Here we outline the step-by-step process of how to make a blog like this.
For a long time, I thought creating a personal website was too intimidating, too cumbersome, or too much trouble. When I read other people’s blogs, the authors never mentioned how they made the blog, which made me think it was effortless for them.
No more! Certainly every blog is different, but here’s how I made this one.
If I can do it, you (yes you!) can make a blog too.
Thanks to open source communities, we can now shamelessly rip off other people’s blogs. In particular, Jekyll has become a popular static site generator useful for building websites out of Markdown and sharing them with others.
I chose Matt’s template because of a few key factors:
The last one is particularly important since previous attempts to set up a blog derailed based on unclear instructions. We all start somewhere, and if you don’t have a good guide, you’ll end up with a half-built website.
Look around the web for other Jekyll themes you like. All Jekyll sites have similar installation instructions; the best way to motivate yourself through the agony that is front-end development is to have a beautiful website that you’re working towards.
Let’s start stealing! I mean, downloading through open source. Note that we are assuming that you have Github at this point.
git clone https://github.com/YOUR-GITHUB-USERNAME/lagom
If any part of that went wrong, don’t be afraid to Google the problem since thousands of people have probably ahd the same problem.
In the spirit of transparency, here are a list of problems I ran into at this point
jekyll servedid not work, and the program got confused
At this point, you have a working website on your local computer. I’ll pause here for you to do a little dance.
You now get to make the website more “you.” Love orange? Change the theme color to orange. Most of the customizations you want are in _data/theme.yml like name, accent color, and social media links.
Beyond the basic changes, you can consider more advanced modifications
404.htmlpage as a template
There are a couple ways to take this beautiful site that exists on your computer onto the internet. One option here is to deploy it using Github Pages, which is easy and free. Simply rename the repository on Github to be
YOUR-GITHUB-USERNAME.github.io, and you’ll be able to see your site live.
Another slightly more pro-option is to host it on your own domain. That’s what
irenechen.net is doing for me. It is not free ($12/year for me) and a tiny bit harder.
CNAMEfile in your repo to have one line. For me, this file only contains
A, IPv4 address:
CNAME, Domain name:
irenechen.net) to view the finished product!
And that’s it! In the end, web development and deploying your website is not difficult for the brain, just difficult for the patience. You will have your website crash or deviate from these “simple” instructions. Don’t be afraid to take a deep breath or even start from the beginning.
Now that you’ve made a website, nothing can stop you.