0.4.2 • Public • Published

kickin 📦

code style: prettier

Quickly bootstraps environment for developing your great site with Eleventy.


There are many starters for Eleventy projects. Yep 😵 . And we want also to get into it 😊 . If seriously, our goal is to create comfortable environment for developers, while preserving maximal performance .

Get started

We do not recommend installing CLI globally. Instead, use npx to initialize project.

The minimal required version of NodeJS is 12.17.0. The reason is that CLI is built on ES module system that is native for a JavaScript world for now.


kickin is a simple command that can accept name of the project, and it will be place, where your code will live. If you already have one, then you can invoke command from inside and get your environment.

npx kickin my-project


mkdir my-project
cd my-project
npx kickin


There are four main commands available:

  • npm start - starts development server on http://localhost:3000
  • npm run build - builds project.
  • npm run certs - creates certificates for ability to run site with HTTPS locally.
  • npm run serve - runs local server with secure protocol on https://localhost:3000. Mimics production environment.

For generating certificates mkcert utility is used. Make sure it is installed on your local machine.

You can change any part of the generated project as you want - configuration file and all dependencies are open to be changed.


As template language we encourage using JavaScript(.11ty.js) files, though no one stops you to use other templating engines. It's your choice, and we respect it.


Starter's folder structure are built according to ones used in Halo Lab.

  • All code is located in src folder.

    • assets - this folder supposed to be home for static content: images, fonts, video, audio etc.
      • images
      • fonts
      • video
      • audio
    • components - folder where are located Eleventy's components(default name is _includes)
    • layouts - folder for layouts.
    • pages - place where future site's pages live.
    • scripts - folder for scripts that will be used in HTML.
    • styles - folder for styles.
  • Bundled code is located in build folder.

Inner structure of defined directories is up to you 🙃


For building templates with JavaScript, you must export from file render method that return HTML string.

module.exports.render = () => /* html */ `<div>Hello world</div>`;

It can be asynchronous.

Unfortunately, currently Eleventy does not support ES modules syntax. Though there is a direction to it.

In order to highlight the HTML syntax in template string in VSCode, you can install Comment tagged templates extension.

If template contains data then along with render function you should export data object. = {
  /* some key/value pairs */

This object will be passed to render function as first argument.

Note: for layouts this object will have content property that contains inner template's HTML.

Also you can organize template as class. It must have render method(either synchronous or asynchronous) and data method(synchronous or asynchronous) or as getter.

module.exports = class {
  data() {
    // getter or async method
    return {
      /* some key/value pairs */

  async render(data) {
    return /* html */ `<p>I am a class!</p>`;

Both layout templates and templates from pages directory must follow above rules. But if you create component, then it can be just function that returns some HTML.

To include component template into layout or page template simply import component into file and use it 👐.

Component (components/row.js):

module.exports = () => /* html */ `<span>I am a component.</span>;`

Template (pages/home.js):

const row = require('../components/row');

module.exports.render = () => /* html */ `<div>${row()}</div>`;

Cool! 😃

More info about JavaScript templates in Eleventy here.

It is recommended for pages to use pwa.11ty.js layout. This layout template can accept following properties (along with styles, scripts and Eleventy's data):

  • lang - (default en) - language of page.
  • title - text for title tag.
  • description - text for page description meta tag.
  • keywords - keywords for keywords meta tag.

Unfortunately, there is a bug updating HTML pages when any required template's dependency is changed.


In starter Sass language is supported.

Stylesheets must be located in styles directory and inner structure does not matter. They will be compiled, minified and cleaned from unused selectors automatically.

In order to include style to page in page's template provide styles property in data object. It can be string or array of string. The path to style is relative to src/styles directory, so you do not need to include this prefix to path. = {
  // Bundler of this starter is smart enough to recognize type of style
  // and its location (file will be resolved at `src/styles/home.scss`)
  styles: 'home.scss',

If style is inside some directory, then it must be provided in path: = {
  styles: 'directory/common.scss', // -> src/styles/directory/common.scss

This is thanks to eleventy-plugin-styles.


Starter supports modern JavaScript syntax (except for Eleventy's templates) and TypeScript.

Scripts must be located in scripts directory and inner structure does not matter (like with styles 😋).

In order to include scripts into HTML page provide scripts property in page template's data object (can be either type of string or array of string). The path to script is relative to src/scripts directory, so you do not need to include this prefix to path. = {
  // This will be resolved to 'src/scripts/main.js'
  scripts: 'main.js', // or 'main.ts' -> 'src/scripts/main.ts'

This is thanks to eleventy-plugin-scripts.


Starter includes image shortcode. Use it if you want to include image to HTML (either raster, or vector(SVG) one).

Info about shortcodes and how to use it in JavaScript templates here.

Signature of shortcode:

interface ImageAttributes {
  /** Defines alternative text for image. */
  alt?: string;
  /** Defines title for image. */
  title?: string;
  /** Class name(s) for `class` attribute. */
  classes?: string | ReadonlyArray<string>;

async function image(
  src: string,
  attributes?: ImageAttributes
): Promise<string>;

First parameter is mandatory and contains a path to image relative to images directory.

module.exports.render = async function () {
  return /* html */ `<main>${await this.image('logo.png')}</main>`;

For using shortcodes do not write template with arrow functions, because they do not have access to this!

logo.png will be resolved to src/assets/images/logo.png, then webp and avif images will be generated and placed along with source image in build directory. In HTML, you will receive efficient images with right paths 😊!

This is thanks to eleventy-shortcode-image.

If you define path to image from CSS (for example in url function), then same rules are applied here. But if you define url as absolute (absolute public url) then it will be returned as is and no image optimizations will be accomplished.

This is done intentionally in case if you want to just copy assets to output directory.

Other assets

Like for images, path to fonts in CSS should be relative to fonts directory from src. You can also define absolute (public) urls for fonts.

Due to wide support of woff2 format it is recommended to include woff2 and woff font formats only.


Starter has plugin that automatically generates favicon, splash images for mobile devices and tile images.

As source for them will be using favicon.png file under images directory. Though you can customize its name in .eleventy.js file.

Also manifest.json from src directory will be filled with generated icons property.

This is thanks to eleventy-plugin-pwa-icons.


For sitemap.xml generation templates from pages directory are used.

For creating proper sitemap.xml pass correct HOST variable of .env file.

Detailed about sitemap here.

Service worker

Starter contains plugin that adds service worker to build and enable offline support for site/application.

Registration service worker script will be automatically injected into each HTML page.

By default, worker will cache static resources (images, fonts, audio files etc.) and try to use it from cache at first. Dynamic resources, that can be changed often (html, js, css) are cached also, but every request will be transferred to server at first.

More about strategies here.

This is thanks to eleventy-plugin-workbox.


Generated HTML, CSS and JS during building are compressed using brotli algorithm. For sending compressed version of content you must configure server by yourself.

Why brotli?

This is thanks to eleventy-plugin-compress


Default configuration of Eleventy is enough for most use cases, but sometimes there is a need to change some behavior.

.eleventy.js is starting point for Eleventy.

If you want to change some behavior or add new feature to site, place most code in .eleventy/ directory. It has following structure:

  • filters - used for holding custom filters.
  • plugins - contains custom plugins for Eleventy.
  • shortcodes - contains shortcodes
  • transforms - holds HTML transformer functions that changes generated HMTL by Eleventy.

Word from author

Have fun! ✌️

Developed in Halo lab



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