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Tested on macOS 10.13 with ruby and jekyll

Make a static website with Jekyll

Jekyll is a static website generator. It converts your markdown files to web pages which you can publish with a single command or few clicks.

If you are on a Mac, both Ruby and Jekyll are pre-installed.

Create a new directory for your project and run Jekyll.

$ mkdir hello-world
$ cd hello-world
$ jekyll s

Create an file:

# Hello, World!

Those dashes separate the Jekyll front matter from your Markdown content. Jekyll needs front matter even if it's empty.

Open in a web browser.

Edit Jekyll detects changes and regenerates all files. To see changes, reload the web page.

Add more files if needed.


One of the simplest ways to publish is to push your project to GitHub. It will take care of running Jekyll to regenerate all files on push.

You can also publish your site on any web server. By default, Jekyll renders all files to the _site directory, so just copy those files and you're good to go. No dependencies, just static HTML files.

Layout (optional)

When you have multiple files and want to style your web pages, it makes sense to create a layout.

To add a new layout:

Live reload (advanced)

When I'm editing wordy pages or tweaking layouts I use the jekyll-livereload plugin. It triggers page reload every time I save a file.

jekyll-reload injects JavaScript code into <head>. So make sure you have a <head> tag in your layout.

Here's how to enable live reload:

Install Bundler:

$ gem install bundler

Add Gemfile:

source ''
gem 'jekyll', group: :jekyll_plugins
group 'jekyll_plugins' do
  gem 'jekyll-livereload'

Install and run:

$ bundle install
$ bundle exec jekyll serve -L

See also

Jekyll Minimalist, GitHub Pages