andy kohler

Setting Up RSS With Eleventy Ain't Easy

I think I've been trying to set up my rss feed for this site for about 2 years. By that, I mean that about 2-4 times a year, when I remembered I had a web page, I would look blankly at the .njk file I'd made from boilerplate and try to understand why it didn't actually aggregate my past blog posts.

Honestly, I don't even really understand fully how Eleventy even works. By fiddling around, I've learned just enough to be dangerous. Since fixing the rss problem recently, I've found a few online articles for new users I plan on reading which should help with future improvements. I'm hoping to make this site more visually readable (so no more white words on blue background, I guess) and to have dark mode possible based on the user's browser setting. I've seen a lot of nice modern-looking sites but my own design efforts basically always end up looking like a personal website from 1994. Let's hope for the best!

So back to the rss problem, after perusing the Eleventy docs and numerous testimonails from other bloggers as to how easy it was to set up their own Eleventy rss feeds but not seeing any discrepancies in my own setup, I ended up enlisting the help of my pal ChatGPT. I knew I was close to having this working. I fed it my Eleventy.js file and my rss.njk file. ChatGPT found an extra space in my .njk file that may have broken it. Once I fixed that, my local _site finally had a functioning feed.xml file!

It was amazing to see that win. But I realized the changes I was pushing to Github weren't visible on the live site. I finally was able to reset my Netlify password and log into my Netlify dashboard. There I found that there was some sort of deprecated build image I needed to set to another valid one. Also I had set up a new, easier-to-use MFA on my Github account and I needed to unlink and relink it on Netlify. That was it! It all works now. It's hard to believe it took so long but that's how it goes sometimes. Onward!