Ignore It, then Deploy It

Today I realized I wanted to set this thing up for real continous deployment — I no longer wanted to have to drag and drop to deploy the thing. I like using git even for personal projects, so it’s a no-brainer to make it so that pushing to remote causes a deploy.

I set it up on Netlify kinda by default, simply because it was in the eleventy tutorial’s deployment section, and I gotta say: it’s nice to be back! I used to play around with Netlify a lot in the past, but haven’t had a need to for a long time (as I was using surge.sh, Github Pages, or Blot, depending on what I was working on).

And those are all good tools for what they are! But with Eleventy, I’m trying to do it The Eleventy Way™️, and so using the first thing they mentioned in the tutorial felt right. 😀

A tiny gitignore explainer

I also knew that I never want to throw a git repo on GitHub without creating a .gitignore file. For the uninitiated, that’s a file that tells git, hey, don’t ever include these files in the repo.” Briefly speaking, this prevents you from checking in:

That last one is a huge gotcha, and a bit of the reason why I use deployment services in the first place: people have built deploy tools that mean I’m not working too close to the metal. I like safeguards that prevent me from getting a giant web hosting bill, don’t you?

Let’s build that file

As a front end dev I’m absolutely well-versed in using a git ignore file, but I’m rarely the originator of it. At my last job, we inherited a lot of ignore files since our app began with us forking Backstage.

So this time, it s my turn!

The Eleventy docs weren’t super helpful, and neither was the actual Eleventy .gitignore file, since it…had a lot of stuff that felt very specific to the project, not to what a user like me would need.

After some Googling, I ended up finding a couple of sources for my main tools: VS Code, on a Mac. I also found someone’s basic boilerplate version and deleted ths stuff I figured I wouldn’t use. I kept the sources in the file, both for me, and so I can credit them. You can see the file in the now-published GitHub repo. Hooray for tools built by folks!

A non-zero amount of what’s in that file represents things I haven’t built yet, like environmental variables and such. To me, that makes it a good safeguard — it’s already there when I do need it, and it prevents my go go go” hyperfocus brain from missing the important stuff later.

Time to deploy

After I’m sure I have that all ready to go, it’s time to deploy. I used the GitHub CLI to push the local folder to a GitHub repo. From there, I followed the defaults in Netlify, and I did run into one hiccup: because I’m using eleventy 3.0, the default eleventy build command failed.

I changed it to npx @11ty/eleventy@canary, which is the local build command, and now it’s all up and running! 🥳

4/7/2024 · git · coding · continuous deployment

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