Welcome Jekyll

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Introduction to Jekyll, a static blog aware site generator.

Index | Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

Since its creation this website was built using Jekyll, a blog aware static website creator.

I won’t deeply explain how to use Jekyll, it’s plenty of websites and documentation on the web.

Basically what you need is to install first Ruby then install a couple of gems needed to run Jekyll.

gem update
# Updating installed gems
gem install jekyll therubyracer
# Fetching: liquid-2.6.1.gem (100%)
# Successfully installed liquid-2.6.1
# Fetching: fast-stemmer-1.0.2.gem (100%)
# Building native extensions.  This could take a while...
# Successfully installed fast-stemmer-1.0.2
# Fetching: kramdown-1.4.0.gem (100%)
# Successfully installed kramdown-1.4.0
# ...
# 34 gems installed

The first command will update any existing Ruby gems, the second one will install jekyll, along as with all its dependencies.

A quick start website can be created simply executing:

jekyll new mywebsite
# New jekyll site installed in /home/muflone/mywebsite.
cd mywebsite
jekyll serve
# Configuration file: /home/muflone/mywebsite/_config.yml
#             Source: /home/muflone/mywebsite
#        Destination: /home/muflone/mywebsite/_site
#       Generating... 
#                     done.
# Configuration file: /home/muflone/mywebsite/_config.yml
#     Server address:
#   Server running... press ctrl-c to stop.

Then browsing the URL http://localhost:4000/ will show your brand new website created by Jekyll.

If the jekyll command cannot be found you may need to add the gems directory (~/.gems/ruby/VERSION/bin) to your path.

An alternative method (which I prefer) is to create a bash alias: alias jekyll ~/.gems/ruby/VERSION/bin/jekyll

The directories structure automatically created for you will be the following:

├── _config.yml
├── css
│   └── main.css
├── feed.xml
├── .gitignore
├── _includes
│   ├── footer.html
│   ├── header.html
│   └── head.html
├── index.html
├── _layouts
│   ├── default.html
│   ├── page.html
│   └── post.html
├── _posts
│   └── 2014-06-29-welcome-to-jekyll.markdown
└── _site

The file _config.yml is the main website configuration file and it will contain both system and user defined variables to be used in any other webpage.

The _includes folder will contain code that you wish to include inside another by using the include tag. This is useful to avoid rewrite the same code for multiple pages or sections. In the default website will be provided three snippets of page called footer, header and head.

The _layouts folder will contain the layouts for the pages, like an empty schema for other pages. You can have a layout for home page, a different layout for the other pages, a different layout for blog posts and so on. The layouts are the keys to design your website and they will host some placeholder tags that will be replaced by the main content to render a webpage.

The _posts folder will contain all your articles that will later produce the static webpages.

The _site folder will contain the website produced by joining all the parts and this is the contents you will need to upload to your server. When you’ll browse your local website by surfing the http://localhost:4000/ URL you will see what’s inside the _site folder, you will not see any jekyll file, neither any file inside _layouts, _include or _posts folders but the resulted website by combining these contents.

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