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Setting Up Jekyll With Github Pages

Ian Jones

August 14, 2015


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I thought that setting up my own custom blog was going to be hard. Turn out I couldn't have been more wrong! Jekyll is a static page Ruby framework. The cool thing about this framework is that you don't need to know any Ruby to get it up and running. To truly customize it you might have to dive in and learn some Ruby.

Jekyll lets you start blogging in 4 simple commands:

gem install jekyll
jekyll new myAwesomeNewBlog
cd myAwesomeNewBlog
jekyll serve

These commands get your local instance of Jekyll running. But the real question is: how do I get this awesome new blog hosted and available to see on the interwebs? This is where Github Pages comes in.

Github Pages hosts static files for you for free. Given that you have a Github account, they give you a default domain of {GITHUB ACCOUNT}.github.io. To get your Jekyll blog up on Github Pages, to set up a Gemfile like this (code provided from github-pages docs):

source 'https://rubygems.org'
gem 'github-pages'

Next you need to run:

bundle install

Next comes creating the github repository that your code will live in. Creating a repository with the name of your github account name tells github that you want to use Github Pages. To get your awesome new blog on Github Pages, all you need to do is push your code up to the master branch.

Now that your blog is all set up on GH-pages, you can play around with it. There are a lot of gems that let you easily customize your blog. An example gem that I have installed are jemoji, which allows you to put emojis on your page :+1: :gem:.

Almost anything you want to customize can be done in your _config.yml file.

Jekyll is super easy to set up and use! For more support I would look at Jekyll's docs and Github Page's set-up docs.

There are other frameworks that also work well. Octopress is built on top of Jekyll and abstracts some tasks away from you so you can do things in the command line. Middleman is another popular static content framework that is a little more flexible than Jekyll.

In the end, they all allow you to get your thoughts out there in an extremely hackable way!

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