Creating a now page archive with 11ty

🌿 Budding(?) planted in JavaScript 11ty
953 words, 5 min read.

I first added a /now page[1] to PhotoGabble in March 2021, and in the tradition that is blogging I promptly forgot about it and failed to update its content until today. In an attempt at keeping this section of my website updated I have set a monthly timer to at least prompt me to give it a fresh look twelve times a year.

With more regular updates I would like to keep a history of what I have been focused on (or at least what I say I am focusing on) and so I used 11ty's collections functionality:

const nowUpdates = (collection) => {
return [...collection.getFilteredByGlob('./now/*.md').filter((post) => !post.data.draft)];

Within the /now folder I placed now.json:

"draft": false,
"layout": "layouts/now.njk"

I then converted the previous now page html into a 2021-03-19.md file and created a new 2021-05-17.md file for today.

In order to make sure that the most recent now page content is displayed at /now I used the following nunjucks template for /now.njk:

{% extends "_includes/layouts/now.njk" %}

{% set title = '/now' %}
{% set page = collections.nowUpdates | reverse | first %}
{% set content = page.templateContent %}

This sets the page variable to equal the most recent now page content from the nowUpdates collection and then sets the content variable to be that pages templateContent. My layout can then function as it would normally for both the /now.njk page and any of the archive pages.

To the visitor there are no noticeable changes, this is because while 11ty is now generating pages for the now archive, they aren't linked from anywhere.

I added a history list navigation to my now page template using the following nunjucks code:

<h3>Update History</h3>
{% set current = collections.nowUpdates | reverse | first %}
{% for update in collections.nowUpdates | reverse %}
{% if update.fileSlug == current.fileSlug %}
<li><a href="/now" title="Go to current now page">Current</a></li>
{% else %}
{% set updateTitle = update.date | dateToFormat("dd LLL yyyy") %}
<li><a href="{{ update.url }}" title="Read {{ updateTitle }}">{{ updateTitle }}</a></li>
{% endif %}
{% endfor %}

If you have been following along, you should now have your most recent now update visible via /now with you history of
updates navigable via /now/{YYYY-MM-DD}. There is a minor snag with this method, Eleventy will generate a history page for the current now entry. This means your current now entry will exist at two navigable pages, however so long as you remember not to link to the current one as seen in the above code example then it can be ignored.

The source code for this website is open source, feel free to browse and ask questions if you would like to know more about how I have achieved functionality you would like to replicate in your own projects.

  1. What is a now page? ↩︎