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Why 11ty Beats WordPress for Most Websites

Learn why 11ty is often a better choice than WordPress for building websites. Discover its benefits, use cases, and see real-world examples.

Written on Jul 7, 2024 | About 2 min reading time

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Introduction: The Shifting Landscape of Web Development

In the ever-evolving world of web development, choosing the right platform for your website is crucial. While WordPress has long reigned supreme, a new contender has emerged that's changing the game: 11ty (Eleventy). In this post, we'll explore why 11ty is often a superior choice to WordPress for many web projects in 2024.

Why Choose 11ty Over WordPress?

11ty brings a fresh approach to web development that addresses many of the pain points associated with WordPress. Here's why it's gaining favor among developers and site owners:

  • Speed: 11ty generates lightning-fast static sites, outpacing WordPress's dynamic pages
  • Simplicity: With a gentler learning curve and simpler setup, 11ty reduces development complexity
  • Security: Static sites generated by 11ty are inherently more secure than WordPress installations
  • Flexibility: 11ty plays well with various templating languages and data sources
  • Cost-effectiveness: 11ty sites typically require fewer hosting resources, cutting operational costs
  • Developer-friendly: 11ty allows for a more streamlined, code-centric workflow

The Performance Edge: 11ty vs WordPress

When it comes to performance, 11ty has a clear advantage. Let's break it down:

WordPress:

  • Generates pages dynamically, which can slow load times
  • Relies on a database, adding potential bottlenecks
  • Often requires caching plugins to boost performance

11ty:

  • Pre-renders pages, resulting in near-instant load times
  • Doesn't require a database, eliminating associated slowdowns
  • Delivers optimal performance out of the box, no plugins needed

Use Cases: When to Choose 11ty

While WordPress still has its place, 11ty excels in many scenarios. Here are some ideal use cases:

  • Personal blogs: Perfect for writers who want a clean, fast platform
  • Portfolio websites: Showcase your work with a speedy, minimalist site
  • Small business sites: Create a professional online presence without the bloat
  • Documentation sites: Build fast, easily navigable documentation
  • Landing pages: Craft high-converting pages with optimal load times
  • JAMstack applications: Leverage 11ty as part of a modern web stack

Real-World 11ty Examples

11ty isn't just for small projects. Many notable websites have made the switch. Here are some inspiring examples:

  • Google's Web.dev: A testament to 11ty's performance capabilities
  • Netlify's website: The popular hosting platform trusts 11ty for their own site
  • CSS-Tricks: A major web development resource built with 11ty
  • The official 11ty documentation: Naturally, 11ty uses itself for its docs
  • Smashing Magazine: A prime example of a content-heavy site using 11ty

The Learning Curve: WordPress vs 11ty

While WordPress is often touted as beginner-friendly, it can be overwhelming for those wanting full control over their site. 11ty, on the other hand, offers a different learning experience:

WordPress learning curve:

  • Requires understanding of PHP for deep customization
  • Involves learning about hooks, actions, and filters
  • Often necessitates familiarity with various plugins and their interactions

11ty learning curve:

  • Based on JavaScript, a language many developers already know
  • Allows use of familiar templating languages like Nunjucks or Liquid
  • Provides a more direct path from code to output

Conclusion: 11ty vs WordPress in 2024

As we navigate the web development landscape of 2024, 11ty stands out as a powerful alternative to WordPress. Its speed, simplicity, and flexibility make it an excellent choice for a wide range of projects. While WordPress remains a viable option for certain use cases, developers looking for a more efficient, secure, and maintainable solution should seriously consider 11ty.

By choosing 11ty, you're not just picking a static site generator – you're opting for a modern, performance-focused approach to web development that's well-suited to the demands of today's web. As more developers and businesses discover the benefits of 11ty, we can expect its adoption to continue growing, potentially reshaping the web development landscape in the years to come.

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