Blog by Ben Clark-Robinson


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24 May 2015
Migrating from Wordpress to Github Pages

This blog was recently running on a self-hosted Wordpress site and found myself dispirited by the user experience of Wordpress. For all its flexibilty and functionality I would find myself shying away from blogging for the following reasons:

  • The tools for writing and editing posts - although always improving - compare poorly to my favourite text editor(s),
  • Maintaining security updates and plugins is such a constant frustration,
  • All those posts aren’t in any form of source control but instead a MySQL database that needs a backup strategy,
  • Wordpress was missing the fun factor.

After looking around at several options I decided on using Github Pages with Jekyll. This option was going to help on all of these points. I can use my favourite text editor(s) with Markdown, no more reminders for security updates, git replaces the DB, and the fun factor is back. Yay :)

Here’s my notes to getting started with Jekyll and Github pages.

Setting up Jekyll on OS X Yosemite

First up let’s setup OS X Yosemite so that we can get Jekyll running. To do this we’ll need to install a few components so that we can compile the dependancies. Open a terminal window and execute:

xcode-select -install

Note: I’m using the verion of Ruby that ships with Yosemite and won’t cover using Homebrew or RVM etc.

Install Jekyll by using a terminal window again to execute the command:

sudo gem install jekyll

Recommended reading

Setup a Github Page

  1. Follow the guide from Github, it’s really easy to follow along.
  2. Don’t forget to add a .gitignore like this otherwise you’ll accidently commit the _site directory.

Pick a theme

  1. Search around for Jekyll themes. For this blog I settled on,
  2. Fork or add it to your Github page repo.

Start posting

  1. Create a _posts directory in the repo,
  2. Adding a file like into _posts,
  3. Ensure that the Front Matter header is at the top of the post,
  4. For more info read along with the Jekyll docs.

Setting the DNS for GitHub Pages on Namecheap

To complete the migration I followed these articles to configure github with a custom URL:

  1. and

Good luck and have fun. :)

Til next time,
Ben at 15:41


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