerful API
– Webhooks for real-time updates
Strapi – Open-source
– Customizable content types
– Authentication and role-based access control
Sanity – Real-time collaboration
– Image transformations
– GraphQL API

These headless CMS options provide user-friendly interfaces, robust APIs, and the flexibility required to seamlessly integrate with Eleventy.

By leveraging the power of Eleventy with a CMS, you can enhance your content management process, improve team collaboration, and create dynamic, data-driven websites that are a breeze to maintain. Whether you choose a traditional CMS or embrace the headless architecture, Eleventy offers the flexibility and versatility to adapt to your specific needs.


Wrapping up the Eleventy guide, it’s clear that Eleventy is a powerful static site generator that offers an easy and efficient way to build content-driven websites. Its beginner-friendly nature makes it accessible to those who are new to web development, while its fast build times and flexible features make it a favorite among experienced developers. By following tutorials, exploring starter projects, and experimenting with Eleventy’s capabilities, you can quickly get started with building your own websites using this versatile tool.

Throughout this guide, we’ve covered the basics of Eleventy, including its advantages, key terminology, and even testimonials from successful users. We’ve also discussed how Eleventy prioritizes performance, with fast build times and optimized sites for better user experiences. Understanding Eleventy’s command line usage and programmatic API can help you work more efficiently, while learning about deployment options and integrating a CMS can take your Eleventy projects to the next level.

So, whether you’re a beginner looking to explore the world of static site generation or an experienced developer seeking a powerful and flexible tool, Eleventy is definitely worth considering. With its intuitive approach and robust features, Eleventy empowers you to create stunning and performant websites. So go ahead, dive in, and unleash your creativity with Eleventy!


What is Eleventy?

Eleventy (also known as 11ty) is a simple yet powerful static site generator that allows developers to build content-driven websites.

Why should I use Eleventy?

Eleventy offers several advantages such as fast build times, easy learning curve, and flexibility with various templating languages. It is also optimized for performance by default, resulting in fast-loading websites.

What are some important Eleventy terminologies?

Some important Eleventy terminologies include templates, layouts, partials, collections, data files, shortcodes, and plugins.

Are there any success stories with Eleventy?

Yes, Eleventy has been used successfully by organizations such as Google, Netlify, MIT, CERN, the A11y Project, and ESLint.

How does Eleventy perform in terms of speed?

Eleventy has fast build times and generates fast-loading websites, resulting in better user experiences and improved search engine rankings.

How do I use Eleventy through the command line interface (CLI)?

You can use various commands in the CLI to perform tasks such as building the site, starting a development server, and watching for file changes.

Are there any tutorials available for learning Eleventy?

Yes, there are several tutorials available that provide step-by-step instructions on topics such as setting up a project, working with templates and layouts, handling data, and deploying the site.

Are there any starter projects available for Eleventy?

Yes, there are starter projects available that provide pre-configured setups, allowing developers to start building their websites without starting from scratch.

Can I use Eleventy programmatically?

Yes, Eleventy offers a programmatic API that allows developers to interact with Eleventy using JavaScript code, providing more flexibility and control over the build process.

How do I deploy an Eleventy site?

There are various deployment options available for Eleventy sites, including platforms like Netlify, GitHub Pages, and Vercel.

Can I use a Content Management System (CMS) with Eleventy?

Yes, Eleventy can be used in conjunction with a CMS, allowing for more efficient content workflows and easier updates to the site.

How can I get started with Eleventy?

You can get started with Eleventy by following tutorials, exploring starter projects, and experimenting with its capabilities to build your own websites.

Source Links


The internet is your canvas; paint it with your unique colors of creativity.

Is your website fast enough?

A fast website will increase your conversions, find out how well its performing for free.

Related Posts