7 posts in this category

So I just setup a new blog for myself, and after looking at the numerous options for publishing content on the web, I decided a static site would suit my needs best. I don’t imagine this site will grow to large numbers, and I don’t plan on hosting huge amounts of media (big pictures and large video files). Plus I’ve dealt with WordPress enough to know that I don’t want to stray anywhere near that beast of a CMS. But mostly, being the programmer that I am, I find managing a simple repository with files containing all of the necessary information for this site much easier than throwing everything into a database and tweaking the inner workings of that. Operating Systems are better suited to handle files and folders rather than databases.

The default Jekyll Site uses the minima theme. This theme is great for getting started with the basic content of the site, but I prefer to know what’s going on behind the curtain. What exactly does Jekyll use to convert my markdown files into a complete static site? To learn about this, I made a custom theme for this site. The theme’s source code is posted on GitHub.

In order to remember how to correctly build this site, I decided to use Rake. Rake is Ruby’s version of Make: by specifying targets to build and how to build them, I can easily perform a complex series of commands to manage this site. Because Rake is so versatile in declaring targets, I use it to create new posts, run continuous integration, and even generate SSL Certificates for my local development environment.

Sometimes, it makes sense to relate posts in a series. A continuation of a story or an expansion of a project are all reasons to continue a post. This post is part of the series Developing a Custom Theme, which details all of the steps that resulted in the creation of this site’s theme.

In order to make the site stand out, and also to support media types most common to the internet, I’ve quickly styled up a featured image container. This code uses the assets plugin, and results in a simple styled image at the beginning of each post.

The original menu on the front page was lacking. It only contained a list of the categories of each post I’ve written. However, after adding support for series of posts, I think it would be nice to show the series’ titles in the menu as well. This required making a custom plugin jekyll-groupby and the creation of a new layout called group to display groups of items. The result of the code in this post leads to the menu on the sidebar.