Step by Step Tutorial

8. Blogging

You might be wondering how you can have a blog without a database. In true Jekyll style, blogging is powered by text files and is easy to set up.

Posts

Blog posts live in a folder called _posts. The filename for posts have a special format: the publish date, then a title, followed by an extension.

Create your first post at _posts/2018-08-20-bananas.md with the following content:

---
layout: post
author: jill
---
A banana is an edible fruit – botanically a berry – produced by several kinds
of large herbaceous flowering plants in the genus Musa.

In some countries, bananas used for cooking may be called "plantains",
distinguishing them from dessert bananas. The fruit is variable in size, color,
and firmness, but is usually elongated and curved, with soft flesh rich in
starch covered with a rind, which may be green, yellow, red, purple, or brown
when ripe.

This is like the about.md you created before except it has an author and a different layout. author is a custom variable, it’s not required and could have been named something like creator.

Layout

The post layout doesn’t exist so you’ll need to create it at _layouts/post.html with the following content:

---
layout: default
---
<h1>{{ page.title }}</h1>
<p>{{ page.date | date_to_string }} - {{ page.author }}</p>

{{ content }}

This is an example of layout inheritance. The post layout outputs the title, date, author and content body which is wrapped by the default layout.

Also note the date_to_string filter, this formats a date into a nicer format.

List posts

There’s currently no way to navigate to the blog post. Typically a blog has a page which lists all the posts, let’s do that next.

Jekyll makes posts available at site.posts.

Create blog.html in your root (/blog.html) with the following content:

---
layout: default
title: Blog
---
<h1>Latest Posts</h1>

<ul>
  {% for post in site.posts %}
    <li>
      <h2><a href="{{ post.url }}">{{ post.title }}</a></h2>
      <p>{{ post.excerpt }}</p>
    </li>
  {% endfor %}
</ul>

There’s a few things to note with this code:

  • post.url is automatically set by Jekyll to the output path of the post
  • post.title is pulled from the post filename and can be overridden by setting title in front matter
  • post.excerpt is the first paragraph of content by default

You also need a way to navigate to this page through the main navigation. Open _data/navigation.yml and add an entry for the blog page:

- name: Home
  link: /
- name: About
  link: /about.html
- name: Blog
  link: /blog.html

A blog isn’t very exciting with a single post. Add a few more:

_posts/2018-08-21-apples.md:

---
layout: post
author: jill
---
An apple is a sweet, edible fruit produced by an apple tree.

Apple trees are cultivated worldwide, and are the most widely grown species in
the genus Malus. The tree originated in Central Asia, where its wild ancestor,
Malus sieversii, is still found today. Apples have been grown for thousands of
years in Asia and Europe, and were brought to North America by European
colonists.

_posts/2018-08-22-kiwifruit.md:

---
layout: post
author: ted
---
Kiwifruit (often abbreviated as kiwi), or Chinese gooseberry is the edible
berry of several species of woody vines in the genus Actinidia.

The most common cultivar group of kiwifruit is oval, about the size of a large
hen's egg (5–8 cm (2.0–3.1 in) in length and 4.5–5.5 cm (1.8–2.2 in) in
diameter). It has a fibrous, dull greenish-brown skin and bright green or
golden flesh with rows of tiny, black, edible seeds. The fruit has a soft
texture, with a sweet and unique flavor.

Open http://localhost:4000 and have a look through your blog posts.

Next we’ll focus on creating a page for each post author.

  1. Setup
  2. Liquid
  3. Front Matter
  4. Layouts
  5. Includes
  6. Data Files
  7. Assets
  8. Blogging
  9. Collections
  10. Deployment