Zach’s ugly mug (his face) Zach Leatherman

The Next Phase of Eleventy: Return of the Side Project

June 15, 2023

As Eleventy continues forward on its mission to help super-fans of HTML quickly and easily build things for the web, as a responsible steward of the project I must disclose that we are no longer doing so with full time sponsorship. As such, Eleventy will be returning to its roots as a side-project and transitioning away from full time development.

Up front, I do want to make a few things clear:

  1. No action is required by folks building with Eleventy. Eleventy has always been independently bootstrapped and it is not changing ownership/stewardship. We march on independently as before.
  2. We are thankful for the year of full time development and maintenance donated to the project by Netlify and I’m proud of the things we shipped in that time: including but not limited to the stable 2.0 release.

It’s incredible to recognize that we’re nearing 6 million lifetime downloads on npm and almost 60,000 repositories on GitHub. I’m so appreciative of the community of folks that have propelled this little open source project to where it is today.

Eleventy will continue forward in a reduced (and more focused) capacity. We’ll have to make some tough prioritization decisions which may include deprecation (or community-ownership?) of some of our official plugins (as always obeying semantic versioning principles). You can help inform these decisions by taking the Eleventy Community Survey (2023).

We’ll make these decisions responsibly with the data we collect from the survey but to give a small clue as to the potential severity of the cuts the Vite, Serverless, and Edge plugins all come to mind as eligible targets right now. Eleventy has always been a build-first tool and refocusing Eleventy’s core feature set to bundler-free static site generation will allow us to continue to serve folks that have come to rely on the project.

Realistically it must be acknowledged that this news is a bit of a setback for Eleventy—but importantly I am still personally very passionate about the project’s continued survival. From the very beginning I had an expectation that Eleventy was a ten-year project and we’re on year six of that timeline.

How can you help?

First off, please take one or two minutes to fill out Eleventy’s Community Survey to help shape the future of the project (it’s a few multiple choice questions).

If your company has a vested interest in Eleventy would like to see Eleventy continue with full time development and maintenance, please get in touch.

If you have any comments or questions about this announcement, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

…and keep building for the web! ❤️

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Zach Leatherman IndieWeb Avatar for a builder for the web and the creator/maintainer of IndieWeb Avatar for https://www.11ty.devEleventy (11ty), an award-winning open source site generator. At one point he became entirely too fixated on web fonts. He has given 81 talks in nine different countries at events like Beyond Tellerrand, Smashing Conference, Jamstack Conf, CSSConf, and The White House. Formerly part of CloudCannon, Netlify, Filament Group, NEJS CONF, and NebraskaJS. Learn more about Zach »


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  1. Erik Kroes ✅

    Erik Kroes ✅

    @zachleat That's too bad! I hope it doesn't impact your employment 💚

  2. fahru


    @zachleat just want to say thank you for all of your hard work on eleventy! :)

  3. Andy Bell

    Andy Bell

    @zachleat @eleventy i wish set studio could afford to sponsor full time 11ty dev because we would in a heartbeat

  4. Zach Leatherman

    Zach Leatherman

    The most helpful thing folks in the Eleventy community can do right now is to take our Community Survey, which will help streamline our efforts to essential features and plugins! you! Eleventy Community Survey (2023)

  5. elle mundy

    elle mundy

    @zachleat @eleventy this is sad to read, but i hope eleventy finds another sponsor soon! thanks for all the work so far, it’s an incredible framework and i’m about to launch a new blog with it

  6. Ethan Marcotte

    Ethan Marcotte

    @zachleat 💜 💜 💜, Zach. I’m sure this was a hard post to write.

  7. Stephanie Eckles

    Stephanie Eckles

    @zachleat Ohh, that's rough for you, sorry that had to end! 💜 Sending good luck for finding some new significant sponsorships!

