This post will tell you why and how I started to blog on GitHub Pages
I’m rarely posting anything useful and my main motivation is (or was?) to simply try out new things. I’m mainly interested in the backend and the workflow of all those blogging tools out there.
Where I come from
In my world a blog was built of a webserver, database, content. Running a wordpress blog on your own rootserver is fun, but you need some background know-how and I always lost a lot of time in searching for a “beautiful” theme that fits my need - although these needs were never ever defined anywhere. Running your own root server is also time-consuming and I see no reason why to spend time and money on this.
Recently I managed to have some free time in the evenings. This is chellenging as I have 4 kids and a dog - not to forget my wife of course ;)
Idea was to create something useful with Wordpress, but the amount of ads on a free wordpress blog is really frustrating!
Googling for a free hosting withoug ads, I discovered GitHub Pages. I was considering Github mainly as a CVS system for Programmers - and it is. But Github Pages offers some nice Static website generator - Jekyll.
To summarize I’m looking for a
- Free hosting & No Ads
- Bring your own domain name
- Easy to maintain
- Write via Browser / console / mobile device
- No database to worry about in case of “moving on”
Some mistakes I made
I first thought you need to utilize git (the command line tool for sync code with GitHub) and it was fun to learn how it works. It’s not a very convenient way to maintain a blog.
You can simply clone a suitable repository and then change files directly on GitHub - no need for local installation of Jekyll + git. GitHub Pages already provides Jekyll.
Next I was looking for a nice theme. With wordpress it’s quite simple to change the theme of your blog - in Jekyll it’s not. Or let’s say I didn’t find a convenient “one-click” solution.
Current simplified Setup
Simplifying things is key to keep you motivated in my opinion. So this is how my blog was set up.
- Create github account on github.com
- Clone the repository of your favorite theme.
I like this theme: daattali/beautiful-jekyll
- Rename your cloned repository to yourgitusername.github.io
That’s really all you need to do to have a jekyll powered website hosted on GitHub Pages.
Your page will be reachable with a sexy url: http://yourgitusername.github.io You even get a free ssl certificate powered by LetsEncrypt
So what’s next?
How to continue from here? Watch out for my next post where I’ll show you how to customize your site.