I only discovered that Github hosts personal websites a few days ago. I knew that you could set up a
gh_pages branch and have it hosted at
user.github.io/project, but the idea of hosting my own personal site on Github using a repo is pretty neat.
I took the bait.
I found a Github help tutorial explaining how to set up Jekyll, a static site generator, to run locally. After following the steps in the article, I emerged with what appears to be a functioning Jekyll site.
The Jekyll site looks and feels like a CMS. Posts are kept in a folder named
_posts, and the main structure of the site appears to be contained within various files in another folder at the root of the project called
What’s really nice is that these pages are very small when served up. This page, for instance, loads in less than half of a second. Compared to a larger CMS, which may have many more features than I will ever need, Jekyll appears to offer a nice balance of customization options, simplicity, and performance.
Additionally, Jekyll uses Markdown syntax so if you have written a README before, you should feel at home writing posts.
The one drawback, for me, is the fact that Jekyll is built on Ruby. Since I do pretty much zero Ruby programming, I had to install Ruby just to get started. This is really an inescapable nitpick since something like a Node.js solution would, of course, require Node to be installed, an ASP.NET site would require the .NET Framework, etc.
Overall, I like the idea of using Jekyll as a static site generator. The fact that Github detects a Jekyll site and automatically builds and deploys the site makes it a really attractive option for someone who just wants to get off the ground publishing a few articles (me).