Building this Blog with Jekyll

Jekyll has crossed my path in the past, and I decided to start blogging again. Jekyll was my obvious choice. Wordpress would be my other option, but that requires a web server. I would rather just have a static site for now.

Tools I am Using

  1. Jekyll for blog generation
  2. Jekyll theme
  3. GitHub for source control
  4. Travis for CI
  5. html-proofer for checking links
  6. atom or vi for editing
  7. Google analytics for tracking
  8. Grammarly to help with my spelling


From here:

Transform your plain text into static websites and blogs.

It is called simple on their site, but there is a learning curve. If you are a gearhead developer that like CLI, the Jekyll is amazing. If you are a marketing department, use Wordpress.

The _config.yml configures Jekyll, and some tweaks that took a bit to figure out:

# setup the link structure generated
# this requires categories and title set in your pages
permalink: /:categories/:title/
# exclude files from being published to your site
exclude: ['', 'Gemfile.lock', 'Gemfile', 'vendor', 'Rakefile']

Here is a link to my current configuration.

Jekyll Theme has a ton of free themes. My wife did not like the colors for a solarized theme but did like monochrome. Clean, simple layout. I have some issues with CSS for code line numbers which I am not able to work out yet, and I made some tweaks for tables.


Do I have to write much about this? But using source control is a way of life for me. Using source control with Jekyll is trivial.

Travis for CI

Travis, CircleCI, and Jenkins are probably the chief tools in the ecosystem. kops, and a lot of the other projects I am a part of run Travis. Hence why I chose Travis. I started with the instructions here, but I modified my .travis.yml file.

language: ruby
- 2.3.3
# Assume bundler is being used, therefore
# the `install` step will run `bundle install` by default.
- bundle exec jekyll build
- bundle exec htmlproofer ./_site --assume-extension --check-html
  - NOKOGIRI_USE_SYSTEM_LIBRARIES=true # speeds up installation of html-proofer
# route your build to the container-based infrastructure for a faster build
sudo: false

I do not have the automatic deployment of my blog yet. Travis can push the blog to an object store, but I have not worked it out fully yet.


This HTML tool is super nice! Check your links, and HTML validation. A spelling and grammar tool would be awesome.

You can run it locally. I got a weird error that the binary was missing when I tried to run it locally. Besides, why would I not use a container to run it?

docker run -v `pwd`/_site/:/_site 18fgsa/html-proofer /_site \
 --assume-extension --check-html


Not going to elaborate, but with Jekyll, you are editing markdown and YAML files. Pick your favorite editor and rock it! My choice is vi or atom.

Google Analytics

I will go into more details when I blog about my hosting solution, but I have used GA for years.


Grammarly helps me a TON. I am good at writing, but spelling and past tense are enemies! Grammarly is free for spelling and other checks, but checking for “past tense” requires a subscription. I would like to figure out how to integrate Grammarly with atom or vi. Just googled online, and NADA.

Next Steps needed an internet home. I will cover that in another post.

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