How do I made this blog?

Jekyll and github's pages pretty well integrated

Posted by Pierre Verkest on June 25, 2016


Here, I won’t explain how to setup your blog using jekyll and GitHub’s pages, only give the big picture how it works and give some resource that was useful for me!

This blog is hosted on github pages that service allows to host a website for GitHub’s projects.

Github is a web-based Git repository hosting service and aims developers to collaborate efficiently to build software.

Jekyll allow to write blog post in Markdown format and generate this static web site.

Note: There are other formats supported by Jekyll I’m happy with Markdown format as I use it a lot around my GitHub projects.

So adding a new post is basically create a new Markdown file in my blog repository

Jekyll is integrated with Github pages so as soon I push to my repo GitHub Pages service build my blog and publish it!

To setup every things that can take some times, in fact (as often) the most consuming time was to know what I wanted to do! As suggest in Barry Clark’s post I have started from an existing project which was hard to choose. After trying a lot of websites I got this short list:

After a long hesitation between those 3 templates I’ve chosen the 2nd one as it fits your device (thanks bootstrap and its responsive design) and still quite simple and basic.

By chance to illustrate this blog I’ve found Pixabay with a pretty good library and as a lot of people use Google image filtering by licences.

You can do a lot of thing that a CMS can do like let user comments under post using service like Disqus, follow activity on Google Analytic and much more…

The hardest things is when you receive build errors email from GitHub:

The page build failed with the following error:

There was a YAML syntax error on line 7 column 1 in
`<unknown>`: `could not find expected ':' while scanning a simple key`.
For more information, see

For information on troubleshooting Jekyll see:

If you have any questions you can contact us by replying to this email.

Some informations are missing to let you know what to fix exactly. If you just add a file that will probably fine but if your are setting up your website you have to guess which key and file needs to be fixed.

So as I’m not a ruby developer I’ve chosen to use docker container to build my blog and find out what’s wrong

To build the blog locally from the blog root directory I’ve used Graham christensen docker image (I guess jekyll/jekyll image would do something similar I haven’t tried):

docker run -it --rm -v "$PWD:/src" grahamc/jekyll build

to serve it locally:

docker run -it --rm -v "$PWD:/src" -p 4000:4000 \
            grahamc/jekyll serve -H

All of this takes me a short day to decide, setup, update an existing template and start to write some posts!