Set Up a Jekyll Blog in 5 Minutes with Poole

An excerpt from, by Vikas Lalwani

In recent times, there has been something of a swing away from complex, database-driven websites, back towards simpler, more static sites—where feasible, of course, such as with a simple portfolio site or blog.

This isn’t to say that people are returning to the .html sites of yesteryear, though. You still want to be able to manage templates and site-wide code efficiently, and that’s where static site generators come in.

Static site generators are designed to take your various static files and turn them into a website. There are lots and lots of them to choose from, and there are recent articles about them here on SitePoint, covering the different languages they come in, Node-based options, their potential advantages over WordPress, and even how to roll your own with Grunt.

In this article, we’ll look at Jekyll, one of the most popular and widely used. I’ll describe how you can build a blog, with minimal coding, and then host it for free on GitHub Pages. We’ll also make use of Poole, a kind of framework—or “foundational setup”—for building Jekyll sites.

##Jekyll in a Nutshell
Jekyll is written in Ruby. It’s installed on your computer as a Ruby gem. It’s not a CMS, it’s not blogging software, it doesn’t come with templates, content and so on. It’s much simpler than that. Think of it as a simple program that provides handy ways to process your files.

Once Jekyll is installed, you can put it to work from the command line. It can do things like process Markdown, and because it generates a static site, you can easily view progress locally, and host your site on a static web server like GitHub Pages.

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