Eleventy: Tag List Sorting and Post Count

This week I’m focusing on building out the tag-related pages for my new site, and I had two straightforward requirements for the tag list:

  • Order the list of tags alphabetically
  • Display the post count for each tag

The starter repository I’m using has basic support for a tags collection, but I noticed that the tag list is not sorted, and can change order with a build. I also couldn’t figure out how to add a post count. Fortunately the Eleventy/Jamstack community has been pretty open about sharing their site repositories. I took a look at Phil Hawksworth’s blog repo and found both elements that I needed (thanks Phil!).

Sorting the Tag List

Phil wrote his own getTagList function to generate the tagList collection (the main difference that I can see from the version from the starter repo is that Phil is using the getAllSorted() method when grabbing collections. I copied Phil‘s function and defined the collection in my .eleventy.js file:

eleventyConfig.addCollection("tagList", require("./src/utils/getTagList.js"));

So far, so good. However, I have a couple of custom post types that I’m using: book and project, which each have their own tags. For now I want to exclude those custom types from the main post tag archive. So, I added a quick filter into the mix to only return items that matched the post content type. Note that to do this, I had to make sure that I had explicitly add a content_type attribute to my posts.json file, which looks like this:

  "content_type": "post",
  "layout": "post",
  "tags": ["posts"]

Here’s my getTagList() method in full:

module.exports = function (collection) {
  let tagSet = new Set();
    .filter(function (item) {
      return item.data.content_type == "post";
    .forEach(function (item) {
      if ("tags" in item.data) {
        let tags = item.data.tags;
        if (typeof tags === "string") {
          tags = [tags];

        tags = tags.filter(function (item) {
          switch (item) {
            // this list should match the `filter` list in tags.njk
            case "all":
            case "nav":
            case "post":
            case "posts":
              return false;

          return true;

        for (const tag of tags) {

  // returning an array in addCollection works in Eleventy 0.5.3
  return [...tagSet].sort();

Adding a Post Count to Each Tag

The post count for tags was even simpler. In his tag list template I found this snippet for printing out the post count for a tag: {{ collections[tag].length }}. So my template looks like this:

permalink: /tags/
layout: layouts/base.njk
templateClass: tmpl-tags-list
<div class="content-main container">
<ul class="postlist">
{% for tag in collections.tagList%}
  {% set tagUrl %}/tags/{{ tag }}/{% endset %}
  <li class="postlist-item">
    <a href="{{ tagUrl | url }}" class="postlist-link">{{ tag }}</a> ({{ collections[tag].length }})
{% endfor %}

Thanks again to Phil Hawksworth for making his code public.