Ryan Schuetzler

Researcher and techie extraordinaire

Getting Started With Jekyll

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If you are a regular visitor to this blog, you may have noticed that it’s changed quite a bit. For some reason, my Wordpress installation decided to go ape on me, and I wasn’t able to update anything. I tried wiping the whole thing out and starting again, but to no avail. I’ve been looking for ways to increase my nerd status anyway, and I read a very interesting post on using Jekyll as a blog semi-CMS. Since I use NearlyFreeSpeech.net as my website host, moving to Jekyll saves me about a dollar/month in hosting costs. I think this way I may be able to host my entire site for less than $1/month.

Anyway, Jekyll is a “blog aware” static site generator. I am able to write blog posts in a basic text editor, and Jekyll performs the processing to put it into the template I want. Since I’m kind of a noob when it comes to HTML/CSS, I used the source from one of the site already using Jekyll and modified it to get what I wanted. I’m sure the layout will change in the next few months, but for now I just wanted to get it running. For now, it’s a very slight modification of Stephen Ramsay’s style.

I found a really great tutorial that got me most of the way there at hayley.ws. Rather than installing jekyll myself, I had to email NSFN support and have them do it. The only other problem I had was with the post-receive script. The rm -Rf command did not work, as NFSN returned an error that the directory was not empty. Apparently even with the -Rf, it won’t remove non-empty directories. So I modified the script to manually delete contents from each subdirectory, then remove the directory.

Like I said, the site as it stands is pretty unremarkable. If you’re interested in getting started with Jekyll, you can check out the source for my site at Github.