  8. patak


    @zachleat @eleventy Sad to hear the arrangement ended, but happy you got that full-time year to unleash 11ty 2.0. You're an example of how to maintain OS projects, and how to navigate the always changing landscape around them. Good luck for this next stage for the project. I … Truncated

  9. Aram Zucker-Scharff

    Aram Zucker-Scharff

    @zachleat @eleventy Ah, that's too bad. Do you think you'll ever return it to full time development?

  10. Christopher Kirk-Nielsen

    Christopher Kirk-Nielsen

    @zachleat Not a fun post but as always, your earnest writing is appreciated! @eleventy is a wonderful project that I hope can be sponsored once again, and if anything at least that we can all contribute to in smaller ways to push it forward.

  11. Mike Aparicio

    Mike Aparicio

    @zachleat Appreciate all you do, Zach. ❤️


    @zachleat @eleventy 💜


    @zachleat @eleventy What an amazing year 11ty had. I'm betting the years ahead will be great as well. Thanks for everything.

  14. Roel Nieskens

    Roel Nieskens

    @zachleat I hope the shift from main to side project also brings good things!! 💖

  15. Hidde


    @zachleat @eleventy ❤️❤️❤️

  16. Eric Portis

    Eric Portis

    @zachleat @eleventy Happy for the year that was. Sad that it's ending. Continually, deeply upset about the mismatch between real value and where the money goes in our industry. But most of all, thankful for your persistence, principles, and vision. 🖤🎈

  17. @zachleat Your blog post has only made my monthly contribution more powerful. Jokes aside, thank you for all the work and love you pour into this. @eleventy

  18. Tyler Sticka

    Tyler Sticka

    @zachleat Oof, sorry to hear about this change, Zach! I’m really impressed with how much you accomplished within that sponsorship, @eleventy is such an amazing tool

  19. Lynn Fisher

    Lynn Fisher

    @zachleat @eleventy Appreciate you, Zach 💚

  20. depone


    @zachleat so sorry to hear the fulltime sponsorship ended. Thank you for all you are doing with @eleventy and for the web. Sending good vibes. How does this change affect your job/career prospects?

  21. Max Böck

    Max Böck

    @zachleat @eleventy sorry to hear that. you and the community have poured a massive amount of work and love into eleventy and it shows. will continue to support the project!

  22. Jakub Iwanowski :bash:

    Jakub Iwanowski :bash:

    @zachleat @eleventy sorry to hear that good luck, Eleventy is awesome!

  23. Adam Stoddard

    Adam Stoddard

    @zachleat @eleventy 💚💚💚

  24. Evan Minto

    Evan Minto

    @zachleat Really sorry to hear this. You've been doing great work Zach, and I hope you can keep it up as a side project.

  25. Erin Kissane

    Erin Kissane

    @zachleat @eleventy Ah man, I hate how difficult it is to maintain stability in open source—I’m glad you got that year and I’m sorry you’re having to make these decisions now. 💙

  26. Alistair Shepherd

    Alistair Shepherd

    @zachleat @eleventy Appreciate your work Zach and huge props for being so transparent and clear with this update!

  27. Bob Monsour

    Bob Monsour

    @zachleat @eleventy This answers a nagging question that I've had. I've had to report "no new releases" in the last several issues of the 11ty Bundle blog. That said, Eleventy will remain awesome thanks to your diligence and amazing work capacity. Perhaps others c… Truncated

  28. Peter Krautzberger

    Peter Krautzberger

    @zachleat 💛 thanks for all your work on @eleventy !

  29. Matt Stein

    Matt Stein

    @zachleat @eleventy I’m inspired by what you do with this project and how you go about it, regardless of how things change. Thanks for that, and please continue to rock.

  30. Erik Vorhes

    Erik Vorhes

    @zachleat — the end of an amazing year for @eleventy! Here’s to whatever comes next & to the continued success of Eleventy.

  31. David Fitzgibbon

    David Fitzgibbon

    @zachleat @eleventy Thanks so much for all the work you've been putting in! Hope this is only a minor setback in the grand scheme of things!

