Excalibur's Sheath

Migrating a Wordpress Blog to Jekyll

Nov 7, 2015 • wordpress,jekyll,website,web

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.