Moving from Hexo to 11ty

March 29, 2021

This blog is now generated using Eleventy! I recently moved everything over from Hexo for a multitude of reasons. Primarily, the template I was using was bloated with unnecessary logic, markup, and various JS libraries. I didn't like the idea of using a template when I could instead build and design something from scratch. It didn't feel right not having a custom approach. In addition, Hexo had a number of outstanding bugs with caching that was making development nearly impossible.

This isn't a how-to on moving away from Hexo, but a number of sources helped me along the way. CSS layout is based very closely on Josh Comaeu's Full-Bleed Layout Using CSS Grid. This is the first time I've incorporated CSS grid on this site and I was surprised to see how simplified the layout process has become. Utilizing this example took minutes as opposed to hours using other methods. Eleventy setup was sourced heavily from Alex Pearce, especially getting the date based URL structure right. In addition, I had a handful of excellent examples from Trey, Josh, and Alex. Trey has a great 11ty starter project with Sass and Netlify support.

I've enjoyed a more manual approach with this project. The CSS is so minimal, I decided against an extension, though I love Sass for large projects. Same with markup. I'm writing HTML elements manually as opposed to using Markdown. Markdown has its place, I just really enjoy writing HTML elements "by hand."

11ty is the 6th tool I've used to publish this site since 2001. It started with Blogger, then Greymatter, moved to WordPress, then Octopress, Hexo, and now Eleventy. This tool feels the most manageable and flexible so far and I hope to stick with it for a long time. Or at least until the next shiny new tool starts trending. This project is viewable on GitHub.