What is Jekyll?
The hard question. If you can’t understand it from their documentation, just know that it is a converter that takes certain files and displays them as a static website. A static website is one that a user doesn’t interact with, doesn’t create a profile on and save items to his or her account. It’s really not much different than Wordpress except it converts different files.
What is awesome about Jekyll is it works directly with Github in displaying your blog (or project page…any general website.) This means you can host your blog on Github for free! But if you want to have a domain that does not have ‘github’ anywhere in it, you’ll need to register for one, which you can normally find for $10-15/year. This is an awesome advantage of Jekyll and what we will be doing throughout this tutorial.
Anoter perk? Once you get set up, it really is easy to use. All you need to do is write your posts and push them to Github. It’s the getting-it-set-up part that is difficult and which I will be focusing. (Oh, and this tutorial will be for blog specific sites).
It’s also great for programmers or anyone looking to learn how to program - for a few reasons:
- Using Jekyll shows you can hack and have an idea of what you’re doing with programming languages.
- You write your posts in Markdown. I’ll get into that later, but it’s a great markup language that let’s you focus on your content and you can easily display snippets of code.
- It’s way more customizable than Wordpress. Unless you’re a PHP expert or have a lot of money to hire someone who is, there’s only so much you can do to make your blog your own. With Jekyll, you have full access to ALL of your files and can make changes anywhere.
The things that may trip you up about Jekyll are the languages it uses. You’ll be using Markdown and Liquid, which we can get into later.
Now you hopefully understand a little more about Jekyll and what it is. Let’s get it set up on your computer!