DEV Community

Joel Varty
Joel Varty

Posted on

Eleventy + Agility CMS Starter Blog

I recently built a sample Eleventy starter site that uses Agility CMS and aims to be a foundation for building fully static sites using 11ty and Agility CMS.

Getting Started

Agility CMS Account

The first thing you need is a free Agility CMS account. You can get that here πŸ‘‹.
Since this 11ty starter is so ✨new✨, we don't have an Official Starter package for it, so for now, we're linking to our NextJS starter, which happens to have the right demo content for this 🧐.

Clone the Repo

Now that you've got the content, you need the code!

Go ahead and clone the repo from github: πŸ‘‡
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

Install Dependencies

npm install or yarn install

Normally, this will create 9,999,999,999 files in your node_modules folder. Luckily, we're only gonna create 9,999,999 for this small demo.

YAY! πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

Environment Variables

You care about the environment don't you? πŸŒ²πŸŒ³πŸŒ΄πŸŽ‹

Either way, you're gonna need to grab a few variables from your Agility CMS account. Head over to the API Keys page in Agility CMS ( and grab your GUID, and API Keys for Preview and Fetch.

πŸ—„πŸ—„πŸ—„ Copy those into your .env file (rename it from .env.example)

Take Command of the cmd line

We've hooked up some neat commands to make your life easy.

πŸ”₯ Local πŸ”₯ Development πŸ”₯

If you want to run the project locally in preview mode, with a hot-reloading server, do this:

npm start or yarn start

Build It and They Will Browse

This is the entire reason for being for 11ty.

Preview Mode

npm run dev or yarn dev

Live or Production Mode

npm run build or yarn build

Wipe The Content 🧽

This example is using the Agility CMS Sync SDK. That content is cached in the node_modules folder. If you want to clear all that out, use this.

npm run cms-clear or yarn run cms-clear

The next time you run the project, the content will be pulled down again.

How this thing works πŸ€“

This projects uses nunjucks templates, and all the magic happens in the pages folder.
Open that thing up and take a peek.

Pages Pages Pages

Agility CMS has the concept of pages and a sitemap. Those obejects are made available in the _data/pages.js data array.

Each page is rendered via the index.njk file, which just splits each page object into its own, er... page :). It also sets the permalink property to the path of the page object. Voila! Our Agility CMS pages are magically routed and rendered.

Layout -> Template -> Modules

Now let's take a look at how the templating works.

Each page uses the layout.njk template for the main html output.

Then, based on the page.templateFileName property, we load a .njk template file dynamically. In this case we only have the main-template.njk file.

In that template, we set the zoneName parameter and render the modules in the MainContentZone zone.

Each module zone has one or more modules in there, which are in turn rendered by a .njk file. I've put them in the /modules folder, and we've only got a few that are configured in this Agility CMS instance.

Hopefully, you can use the examples in this project to create your own modules.

A well-thought-out project with useful modules can empower your content editors with a set of building blocks for creating and updates the pages of your website.


This project is a blog template, so we have set of pages that are rendered based on the Posts list. Most of that is configured as a Dynamic Page in Agility CMS, so you don't have to do much to implement it, but you'll notice on the modules/postdetails.njk file that we use a property called page.dynamicPageItem. That object represents the Blog Post that we are currently rendering.

CSS + JavaScript

Tailwind CSS

To keep things super simple, this project makes use of free and amazing TailwindUI components, and it's all used via a dead simple file referenced in the header. No post-css or anything, at least not yet.


We've pulled in a global reference to Alpine.js in the layout template, too.
It's being used in a couple places to hide/show the mobile menu and the preview bar.

Want to learn more?

Amazing that you've gotten this far! Keep learning with me (Joel Varty) or the rest of the Agility CMS team.

Join us on Slack to answer questions and provide feedback directly to the team.

Top comments (0)