You may recall a simpler time on the web when all sites were basically a collection of static HTML pages linked together. Developing a site this way was tedious and time-consuming, but it had some major advantages.
- The coding was simple markup language
- It was secure (virtually impossible to “hack”)
- No databases
- Lightning fast load times
- Virtually no maintenance
While these advantages were certainly remarkable, they threw some limitations on the user experience. Sites could not be generated dynamically. The way we surf the web today would not be possible in a completely static site.
However, it became possible to publish a dynamic site easily and quickly with content management systems like WordPress, Joomla!, Drupal, and others. These systems were highly capable and relatively easy to learn. However easy and comfortable to use, large-scale CMS installations require a sustained effort on the part of the developers and designers to keep internal components up to date and secure from hacks.
What if you could get the ease and comfort of a CMS with the speed and reliability of a static site? The need for this kind of development was answered with a series of static site generators that behave like a CMS.
What is Jekyll?
Jekyll is one among a few static site generators known for its quick installation and friendly operation. With Jekyll, it is incredibly easy to create a new website on your own local computer, design to your heart’s content, and launch your site to the web with a few simple commands.
How Does it Work?
Once you run the
Jekyll new command in the destination of your choice, you will have an example Jekyll site ready to go. Adding new pages or blog posts is as easy as creating new documents on your computer.
What Will I Need?
Not much. If you have some basic experience with HTML, CSS, or have used a CMS like WordPress, then using Jekyll will be a cinch. A little command line experience is a plus but not necessary for success in this tutorial.
Looking to get started? Check out our comprehensive guide on how to install Jekyll to kickstart your journey.