A real website

templates, content, and Jekyll

Posted by René on January 20, 2015

I have a personal homepage since 1995. For the past 5 years, I hosted my pages on Google Sites. In 2014, google changed many things and it was no longer easy to integrate my Google Site with my domain.

So I decided to not waste time on figuring out how to fix this problem with Google, but I created a new site from scratch. Since I am not a web developer, I had to steal a template and fill it with content. My first attempt was this template.

I changed some pictures and some general configuration and in the end I got some nice pages. But everything was static! I want to blog about my projects and I thought that I needed something more powerful but I don't like to set up a full CMS. One day after the initial release, I switched to the Jekyll version of the template. You can find it on github.

I had no idea what Jekyll was, since I am not a web developer. It turned out that it does exactly what I wanted: Jekyll renders static webpages out of templates and content files. I just have to modify the template files and for every blog post, I write a new content file. Jekyll creates the static HTML files that I upload to my ftp server (the same that I used in 1995). GREAT STUFF!

Getting started with Jekyll

There is a quickstart guide on the Jekyll website.

~$ gem install jekyll
~ $ jekyll new my-awesome-site
~ $ cd my-awesome-site
~/my-awesome-site $ jekyll serve
# => Now browse to http://localhost:4000

I tried it with my Mac and run into many problems. It turned out that my developer system had too many customisations. I had to set up a clean ruby system. And I never used Ruby before! This tutorial helped me a lot.

There is also a nice video tutorial on Youtube:

A podcast?

I love podcasts. I did the fab lab audio podcast some years ago, but the workflow was too time consuming. I like the podlove project and I just found out that Arne Eilermann integrated Podlove into Jekyll. Maybe I should create a new podcast? You can find his project called octopod on github.