Blogging with Jekyll

In my first post I mentioned that I’ve used Jekyll to create this blog.

This has been relatively straightforward, especially once I got the hang of what Jekyll provided, and what it did not.

Most of the framework on this site has been fleshed out from Hyde and from Mike Greiling’s articles at PixelCog.

There were a couple of places I got caught up reading other people’s setups and seeing how they did things that didn’t necessarily work for me.

I was having trouble creating the 404.html at the root of my site, as per GitHub’s notes for a custom error page. Jekyll was converting my 404.html source file into _site/404/index.html.

This wasn’t working. In the end, I tracked it down to my use of a permalink setting of pretty in Jekyll’s _config.yml.

I fixed this by changing to a custom permalink setting of /:categories/:year/:title.html which I think is nicer anyway.


I’m not a ruby or web dev guy by trade, and so I knew I’d forget what the commands were to do a test build of the blog. However, I do know Make. I’ve put the basic commands into a Makefile so they’re easy to run (and I’ll know where to look if I forget them).

	bundle exec jekyll serve --watch --drafts --trace

	bundle exec jekyll build

	bundle install

	bundle update

Travis integration

I wanted to use Travis for continuous integration to get notified when the blog fails to build.

This is pretty easy, it’s just a matter of linking Travis to your GitHub profile, enabling your repo and then making the following changes to your repo.

Add the following file to your site repo in a file called .travis.yml:

language: ruby
script: "bundle exec jekyll build"

This is enough to get Travis to try and build your site. However, it will likely not build. Travis will likely complain about errors (since it installs ruby gems into a custom vendor directory). The error I was seeing was:

Post 0000-00-00-welcome-to-jekyll.markdown.erb does not have a valid date.

To fix this add the following line to your _config.yml:

exclude: [vendor]

Done! You can then embedded neat build notifiers around the place, like so:

Build Status

comments powered by Disqus