  32. Nicolas Hoizey

    Nicolas Hoizey

    @zachleat thanks a lot Netlify for the huge contribution of a year long full time sponsorship! ❤️

  33. Colinaut


    @zachleat @eleventy unfortunate but you clearly used that year well — 2.0 was great! I’ll keep suture project both with enthusiasm and monetarily in hopes it will continue to mature, if at a slower pace.

  34. Stephen Bell

    Stephen Bell

    @zachleat @eleventy Thanks for all you do! And thanks to Netlify for a great year of updates. 🎈

  35. Phil Hawksworth

    Phil Hawksworth

    @zachleat @eleventy The things you’ve managed to accomplish in that year!Huge thanks from a huge fan of both you and this invaluable project. Onwards!

  36. Christian Alder 🌱

    Christian Alder 🌱

    @zachleat @eleventy Sorry to hear this Zach - I hope you're able to find another sponsor soon! You did incredible things with that year, thank you for bringing 2.0 and maintaining the project as you have. 🎈💚

  37. Thomas Rigby

    Thomas Rigby Such an amazing side project 🥰

  38. Ariel Salminen 🏳️‍🌈

    Ariel Salminen 🏳️‍🌈

    @zachleat @eleventy Appreciate all your hard work on this tool Zach. ❤️

  39. Chadams


    @zachleat @eleventy Thanks so much for all of the hard work you have put in to this incredible project.

  40. Ana Rodrigues

    Ana Rodrigues

    @zachleat @eleventy 🧡 Thank you so much for all your work!

  41. Matt Steele

    Matt Steele

    @zachleat @eleventy you should be proud of what you’ve accomplished during this time. The taxonomy of OSS funding models you put together is a great reference, and should help the next person headed down this road. Best of luck!

  42. Paul Everitt

    Paul Everitt

    @zachleat @eleventy 11ty is very important to what I do, and Zach is an important voice for what I believe in (the web platform.)More than that, Zach's a kind heart and a funny poster. Let's see if we can all pitch in to find a way to make this work out.

  43. Matthias Ott

    Matthias Ott

    @zachleat @eleventy We appreciate you, Zach! 💚✊

  44. Chris Price

    Chris Price

    @zachleat @eleventy 💚

  45. Raymond Camden

    Raymond Camden

    @zachleat @eleventy thank you so much for everything you've done

  46. Thomas Michael Semmler

    Thomas Michael Semmler

    @zachleat @eleventy I am very to sorry to hear that. I hope you are doing alright! I am sorry this didn’t go the way you may have imagined it :/ your community admires you!I love eleventy and what it stands before. It has given me not only solutions technologically but it bald al… Truncated

  47. Zach Leatherman

    Zach Leatherman

    Really appreciate all of the kind words in this thread—they really mean a lot.I’ve learned an overwhelming amount running this project—and not just on the technical side.I’ve learned things about our industry, funding, and investment that have really challenged my views on open s… Truncated

  48. Zach Leatherman

    Zach Leatherman

    @raymondcamden @eleventy Appreciate your support Raymond!

  49. Zach Leatherman

    Zach Leatherman

    @matthiasott @eleventy Thank you Matthias! Likewise!

  50. Zach Leatherman

    Zach Leatherman

    @Chronotope @eleventy not sure but I think that might require independently monetizing—it’s fragile to hitch your wagon to someone else’s monetization strategy

  51. Zach Leatherman

    Zach Leatherman

    @patak Thank you Patak!! 🙌🏻

  52. Zach Leatherman

    Zach Leatherman

    @pauleveritt Appreciate you, Paul 🙌🏻

  53. @zachleat @eleventy This is a bummer, you've made such a great big thing. I've benefitted so much from you getting to work on it for this year, so thank's a million.

  54. @zachleat I appreciate everything you do with @eleventy ❤️ I think my coworkers are getting humorously tired of me taking about it and how much I love using it. What started as a small "serendipity" project became a much-loved tool. Thank you 87 times 🧑‍💻

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