Jekyll, Pages, and

a minimalist stack for publishing online

Jul 15, 2013

I'm coding this site using Jekyll, a static site compiler written in Ruby. It's not my first trip to the static site rodeo (ikiwiki e, Frank e1, e2), so this project might not look too exciting at first glance. What is exciting is some new workflow tools I am using which make the process of building static sites simpler and potentially more accessible to non-developers.

The first tool is Github's Pages hosting service, which features automatic site builds using Jekyll. Whenever I push new content, it is instantly built and published to my site. This is really cool.

The second tool is an online text content editor that connects directly to your Github repos. It offers a focused content editing experience with power features such image insert/upload and linking to an existing page.

Both of these tools live "in the cloud", and together they completely remove the need for a workstation for editing static sites. I can author new posts on my mobile phone, or on a borrowed web browser. Also, because it is built on top of the collaborative features of Github, multiple people can edit a site simultaneously.

All of which is to say, this workflow can compete directly with traditional CMSes such as Wordpress.

... with their complex code, user sessions, and database backends, those bohemoths under whose tyranical reign web developers have toiled for the past two decades.

Viva la revoluciĆ³n!

Further topics

  • Next: Why compile sites?
  • Content collaboration over Github
  • Replacing the Github's builtin site compiler (Jekyll) with something else, and why you would want to do that besides being a masochist
  • Using with a self hosted Gitlab server. Not currently possible due to API differences between GH and GL.