Add an RSS feed to your Eleventy website in five minutes

I was having a conversation with my colleague Jeremy Keith yesterday, wherein he submitted a feature request for this website – an RSS feed. I promised to take a look at the earliest convenience.

This site is built using Eleventy – a new (to me) tool. A quick Google search and I quickly realised that fulfilling Jeremy's request would be light work. Here's how I did it, and how you too can add an RSS feed to your Eleventy website in a matter of minutes.

To create the feed, we'll use the first party Eleventy RSS plugin which can be installed via NPM:

npm install @11ty/eleventy-plugin-rss --save-dev

Next, add the plugin to Eleventy via your config file. This will most likely be named .eleventy.js:

const pluginRss = require("@11ty/eleventy-plugin-rss");

module.exports = function(eleventyConfig) {

Finally, we need to create the feed. The Eleventy RSS plugin works by processing a Nunjucks (.njk) file into an XML (.xml) file. So, lets create a file in our source directory, ensuring it uses the .njk file extension so that the plugin can do its thing. For me, I created a file named feed.njk in the root of my source directory.

Once I'd created the file, I first populated the Front Matter of the file.

"permalink": "feed.xml",
"eleventyExcludeFromCollections": true,
"metadata": {
"title": "Sam O'Neill",
"subtitle": "Welcome to the online home of Sam O'Neill, a Brighton-based design engineer.",
"language": "en",
"url": "",
"author": {
"name": "Sam O'Neill"

This contains metadata, which is used to populate the respective tags in the XML file itself, as well as the useful eleventyExcludeFromCollections declaration which prevents the feed file itself from showing up on any collections pages. This would be useful if perhaps you had multiple collections on your site, each with their own RSS feed file living within the collections directory.

Finally, we need to create the feed template by adding the following after the Front Matter that we have just populated.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<feed xmlns="" xml:base="{{ metadata.url }}">
<title>{{ metadata.title }}</title>
<subtitle>{{ metadata.subtitle }}</subtitle>
<link href="{{ permalink | absoluteUrl(metadata.url) }}" rel="self"/>
<link href="{{ metadata.url }}"/>
<updated>{{ collections.writing | getNewestCollectionItemDate | dateToRfc3339 }}</updated>
<id>{{ metadata.url }}</id>
<name>{{ }}</name>
{%- for post in collections.writing | reverse %}
{%- set absolutePostUrl = post.url | absoluteUrl(metadata.url) %}
<title>{{ }}</title>
<link href="{{ absolutePostUrl }}"/>
<updated>{{ | dateToRfc3339 }}</updated>
<id>{{ absolutePostUrl }}</id>
<content xml:lang="{{ metadata.language }}" type="html">{{ post.templateContent | htmlToAbsoluteUrls(absolutePostUrl) }}</content>
{%- endfor %}

In this instance, I wanted a generate a feed from the "writing" collection on my site, so you'll notice the use of collections.writing in the feed template above. Make sure to change that so it matches the collection that you want a feed for.

Your final feed file should look something like this.

At this point, you should be able to run your --serve command and have a feed at http://localhost:8080/feed.xml.

The final step, is to add your link tag to the <head> of your website for autodiscovery of your new RSS feed:

<link rel="alternate"
title="Sam O'Neill's Blog" />

And that's it.

Got feedback? You can reach me on Mastodon.