Getting Started with Jekyll - Launching your site

In this post - we’re going to push our site live! 2016-10-22-Getting-started-with-Jekyll-Part-8

  1. Getting Started with Jekyll - Setting the Scene
  2. Getting Started with Jekyll - Finding a Theme
  3. Getting Started with Jekyll - Common Theme Settings
  4. Getting Started with Jekyll - Setting up Jekyll in Docker
  5. Getting Started with Jekyll - Learning Markdown and Liquid
  6. Getting Started with Jekyll - Modifying Templates
  7. Getting Started with Jekyll - Transitioning Content
  8. Getting Started with Jekyll - Launching your Site <==

Lets cover off a few assumptions first.

By now I’m assuming that you have a site live (on your local/or in Docker), and that you’re happy with it. I’m also assuming that you understand git (at least as much as git push and git pull), and that if you want to set your site up on a custom domain that you’ve bought that domain and will have no trouble setting DNS records. I’m also assuming that you have a GitHub account, and want to host your site using GitHub Pages.

Cool, so how do I configure my repo?

First of all (if you haven’t already) you’re going to need to make a repo on GitHub that matches your username like so: <username>.github.io. For example; mine is pheonix25.github.io because my GitHub username is PHeonix25.

Make sure, when you’re setting this repo up, that you make it public, and you initialise it with a README - that’s it. GitHub takes care of the rest in the background - it’s a perfect example of convention over configuration!

So it’s configured, but what do I do with my content?

This one is easy - just open PowerShell in your local version of your site and git push your site like so:

# Add the remote repository
git remote add origin [email protected]:<username>/<username>.github.io.git
# Push our content up!
git push -u origin master

It truly is that simple!


Let’s talk about domains…

First of all, if you are happy with <username>.github.io, then you’re done, you can skip down to How will I know if my build fails if you want to read about what happens when things don’t go right, but for now, maybe just go outside and enjoy the rest of your day. :)

Yeah, nah, I want a custom domain.

If you want a custom domain, it’s not hard, but it does require some configuration.

First of all, I would expect you to buy your domain from somewhere notable - maybe a provider that your friends can refer you to? For what it’s worth, I’ve put a few of my latest sites on SiteGround and I have been very happy with their service, but I strongly recommend that you find one that works for you.

Just please, if I ask one thing, please avoid GoDaddy - this post is the latest one I was able to find, but Google is your friend…

Once you have your custom domain name, you’ll need to configure it, and the best guide is the one from GitHub itself. It steps you through every scenario in plain English, and they even have a few different guides depending on the capabilities of your provider, so it’s a great piece of documentation!

How about HTTPS/SSL?

If you’re planning on using the default <username>.github.io, then there’s nothing else to worry about. GitHub will take care of this one for you.

If you want to add HTTPS on a custom domain, then you will probably also want to get a CloudFlare account before we go much futher. CloudFlare’s free account provides you with what they call “Universal SSL” (which is similar to the “HTTPS Everywhere” mission) so that you can secure your site for free.

Once you’ve made your CloudFlare account, they have a great blog post on exactly how to do this step-by-step, but we can start at Step 2 - because we already have our GitHub repo configured.

How will I know if my build fails?

It should be noted that GitHub has great documentation and support for GitHub Pages & Jekyll. Hopefully you can take the error that they will email you and check that site for the answer (if it’s not clear enough from the verbose error message)

What should I do now?

Party like it’s 1999?

Hopefully after following the guides from GitHub and CloudFlare you have a site that’s up and running, using HTTPS (like a good web citizen) and it’s all for free.

We’re done! Go forth and create content. Enjoy posting your content using Markdown and Liquid - or continuing to if you’ve migrated all your existing stuff.


Author |

.Net developer, public speaker, challenge addict, father, husband and (most of all) geek. Interesting problems & inspiring solutions get me out of bed in the morning. Currently a Development Manager at Coolblue in Rotterdam, NL .