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How to choose between developer tools

This week, one of my newsletter readers was describing the challenges facing a newer developer who’s trying to choose between a wide range of tools and options…

11ty, hugo or just jekyl? With or without a CSS Framework (I love vanilla and but these frameworks do have great advantages).
Which hosting solution or will I learn to do it by myself? Which programmer language do I feel comfortable learning with?

Honestly, my approach to this and what I recommend to my students is always to pick the one that has documentation that’s easiest for you to understand.

If you were asking about React vs. vanilla JS I’d have a much different opinion, but… 11ty, Hugo, and Jekyll all do mostly the same thing with some slight differences. Same with most hosting solutions. Backend languages? They all have good and bad aspects.

Ultimately, they’re all just tools to get the job done.

One thing I will say about CSS frameworks is that CSS impacts performance more than you might think, and writing your own is always a good idea if you can.

But… when you’re just learning, leaning on a CSS library for styling while you focus on another aspect of the stack is totally fine, too.