About six months ago, I learned about the Jekyll Static Site Generator. I have wanted to speed up my blogs for some time, and I thought a static site mamay be the way to accomplish that.
With the decision to try out a static website, there appeared to be several options:
- Wordpress plugin
- Static Site Generator
- Website scrapper
I decieded against the Wordpress plugin, as I wanted to decrease the total load on the server.
I decided against a website scrapper, because that would not give me a system to update the website easily.
That left me with finding a static site generator. So my next bit of research took the form of reading about several, including what languages they were written in, and how actively developed they were. I discovered that almost all of them would need some tweaking, and software installed on the computer I wanted to write for the website on.
In the end, I decieded to work with Jekyll, because it seemed to be mature, stable, actively developed, and had a large user and developer base.
With the decision to use Jekyll in place, I decided to try installing it. Unfortunately, on my first attempt, I met with failures, like the wrong version of Ruby installed. I gave up for the time being, and decieded to use Github pages to start developing my website.
I started by finding a Jekyll theme, which I felt I could work with.
Jekyll uses the Liquid templating language, which I am still not to familiar with., but the theme I had chosen was close enough to what I wanted the site to look like, that I was able to alter css mostly to get what I wanted.
In converting from Wordpress to Jekyll I made the decision to dump the sidebar, which I never sucessfully setup anyway, and now I just focus on my content.
I was able to get Jekyll installed using an alternative repository for Ruby, and using the github-pages gem file. That way my setup is the same as what I used on Github.
The website is still a work in progress, there are things I want to do to improve it, like:
- Change the colors on the main menu
- Create category and tag pages
- Paginate the blog posts so there are about 5 posts on a page. I want to do this without added plugins, so that the page stays compatible with Github Pages.
Jekyll is becoming a really usable platform for me. The hardest part of the whole process for me was getting the look of the website correct. It is really easy to add content to.