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Eleventy Documentation

This is an older version of Eleventy. Go to the newest Eleventy docs (current path: /docs/glossary/) or the full release history.

Glossary and Buzzwords #

Bask in the warm glow of this “Nobody ever got fired for buying IBM”-style feel-good industry jargon.

Our industry can be particularly bad about inventing words for things that already exist. Hopefully this page will help you navigate the labyrinth.

Work in progress: Edit this page(in latest version)

Static Sites #

A static site is a group of generated HTML files. Content is built into the HTML files rather than using a dynamic back end language to generate the content on-the-fly. A dynamic site can appear static when you add caching rules to make the content stickier. A static site can appear dynamic when you run your build quickly and often.

JAMstack #

Modern web development architecture based on client-side JavaScript, reusable APIs, and prebuilt Markup.—

Eleventy facilitates JAMstack sites—but you maintain full control over the JavaScript.

Progressive Enhancement #

The idea that content should be the priority for a website's development. In other words, start with only essential content and functionality that works with as many users as possible, and then progressively enhance from there.

As stated in the MDN Web Docs: "Special notice should be taken of accessibility. Acceptable alternatives should be provided where possible."

Data-Driven #

Make components and markup data-driven so that you don’t have a bunch of one-off copy-pasted HTML instances littered throughout your project.

Serverless Friendly #

“You can take your front-end skills and do things that typically only a back-end can do. You can write a JavaScript function that you run and receive a response from by hitting a URL.”—The Power of Serverless from Chris Coyier

Take care to make sure that serverless functions are progressively enhanced. If you call serverless functions in client-side JavaScript, they should be used for features that are outside the core functionality of the site. Use Eleventy Serverless to generate pages on-request without any client-side JavaScript.

Lean Web #

To be honest it’s kind of a stretch to relate Lean methodology to this project but the term just kinda feels right.

Zero Config #

Zero config means that Eleventy can run without any command line parameters or configuration files.

We’ve taken care to setup Eleventy so that that running the stock eleventy command uses sensible defaults. Lower the barrier to entry for that first project build to get up and running faster.

Convention over Configuration Routing #

Can you believe that some frameworks require a centralized piece of configuration for routing? eleventy routes map the file system, unless you override with a permalink.

Pre-rendered Templates by Default #

With the rise of client side rendering of templates in JavaScript came significant performance problems, especially with users of less-capable (but none-the-less still modern) hardware. Did you know they’re selling new mobile devices that are pretty hardware-limited?

Many frameworks switched to Server Side Rendering, which meant running an application server with middleware that would render the markup on demand for each request. Eleventy templates by default are generated (some call this pre-rendering) at build time for maximum performance. This way the web server only needs to fetch the static file and send it back to the user.

Eleventy can also run in Serverless mode for server side rendering On Request or even On Request Once and Cached for Subsequent Visitors.

Hydration-less #

Well, uh, we don’t inject or use any client-side JavaScript in Eleventy, so there’s nothing that needs hydration.

Apps not App Servers #

Application servers can be slow. Instead of PHP, Java, or even Node.js dynamically generating page responses on the fly when the request comes in, have your pre-rendered templates ready to go for delivery! Maximum performance.

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