Blogging with Jekyll and Github

Jekyll is a flat file website (blog) generator and it’s pretty good. It’s especially useful if you have a account (although it’s rumoured to play nice with as well).

It feels a bit odd if you’re used to the idea of a database-powered CMS, but it’s quick and simple and if you use git you get version control and edit history thrown in for free (including blame which is useful if you have multiple contributors). Backups become as simple as pulling the repository onto a machine (or two) or if - like me - you’re really paranoid about losing things, you can dump your git repository into your dropbox folder.

(Excuse the dropbox referral link, but it’s for your own good - you do want 250MB of extra free space don’t you?)

So how to go about installing it? Simply run the following commands:

sudo gem install RedCloth
sudo gem install liquid
sudo gem install classifier
sudo gem install maruku
sudo gem install directory_watcher
sudo gem install open4
sudo gem install mojombo-jekyll -s

You can also optionally install pygments for code syntax highlighting (warning - the instructions given here are for a Mac running Snow Leopard, you can find out how to install pygments for other OS choices here)

sudo easy_install Pygments

All good? Still here? Yay! The next step is to look through the official documentation which explains the basic folder structure and how to run a local server or for a quick tour of the basics I recommend this tutorial