Move to Jekyll

24 Feb 2014

A few days ago my ExpressionEngine install went haywire and I needed to get a quick blog up to avoid having a site full of broken links. I've used plenty of heavy CMS's for my blog before, and instead of a system to do the work for me I wanted something open that I could use as my "breakable toy". It didn't take me long to settle on Jekyll, the static-site generator created by Github founder Tom Preston-Werner.

There are a couple main reasons why this was an easy decision for me.

Easy templating

As the name implies, Jekyll generates static HTML, CSS, and JavaScript files using Liquid templates. This means that there is no backend. Nothing to break. Nothing to hack. Just a few files on a server. Just a template defining your default page and your post type and you're done with markup.

You can write all of your articles in Markdown

I've been using Markdown to write my articles for awhile, using a EE plugin while I was still on the CMS. This makes it even easier as Markdown is the native writing language for Jekyll. It's by far my favorite way to write for the web.

There is nothing getting in the way

Because there is no front-end framework, I can do whatever I want with it. I want this blog to be my breakable sandbox that I can play around with fun ideas without worrying about conflicts. All of the CSS and JS on this site comes custom from me (for better or worse).

If you want to take Jekyll for a test drive, you can either start with the official documentation or clone my blog and run jekyll serve on the directory to see it for yourself.