Moving to Jekyll

Published on Sunday, 11 March 2018

I decided that it is time for some changes. When I started this blog, I decided to use WordPress. My goal was to be able to write posts without having to focus on anything other than actual writing. Wordpress was the tool of my choice due to its simplicity.

Nevertheless, I wasn't always really happy with the CMS. Problems occurred again and again, mainly in connection with performance, loading times and general page speed. Not to mention incompatible plugins and various little things. I don't want to discuss this here at all, I was simply looking for something faster.

I don't really like content management systems very much, I feel more comfortable when I am completely free in the design of my content. I'm also a fan of lightweight systems, a database-driven system only for managing content that I maintain on my own anyway, doesn't really reflect this idea. However, completely discarding the CMS approach was not a solution, so I looked for compromises.

I finally found the result of my search under the term "Static Site Generator". The idea behind such generators is that you have the code of your page on your computer. You can add content in a simple and easy way, for example by writing markdown files. The generator than builds a full HTML page by combining predefined templates and actual content.

There are many of these generators available, but one of the better known ones is called Jekyll. Jekyll is the software which GitHub pages uses as well. And that's already a great positive aspect for Jekyll: You can directly integrate your website with GitHub pages and use it to add posts and general changes.

Jekyll is based on ruby and I have to admit that I haven't used ruby before. But it's really easy to get started. I recommend getting started with a template, there are plenty on GitHub. After that, just check out the files and you'll get an idea of how Jekyll works very quickly. This allows you to customize your template and make it look how you want it to.

You can also convert your WordPress posts to Markdown by using the Jekyll Export Plugin. Just make sure that you don't fuck up your images as I did.

These are my first movements using Jekyll and I have a lot to learn. However, I want to get this live as fast as possible, I appreciate any feedback. Jekyll looks really promising, I'll keep you updated.