Fat Buddha Designs

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Fat Buddha Designs Website Revamp

Fat Buddha Designs Website Revamp

Author: Will Moody

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Reading Time: (approx) 2 min

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Why rebuild the website with Eleventy?

As someone who builds websites for clients, I feel it's always best to be showcasing my skills by using the best methods and approaches possible.

My website before the revamp had been built using Gridsome and would have stayed that way apart from the fact that Gridsome has seen no updates for over a year now and it appears development has stallled, so it was time to move on.

After searching around for an alternative to Gridsome I decided that the best tool for myself and my clients going forwards would be Eleventy.

Eleventy (11ty) is a static site generator (SSG) built on top of Node.js that compiles static website assets (i.e. CSS, JS & HTML files) using content from various "source" files (e.g., markdown, templates, JSON, etc.). It works with multiple template languages including Nunjucks, Liquid and Handlebars which meant it was a less steep learning curve for myself and also makes it easy for most developers to get started quickly.

Eleventy is designed as a zero-configuration platform that provides as much or as little overhead as you would like, the ecosystem is very flexible with no constraints on directory and files layouts and there are a host of plugins available.

For me the final point that persuaded me to move forwards using Eleventy, is the on-going development undertaken by the core team, Eleventy's future looks bright.

To get started with the revamp of my website I first looked up some great resources including the official docs and the Learn Eleventy From Scratch course.

To start developing with Eleventy, you will need Node.js installed. I personally use a Windows based laptop and Visual Code Studio with the built in Terminal for my development. So for me the next step to getting a Eleventy based website started is to create a folder and navigate to it, then fire up the Terminal for that folder and start building. (I will cover then build process in more detail in another following this article).

I could copy all my content over from my Gridsome built site as it was written in Markdown, which Eleventy handles with ease.

I have used some of the great plug-ins available to help with the handling of images and creation of meta-images.

I've also kept the ability to edit my website content with Netlify CMS and as the site is hosted at Netlify, I also make use of the form handling there.

As always there is more work and improvements to undertake on the site but I have found Eleventy a joy to use and capable of everything I need so far.

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