I’m remaking this website in the open. Follow along, if you wish: Writing, RSS, Source


Embarrassingly, despite being subscribed to hundreds of RSS feeds personally, this site has never published one. Until now!

There were three tasks:

  1. Generate the feed (commit)

    11ty provides an easy-to-use RSS plugin that does the bulk of the work for me. I only had to decide which content to include: all of /writing/. I made one additional update: I created a new collection from which to generate the feed that is limited to the most recent 20 items in /writing/. I’ve heard stories about people with large static sites having their build times slow to a crawl because their feed generation was crawling hundreds of posts and creating an enormous file. RSS readers generally limit a feed to the most recent 10 posts or those published in the last 30 days. A limit of 20 should be well within those boundaries for the way I plan to use this site.

  2. Add a page layout (commit)

    In a misguided attempt at content portability, I had included each post’s title in the post content itself, which resulted in the title being displayed twice in a feed reader. For now, the page layout merely extends the base layout and displays the page’s title, but I can imagine many more eventual features, mostly regarding the display of metadata.

  3. Add link tags to the head, for auto-discovery (commit)

    Following the guidance of the WHATWG, I added the appropriate links to the site’s head, in the base layout. This will help browsers, feed readers, and other services discover my feed.

After publishing those updates, I searched for the site’s name in Feedly (my current feed reader) and subscribed. Seeing something I made displayed in a tool I’ve used every day for over a decade brought a big smile to my face.