Web Hosting Service

In my post on installing Jekyll locally on a mac I gave a brief description on why I chose to use Jekyll for writing static web sites and the software needed by Jekyll.

In this post, I will share some of the applications used for managing Jekyll static sites, including the web hosting service, web browser, text editor and version control. Most of this is managed using Github.

OK, so hosting may not be seen as an application, but without the host application serving web site pages then no one would see them.

My host application of choice for static sites is Github Pages. This provides sites “hosted directly from your GitHub repository”. This is fantastic as I get to benefit from the scalable Github infrastructure, without spending a penny. Note that the source code in the repository is public, unless you upgrade to a paid plan, starting from about £4.60 a month Github Pricing. As web site content is generally public, having a public repository is a minor concern for static site pages.

I think gh-pages are perfect, in particular as my static site projects are relatively small. Thank you Github!

Web Browser

Not much to say here, except that I have recently switched to using Firefox from Chrome as Chrome is very slow on my computer. Google Chrome.app is 393.4Mb, whereas Firefox.app is 185.3Mb - that’s over twice the size - why?

Text Editor

On searching the web for a text editor, the most popular results are likely to be Sublime Text or Notepad++. I have used both, but am currently using Atom. It is free and is written by those lovely people at Github, so should be well integrated with Jekyll and other Github software.

I do like Atom, though it is relatively slow to startup in comparison with other editors, particularly running on my 2010 Mac Mini. If I was not using all of the Github ecosystem, I may try something else, for example Text Mate or even Vim, the Macintosh version is on Github at macvim.

Version Control

Interestingly, since I have chosen Github Pages as my host, by implication I am probably using one of the most well known web software version control applications in the world.

In order to manage the version control and deployment of my site to the host, I’m using the relatively straight forward Github Desktop. I am still a novice at using Github, so keep my usage to typing a summary, committing and syncing the changes to the GitHub repository.

Command line Interface

Apple Macintosh Terminal Emulator. I discuss some of the commands used, primarily “jekyll serve” more at installing Jekyll locally on a mac.