Migrating a Wordpress Blog to Jekyll

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.

Written on November 7, 2015