Recently I wanted to contribute to one of my favorite projects: Eleventy static site generator.

I’ve never made changes to a node package before. So my biggest blocker was figuring out how to clone and use someone else’s node package locally, as opposed to using it directly with npm install.

In order to use a node package locally, you have to tell your package.json file to read from a local file. You can do that via npm install with this command:

npm install /absolute/path/to/project

So for my case, I cloned the Eleventy git repo to /path/to/local/eleventy. I made my changes and tried them out with a local Eleventy project, located at path/to/test/site.

In order to use my local Eleventy changes in the Eleventy project, I navigated to the path/to/test/site directory and ran:

npm install /path/to/local/eleventy

Which configured the test site to use my local version of Eleventy, including my changes.