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Why I love Jekyll and Github Pages

April 22, 2020

This website is powered by Jekyll and hosted on Github Pages. I’ve been using this setup since 2011 and I’m really happy with it, and there are multiple reasons for that.

1. It’s completely free

Hosting this website doesn’t cost me anything. The only expense I have is the domain registration, which is $35 a year, but I can live with that.

2. No server

I don’t have to worry about managing a server. This saves me a lot of time and headaches. I don’t have sleepless nights for not updating the distro to the latest version. I don’t have to worry about being hacked because I haven’t applied the latest security patch.

3. No worries about traffic

I don’t have to worry wether an article will end up on the front page of Hacker News and overload my server with traffic. I let Github worry about traffic and handle it.

I don’t have to think about traffic, since it is not correlated to the hosting costs. I don’t have to worry about hosting costs skyrocketing if my website becomes popular.

4. Free effortless SSL

Enabling SSL on this website required a switch of a button in the repo settings. Piece of cake.

There are some drawbacks, though.

1. It’s only intended for developers

Jekyll has a learning curve and is not intended for non-developers. You have to learn the basic conventions and a bit of its template language — Liquid.

2. No server

Yup, this is both an advantage and a drawback. Forget about all these niceties that come with having a server. You can’t even have a form, without relying on third-party services.

3. Publishing on mobile is hard

Unless you want to spend a weekend configuring a CI/CD pipeline for building your Jekyll website and pushing it to Github Pages, you are limited to publishing from your computer.

4. There is no fancy online editor

Unlike Ghost, Medium or Wordpress, Jekyll doesn’t come with an online editor. You have to master Markdown and HTML. Sometimes it takes some effort to achieve something that would be a drag and drop in those fancy editors.

Considering all this, I’d say Jekyll and Github Pages is a great way to blog in 2020.

@shime_sh Hrvoje Šimić
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