Mark Llobrera

Eleventy: Date Output

Now that I’ve hit the front end phase of my website rebuild in Eleventy, I’ve had to figure out a few data output challenges. Here’s something that seemed like it would be simple: printing out the current year for my footer copyright.

There isn’t a ready-made way to do this in Eleventy, but fortunately Jérôme Coupé already documented one way to do this using the Moment.js library. In Eleventy you can feed things into a filter using the vertical bar (pipe) | symbol. (This is similar to how you pipe Unix commands together, so it made immediate sense to my brain.) So in my footer template I could write something like this, to print out the year:

Copyright © undefined Mark Llobrera

Where is that site.buildTime variable coming from, though? Thankfully Jérôme also put up the source code for his site online, so I took a look under the hood. Eleventy supports JavaScript data files in the _data folder, and scopes them to the name of your file. In this case I could create a _data/site.js file with a single variable, buildTime:

module.exports = {
buildTime: new Date(),

Eleventy automatically scans the data folder, and any variables in that site.js file are scoped to site. In this case, site.buildTime is simply the date when Eleventy runs its most recent build, which would (of course) allow us to grab the current year;

You can use that data file for other site metadata, as Jérôme does. In my case I have an existing metadata.json file that contains most of that stuff. In the future I might collapse them down to a single file.