Create Jekyll website with GitHub or GitLab

2 minute read

Both GitHub and GitLab (as well as Bitbucket) allow free static websites.

  • GitHub Pages: up to 100 GB/month and 1 GB storage
  • GitLab Pages: up to 1 GB storage with any static site generator

Create Jekyll website

The “Minimal Mistakes” Jekyll template is one of numerous quick-loading Jekyll templates. Forget about AMP, get lightning-fast mobile browsing Google PageSpeed scores with Jekyll and Minimal Mistakes. This procedure is based on Linux (including Windows Subsystem for Linux).

  1. get prereqs
    apt install ruby-dev libssl-dev
       
    gem update --system
    
  2. be sure Gems are installed to home directory, NOT system (no sudo) by adding to ~/.bashrc:
    # Install Ruby Gems to ~/gems
    export GEM_HOME=$HOME/gems
    export PATH=$HOME/gems/bin:$PATH
    
  3. install Gem bundler (without sudo):
    gem install jekyll bundler
    
  4. Download and extract latest Minimal Mistakes release.
  5. Install needed Gems:
    mv minimal-mistakes username.github.io
    cd username.github.io
    
    bundle install
    
    username
    your GitLab or GitHub username
  6. On GitHub/GitLab, create a new blank repository username.github.io (for GitLab, username.gitlab.io).
  7. edit _config.yml, change the following lines to fit your needs: title, name, description, url, repository
  8. Connect your new website to GitLab/GitHub (swapping gitlab for github as appropriate)
    git init
    git add .
    git commit -am init
    git remote add origin https://github.com/username/username.github.io
    git push -u origin master
    
  9. Future edits will follow the usual
    git commit -am foo
    git push
    

Now your page should be live at username.github.io. See Github Pages docs for custom domains and advanced configs.

Jekyll Format tip

These tips are based on the Minimal Mistakes Jekyll theme

Enable search icon

in _config.yml

search: true

This enables site-wide Lunr instant search as the user types. The search icon is at the upper right corner of the toolbar on top of every page/post. It’s much better/faster than Google-based search of your site! This instant as-you-type search scales well for sites with thousands of pages.

remove default “layout: post” from migrated posts

This is useful for the default layout: single in _config.yml below.

sed -i '/layout: post/d' *.html

static nav buttons

edit _data/navigation.yml

Nice formatting

copy/paste into _config.yml these lines (anywhere in file):

defaults:
  -
    scope:
      path: ""

    values:
      layout: "single"
      toc: true
      author_profile: false
      read_time: false
      comments: true
      share: true
      related: true

include: ["_pages"]

Beautiful banner

add to index.html header (between three dashes) the lines:

header:
    overlay_color: "#000"
    overlay_filter: "0.5"
    overlay_image: /assets/images/header.jpg 
excerpt: "text overlaid on banner image"

Remote author image

index.html:

author_profile: false

It’s smart to do this in case you later decide a page category should change, without screwing up your search engine results.

_config.yml:

permalink: /:title/

number of posts per archive page

_config.yml:

paginate: 10 # amount of posts to show

Notes

Jekyll install reference

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