Create a Blog Quickly with Jekyll and Github Pages

Monday, December 10, 2018 → 3 min read

If you are a software developer, this is probably the quickest and most fun way to get a blog up and running in like 5 minutes. If you are not a developer and don't have time to tinker with your blog. I think you might be better off creating a blog using a CMS like Wordpress. At the very least, you would need to learn how to write content using Markdown if you are going to follow this approach to creating and maintaining your blog. (Markdown is very easy to learn though even for non developers.)

Regardless of whether you are a developer or not, this approach is pretty easy to follow and you will end up with a simple blog that just works. You don't even need a custom domain to try this out and your blog will be hosted for free on Github pages. This is how this blog/site was previously created. I have since updated this blog to be generated using Wyam.

There are a number of articles/posts about this topic already so I won't rehash what others have already written. I'll keep this short and simple and just point you to where you need to go to get this done.

  1. Sign up for a Github account.
  2. Find the Jekyll Now repository on Github and start reading the readme info. Actually, you can jump straight to the Quick Start section and follow the instructions there.
  3. That's pretty much it actually. If you follow Step 2 and go through the instructions from the Quick Start section, the end result is your very own blog up and running on the web, hosted on Github Pages for free!

Barry Clark, the creator of the Jekyll Now repository also wrote a more detailed tutorial on how to create a blog using Jekyll Now and Github pages. If you made it this far, I suggest reading that as well.

There are some limitations to creating a blog using this approach, namely, your blog will not have an Archive and Tags pages out of the box. Those are features that I think people would normally expect to be built-in on a blog website. It is not the case here, most likely due to the restrictions Github Pages has on Jekyll plugins. Fear not, as these are easy to add/implement yourself. I will cover adding an Archive and Tags page in a future post.

I hope this post has at least helped you get started on a blog. Good day everyone!

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