Juha-Matti Santala
Community Builder. Dreamer. Adventurer.

index.md is a valid Eleventy project

When you start a new website project, how much do you need to set up before you can start writing and publishing? That depends a lot on the tooling you end up using.

I was recently helping out a friend to learn how to build sites with Eleventy, my favorite static site generator right now, and I had an epiphany. I’ve been using Eleventy to build my own and my communities’ sites for a long time but over time, they tend to grow and I like to customize a lot of things.

The only thing you really need for a valid and useful Eleventy project is an index.md file.

# Hello world

Once you have a folder with that, you can run npx @11ty/eleventy and you’ll end up with a _site/ folder and in it, index.html that looks like this:

<h1>Hello world</h1>

You can upload that to a web hosting and you have a website.

While it’s not always “good enough” to publish, every other step towards building a full site can be done one step at the time, always having a functioning site in between the steps.

And that’s one thing I absolutely love about this tool. You can start so simple and keep enhancing it. You can pick the parts you want to bring in and skip the ones you don’t like or need.

If you’re not into building sites from the scratch, the community also has a bunch of great starter projects so you can focus on writing the content of the site or your blog and not worry about the rest.

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