Getting started with Jekyll

August 19, 2011

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 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 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.

Ryan Schuetzler

I'm Ryan Schuetzler, a husband and father, professor at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and professional nerd. You can follow me on twitter, but there's not much there.