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Ignore Files in 11ty for Faster Development Builds

A super quick and simple way to speed up the development experience on 11ty sites as they grow in size and complexity.

I was recently complaining to Ray Camden about the 11ty development experience. My site has grown to several hundred pages and has some complex content relationships. It’s gotten to the point that I have to wait about 15 seconds to see content or code changes I’ve made.

When I’m writing content locally, this is an obnoxious waste of time.

Ray suggested I ignore files I knew I wasn’t going to use while developing. Because my post filenames are all prefixed with a date, I could easily do this by adding an .eleventyignore file to my project and ignoring posts from previous years:

.eleventyignore

src/posts/2012-*.md
src/posts/2013-*.md
src/posts/2014-*.md
src/posts/2015-*.md
src/posts/2016-*.md
src/posts/2017-*.md
src/posts/2018-*.md
src/posts/2019-*.md
src/posts/2020-*.md

And then I ignore that file in .gitignore:

.gitignore

.eleventyignore

⚡ This cut my development builds from 15 seconds to 7 seconds! And reduced subsequent builds to 4 seconds with some caching in my asset pipeline.

It’s not perfect, but a huge improvement. It at least makes this site feel manageable in development once again.

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