Why Jekyll?

For quite some time, I have been meaning to create a blog and share my experiences with the world. What kept me from starting one was the fear of spending loads of time constantly maintaining the blogging infrastructure.

Quite recently, I was introduced to Jekyll by a good friend of mine, Alykhan, who uses it to power his personal blog/website.

Jekyll is a static site generator written in Ruby. It takes in Markdown (or Textile), Liquid, HTML, and CSS and spits out static websites that are ready to be served by any web server. It allows me to

  • focus more on content
  • write posts in Markdown
  • use a text editor of my choosing
  • create and preview content offline
  • host the blog on a static web server
  • not deal with databases

I found that once Jekyll was set up, I had substantially less maintenance to perform going forward. I can simply create a blog entry by adding a markdown file in the _posts directory! Static content generated by Jekyll is very secure because no code is run on your server. It is also performant, as it requires less resources during site execution in contrast to a dynamic website.

Would I recommend Jekyll to anyone aspiring to create a static blog/website? Absolutely! It is a tool built by developers, for developers. That being said, if the site’s content is going to be managed by nontechnical users, it probably is not the best option because Jekyll requires a fair bit of technical knowledge to use it. User friendly alternatives to Jekyll are Blogger, Cloudcannon, Tumblr to name a few.