(TL;DR: We’re open for sponsorships on our OpenCollective page)

Hi Jekyllers,

As you may know, Jekyll is a completely free and open source project. We offer our software and its related plugins and documentation at no cost because we believe that good software should not cost anything. We’re not planning on changing that, but today I want to talk about a different monetary aspect of open source.

Open source developers being paid for the work they do is a rare sight. Most open source software is effectively the result of hundreds and thousands of hours of free labor provided by individuals who are passionate enough to work outside of their day job to create software that, ironically, is being used by almost every company that offers digital services. It’s a problem that has gotten more attention in recent years, with the open source community becoming more diverse and more and more companies actively investing in providing monetary support for open source developers.

Jekyll has always been a product of volunteers. Rarely has someone been paid to implement a certain plugin or feature. Today, we’re excited to announce that we will finally be able to fund our contributors! We are opening an OpenCollective to receive individual and corporate sponsorships. This is not unheard of, Hugo is also funded by sponsorships, as are many other similar projects, such as webpack, Babel or RuboCop.

OpenCollective is a service that makes it easy for open source projects to receive funding from individuals and companies alike. It’s specifically designed for open source and many other projects already use it for funding.

Sponsoring is, for us, a method to finally realize some of the more ambitious goals we’ve had with the project for years. The closest thing we want to realize is to release Jekyll 4.0, and to make it as polished as we can. In the future, we would also like to work on other things that will improve the Jekyll ecosystem. Here’s a couple of ideas:

  • Create a comprehensive official plugin and theme directory site
  • Improve tooling built around measuring and improving Jekyll’s performance
  • Improve maintenance for official plugins
  • Including the community into official decisions; making Jekyll more friendly to folks in the community

Again, these are just some ideas, but with the help of sponsoring, they are now one step closer to being realized :heart:

With that, we would like to announce our very first sponsor: Forestry.io! Forestry is a CMS that integrates with your Jekyll sites and lets you update content using a beautiful interface, and then automatically commits it back to your GitHub repository. We’re excited to have them on board on a new, exciting step of our journey.

Will anything change for Jekyll users? The answer is no - this step does not impact the Jekyll software in any aspect. In fact, you might see positive changes, such as more features and better performance. Surprisingly, that’s what happens when you properly fund people for their work!

If you have been a long time user for Jekyll and would like to give something back to the project, you can consider a small monthly donation to our OpenCollective page. If your company heavily relies on Jekyll, do consider sponsoring us! Contact me at olivia at fastmail dot com and we’ll figure something out together.

Thanks for sticking with us, and happy Jekylling! :tada: