Michele Nasti

Thoughts on what I learn

Going to rebuild this blog with 11ty

In this period I am studying a lot of concepts, some which I had forgot and others I didn't have the time to study, so a bunch of new blog posts will come, I thing weekly.

However, I am not satisfied with Jekyll, my actual blog sytem. The main reason is that it probably arrived at the end of its life, with no developers taking care or pushing it forward.

The second reason is... Ruby. Even though it's a very nice programming language, every time I need to work on my blog on a new computer, I have to reinstall the ruby interpreter. This is something I've always found very painful. I am not a ruby programmer so I cannot understand the internals of Jekyll, neither write a plugin for it, and I find this limiting.

Another big pain point is it's slowness. It can take around 30-40 seconds to rebuild my blog, which is archaic compared to newer blogging systems.

This is sad, because in the past I've written a lot of articles about jekyll:

So, with some sadness in my heart, it's time to rebuild my blog in another platform.

I've considered some other options:

  • Hugo - written in Go, very fast, however I am not a hugo developer.
  • Next.js, Nuxt.JS, SvelteKit, Gatsby - Those are super interesting but I think they're an overkill for a blog. Also, they require me to change the structure of my blog, and I don't want to do that now.
  • Wordpress - no dinosaurs, please
  • Substack - nice place to create newsletters, but to retain the spirit of this blog, I'll create my own mailing list system.
  • dev.to, Medium - nice platforms if you want to start very fast, but I don't want to be limited by a platform I have no control on it.

So, what I choose in the end? Meet 11ty (pronunced: eleventy).

  • it's written in javascript, and this allows me to understand also what's under the hood.
  • It supports liquid, markdown, and all the technologies I already use in Jekyll.
  • Full of plugins, configurations, etc.
  • It supports some features out of the box, like pagination and tags.
  • It's supported by Netlify, my current hosting platform.
  • It's the best tradeoff between how much work I have to do and the features I'll gain.

Here's a quick list of things I'll have to check after the migration:

  • All articles and pages must be at the same URL as before. This is very important for SEO and discoverability.
  • all links must work exactly the same and point to the same places. Again, SEO and discoverability are my main drivers here.
  • metadata for sharing on social networks should remain the same.
  • the website must look good on every display.

So, this blog will stay on hold until I have migrated everything to 11ty. This will take some time. Hope to see you back when it's time!