So, for a fun snow day activity, I decided to update my Georgia Tech website using Jekyll. My goal was to create a site that I could update a bit more easily using a variant of Markdown, which I suppose is a bit easier to learn than full HTML. A nice feature of Jekyll is that it is “blog-aware”, which means it is easy to incorporate a nice weblog into your website design. Jekyll also powers Github Pages, which can host your website for free and is useful to teach your students about.
In my case, my website is hosted by Georgia Tech, so I installed the full Jekyll environment on my Macbook. This wasn’t too bad, and I learned a bit about Ruby and its gem packaging system. It seems pretty cool, but I only know the bare minimum at this point. I’ve been able to test the site design using the local server, and then build the site for upload to my hosting site; of course, the trick is getting all of the links working properly.
One neat thing about alternatively using Github Pages as the host is that it is somewhat easier to configure, and you do not need to install Jekyll locally to produce a website. You have a bit more control, in my opinion, if you run Jekyll yourself on your machine, especially if you want to install your website on your school’s server. Using Jekyll locally is not something I would recommend to a novice programmer, but if you have some familiarity with building websites, along with some reasonable programming experience, it should be possible to create something quickly!
Anyways, if I learn anything particularly useful, I might share it in this blog. Please also excuse any incomplete parts of this site as I get it fully up-and-running!