Adding a Blog to your Github Pages site using Jekyll Now

Recently I’ve been thinking about improving my personal website, mikeclark.xyz. The site is very simple; it uses Bootstrap 4, is hosted on Github Pages, and it only lists my main technical skills.

From reading up on many startup stories at Indie Hackers lately, it seemed like the best way to improve my website and promote my brand in the future would be to start a blog today. (Thanks to Rachel Soderberg and Monica Lent for the inspiration.)

With my website so simple, I didn’t want to invest too much time or money into setting up a fully-featured CMS system, which is where Jekyll comes in.

What is Jekyll?

Jekyll is a static website generator that turns Markdown text into blog posts. The static nature of Jekyll makes the lightweight HTML output load incredibly fast on most devices when compared to the heavy resource load most modern websites require.

What is Jekyll Now?

Jekyll Now is a repository that lets users bypass the command line and directly clone a ready to go Jekyll blog. You can find the link here. Jekyll Now is a pre-built Jekyll repository with example content, all you really need to get set up quickly.

Going live in 30 seconds

Cloning the Jekyll Now repository into your Github account and setting the title to yourusername.github.io will have the example blog content live in less than 30 seconds. Thats all it takes.

Your blog’s name can be edited in the _config.yml file, along with many other options like enabling certain social media links in the footer. You can also edit the main page templates if you would like to add more links as I did.

The Blogging Platform for Minimalists

Your minimalist blogging platform is live at yourusername.github.io. Posts can be created and edited in the ./posts/ directory as Markdown text files directly from the browser, no other applications needed.

Now imagine how long this would’ve been if I had used Wordpress…

If you enjoyed reading this please let me know on Twitter.

For more of the techincal nitty gritty, take a look at Build A Blog With Jekyll And GitHub Pages over at Smashing Magazine.

Written on May 20, 2020