What is Jekyll?
Who uses Jekyll?
Why developers like Jekyll?
Here are some stack decisions, common use cases and reviews by companies and developers who chose Jekyll in their tech stack.
We recently needed to rebuild our documentation site, currently built using Jekyll hosted on GitHub Pages. We wanted to update the content and refresh the style to make it easier to find answers.
We considered hosted services that could accept our markdown content, like ReadMe.io and Read the Docs, however both seemed expensive for essentially hosting the same platform we already had for free.
I also looked at the Gatsby Static Site generator to modernize Jekyll. I don't think this is a fit, as our documentation is relatively simple and relies heavily on Markdown. Jekyll excels at Markdown, while Gatsby seemed to struggle with it.
Earlier this year, I migrated my personal website (dzello.com) from Jekyll to Hugo. My goal with the migration was to make the development environment as pleasant as possible and to make it really easy to add new types of content. For example, I knew I wanted to add a consulting page and some portfolio-style pages to show off talks I had given and projects I had worked on.
I had heard about how fast Hugo was, so I tried it out with my content after using a simple migration tool. The results were impressive - the startup and rebuild times were in milliseconds, making the process of iterating on content or design less cumbersome. Then I started to see how I could use Hugo to create new page types and was very impressed by the flexibility of the content model. It took me a few days to really understand where content should go with Hugo, but then I felt very confident that I could create many different types of pages - even multiple blogs if I wanted - using a consistent syntax and with full control of the layouts and the URLs.
After about 6 months, I've been very happy with the results of the migration. The dev environment is light and fast and I feel at ease adding new pages and sections to the site.
When my SSL cert MaxCDN was expiring on my personal site I decided it was a good time to revamp some things. Since GitHub Services is depreciated I can no longer have #CDN cache purges automated among other things. So I decided on the following: GitHub Pages, Netlify, Let's Encrypt and Jekyll. Staying the same was Bootstrap, jQuery, Grunt & #GoogleFonts.
What's awesome about GitHub Pages is that it has a #CDN (Fastly) built-in and anytime you push to master, it purges the cache instantaneously without you have to do anything special. Netlify is magic, I highly recommend it to anyone using #StaticSiteGenerators.
For the most part, everything went smoothly. The only things I had issues with were the following:
- If you want to point
wwwto GitHub Pages you need to rename the repo to
- If you edit something in the
_config.ymlyou need to restart
bundle exec jekyll sor changes won't show
- I had to disable the Grunt
htmlminmodule. I replaced it with Jekyll layout that compresses HTML for #webperf
Last but certainly not least, I made a donation to Let's Encrypt. If you use their service consider doing it too: https://letsencrypt.org/donate/
I use Jekyll because the research project required a good documentation for others. The GitHub wiki would have been okay too, but a own static website gives you more (design) freedom. It can be easily hosted with the help of GitHub Pages. It can also be used as a blog, which is very handly for everyone, who wants to create one.
I use Netlify to host my personal developer blog built with Jekyll because it's easy to set up, link to my domain, and deploy.
Jekyll is an open source static site generator (SSG) with a Ruby at its core which transform your plain text into static websites and blogs.
It is simple means no more databases, comment moderation, or pesky updates to install—just your content. As said earlier SSG uses Markdown, Liquid, HTML & CSS go in and come out ready for deployment. Lastly it's blog-aware permalinks, categories, pages, posts, and custom layouts are all first-class citizens here.
- Simple - No more databases, comment moderation, or pesky updates to install—just your content.
- Static - Markdown (or Textile), Liquid, HTML & CSS go in. Static sites come out ready for deployment.
- Blog-aware - Permalinks, categories, pages, posts, and custom layouts are all first-class citizens here.