Creating a Personal Website - Using GitHub Pages and Jekyll

05 May 2018

After 2 years at Brown, I could no longer avoid hacking together a semi-permanent site to archive and host work that I want to be available to others. There were a few options that I considered:

  1. Building a server in Rails for me to post in. (Overkill)
  2. Hosting raw HTML pages myself or through Brown (brittle, and temporary)
  3. Using a prebuilt hosting service, such as Google Pages or Wix (probably limiting in terms of interactivity and front-end development)

Fortunately, I found (at the suggestion of a peer) GitHub Pages, which allows static/frontend site hosting using GitHub (for free). GitHub has support for Jekyll, a static-page generator that eases templating, cross-linking, and RSS feed creation. Jekyll supports content in a variety of markup languages, including markdown and html. One could imagine implementing a backend using a separate service for more complicated apps, but these technologies seem to be more than sufficient for personal site management. I found this introduction to be quite helpful.

Thanks,
- (S)am

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