By CHI WAI LAU

Starting a Blog with Jekyll

I have been meaning to start a blog for a while. Blogging services like Blogger and WordPress are great for sharing media such as text, photos, and videos; however, they can be difficult for displaying and running Javascript code due to their security measures. At the end, I decided to build the blog because it would be a valuable experience and I would have more flexibility on what to share here.

Almost every web framework has a tutorial that shows you how to build a blog using the framework. Most of them involve installing the framework on the server and then setting up a datastore. In order to load the blog, the web server would have to run some special interpreter and then query the datastore. I would have followed that path if Scott Kyle had never introduced me to Jekyll.

Jekyll is a simple tool that helps you create a blog with ease and then package it as a static site. When your blog is just a static site, that implies some great things:

  • Lightweight: The server is not interpreting any code or querying the datastore.
  • Low Maintenance: There is nothing extra to setup and maintain on server.

So why should you use Jekyll instead of building a static site on your own? Like most web frameworks, it comes with a neat layout system, so you can easily reuse or switch layouts. Also, posts are stored in plain text files and written in Markdown, which lets you write using an easy-to-read, easy-to-write plain text format, then convert it to structurally valid HTML.

Jekyll is the kind of technology that makes me rethink about software architecture. I think it has already changed the way people architect websites. I encourage you to check it out and perhaps join the movement!

Oh, I would like to thank Loc & Meh for helping me with the site logos.