I tend to use Hugo whenever I need a static site. But my magpie tendencies have driven me to take a look at Eleventy, and I can definitely see the appeal.

Going through the Eleventy quick-start guide, I’m quite impressed with how easy it was to setup a bespoke layout for a single site. I’ve done similar things in a few Hugo sites and while I wouldn’t describe it as “hard”, it’s certainly more involved. Hugo’s decent, but it feels quite… engineered. That’s not necessarily a bad thing: putting together something using one of the pre-built themes is quite straightforward. But going beyond a few theme customisations involves a fair bit of work compare to Eleventy.

There’s still much more I’ve got to learn, like how Eleventy handles resource bundling (I like how Hugo handles this directly in the template) and configuration (how Eleventy does this is very Node-esk, which is not my preferred approach). But it’s definitely something I’ll keep in my toolkit.