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Let’s say you need an easy way to create a blog within minutes. Well, Jekyll does exactly that! It’s a highly popular tool in the modern blogging field!
What is Jekyll?
Jekyll is a static site generator built using Ruby. It allows you to write basic HTML and CSS to create a fully functional website that’s ready for your server! You can also use Markdown for your posts and Liquid for templating.
How do I get started?
First, open up Command Prompt or Terminal depending on your operating system. Next, install Jekyll onto your system:
gem install jekyll
Then, create a new site using:
jekyll new my-amazing-site
Next, go into the newly created site directory and set up a server to watch for changes.
cd my-amazing-site jekyll serve
Now that the server is set up, we can point our browser to
localhost:4000 in order to view our newly generated site! It should look something like the following:
Jekyll blogs often have a directory structure similar to the one below:
Jekyll populates the
_site folder with the compiled blog. The configuration for your blog is stored in
_config.yml. A sample configuration is shown below:
title: "My Awesome Website!" email: firstname.lastname@example.org description: "This is a description!" markdown_ext: md permalink: pretty
The posts for the blog are put into the
_posts directory. These files can be written using HTML or Markdown. Jekyll blog posts must be named with a specific date prefix, as shown above. They must be named in the following format:
Adjusting your blog
Layouts allow you to define a template that a set of HTML files will follow.
What if you wanted to define a standard template for all of your posts? How about making a separate one for the non-post pages on your blog, such as the About or Resume pages? Well, Jekyll allows you to accomplish both of these tasks using something called layouts. Layouts allow you to define a template that a set of HTML files will follow. Two layouts are already provided for you in the
_layouts folder if you executed the
jekyll new command previously. The
default.html template is for non-post pages and the other one,
post.html, is for posts. Changing these files will allow you to change all of your non-post or post pages at once, which is extremely useful for implementing something that will be consistent throughout several pages! For example, you can make a header with navigation and a logo for each page.
In order to change the styling, use the
css directory. The
syntax.css file contains code highlighting styles, while the
styles.css is for general site styles.
Post, post, post!
Now that the Jekyll blog is set up, start posting! To write a new post, make a new file in
_posts, but don’t forget to include the date prefix that was previously mentioned! Once the file is created, you will have to define the title and layout of the post using YAML inside the file. This is called front matter. Say I have a post named All About Rainbows. Then I’ll have to fill the file with the following:
--- title: All About Rainbows layout: post ---
This tells Jekyll that I want to use the
post.html template inside of the
_layouts folder that we previously talked about. Then, I can start writing in Markdown (or HTML if I made a .html file):
--- title: All About Rainbows layout: post --- # Introduction Yes, rainbows are amazing, but do you know everything about them? ...
This was just a preview of Jekyll as there is much more to learn! You can find out more about Jekyll and its various other features by visiting their amazing documentation site. Thanks for reading!