Plop in Automation

12 Feb, 2023

My blog now is powered by 11ty, as previously mentioned, and this runs within the NodeJS environment as well. Each node project comes with a package.json file and this holds the information for the node packages, scripts or processes to run, and a few more items.

Since starting the 100DaysToOffload I am writing a lot more and each post is its own file with some specific frontmatter used to render the website and the rest of the website. I have used PlopJS before on another blog I maintain and it has been helpful as well.

So what is PlopJS?

After installing Plop we create a plopfile.js and can start generating some questions and get going.

A sample plop file

export default function (plop) {
    // controller generator
    plop.setGenerator('controller', {
        description: 'application controller logic',
        prompts: [{
            type: 'input',
            name: 'name',
            message: 'controller name please'
        actions: [{
            type: 'add',
            path: 'src/{{name}}.js',
            templateFile: 'plop-templates/controller.hbs'

This will as a question, you answer and then create a new file based on a template. You can take a look at my plop file I am using to see the full process. Now I have a template file that is pretty straight forward as well.

title: {{titleCase title}}
excerpt: {{description}}
{{#each category}}
  - {{this}}
  - 100DaysToOffload


One of the neat things plop can do is have a mulitple choice prompts. I am using them to add the tags to my blog so I don't have to write them by hand all the time. To add to the automation, I need a way to get the tags previously used. Node to the rescue here with a simple directory search on my build folder's tag directory.

function getDirectories(path) {
  return fs.readdirSync(path).filter(function (file) {
    return fs.statSync(path+'/'+file).isDirectory();

const tags = getDirectories("./build/tags")

// other plop file
  type: "checkbox",
  name: "category",
  message: "Category:",
  choices: tags,
// rest of plop file

Putting it all together

plop in use

I have some other helpful scripts as well! One to clean my build directory to have a fresh start every once in a while, and also a git process too. Some automation can be fully autonomous, some is just helpful when doing the repetitive tasks, and others can simplify a few processes as well.

I'm publishing this as part of 100 Days To Offload. You can join in yourself by visiting

Tags: javascript, automation, 100DaysToOffload


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