I may have mentioned my programming days are >30 years in the past? Well they are. It's not to say I haven't dabbled in the last few years. Because I have.
My GitHub Pages site is a prime example; personal, trivial, offering not much mass-appeal; yet requiring a fair degree of time and patience to create.
And I've learned new skills too!
My pages are hosted at GitHub.com; the design (the technical aspects, not necessarily how pretty it looks) is based on a forked version of the poole/hyde repository (repo.) This is where the more in-depth instructions are located. Essentially it's a Web site in a box, free from the shackles of self-hosting and server security concerns.
Getting it personalised in the first instance was surprisingly easy. Take a look at http://github.com/bazbt3/bazbt3.github.io for my site's files.
I'm assuming here that you want to create a new site and want to do it the easy way, as did I. There's a learning curve of course, but there's no compelling reason to step outside the GitHub.com site along the way.
The executive summary:
- Login to your GitHub.com account. You may need to create one for this step to work best!
- Find and fork the 'poole/hyde' repo, calling your fork [your GitHub username].github.io -
- Remove the entry (all the text) in the
CNAMEfile and save it back to your repo. This forms one half of a redirect from a domain external to GitHub Pages.
- Customise the fields within the
_config.ymlfile and save it. This effectively personalises the new site.
- Edit the post within the
_datafolder. This is to test whether the basics are working.
- Browse to '[your GitHub username].github.io' - and you should see something superficially like poole/hyde and my sites, but with your content.
- Fix anything that doesn't quite work.
If you don't see what you like, it's not a massive amount of work for anyone with any previous programming (at any level) or HTML background to work stuff out. Knowing a bit of Markdown - to edit and format your posts - will help.
I've changed stuff and added a few things to the basic 'framework', such as:
- Changed the site name font (I know a tiny amount of CSS, not enough to break stuff, but I always do and have to revert.)
- An 'Archive' page, basically a copy and paste from the jekyllrb.com site, but formatted to add post excerpts.
- A 'Reading list' page, a simple loop reading data from a .csv file.
- Other stuff.
Once you get into this, the ideas flow quickly.
But, despite all this enthusiasm, faffing about… my primary blog still resides at Jason Irwin's 10Centuries - here.
Because there's more to blogging than fiddling with site nuts and bolts, SEO, testing, etc. - it's all about the writing for me.
Besides, 10Centuries v4 is due soon (currently in invite-only beta) and that's an entirely different ballgame!
But it helps to have a basic understanding of what it takes to be one.
A clear mind.