Build Your Own Website with Jekyll - Easy Tutorial!

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Build Your Own Website with Jekyll - Easy Tutorial!

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction to Jekyll
  2. Creating a Jekyll website
  3. Serving the website on a local web server
  4. Default files and folders in Jekyll
  5. Viewing the website
  6. Understanding the folder structure in Jekyll
    • 6.1 The _posts folder
    • 6.2 The _site folder
    • 6.3 The _config.yml file
    • 6.4 The Gemfile file
    • 6.5 Other default files
  7. Modifying default files and folders
  8. Customizing Jekyll themes
  9. Adding plugins to Jekyll
  10. Conclusion

How to Create and Serve Your First Jekyll Website

Jekyll is a popular static site generator that allows you to easily create and manage websites. In this tutorial, we will guide you through the process of creating your first Jekyll website, serving it on a local web server, and understanding the default files and folders that Jekyll creates for you.

Introduction to Jekyll

Jekyll is a static site generator that transforms plain text into static websites. It uses templates and layouts to generate HTML pages, making it easy to manage large websites with consistent design and structure. The simplicity and flexibility of Jekyll have made it a preferred choice for bloggers, developers, and content creators.

Creating a Jekyll website

To create a Jekyll website, you need to have Jekyll installed on your system. Once you have Jekyll installed, open your command prompt or terminal and navigate to the directory where you want to create your website. Use the following command to create a new Jekyll site:

jekyll new <website-name>

Replace <website-name> with the desired name of your website. This command will create a new folder with the specified name, containing all the necessary files and folders for your Jekyll website.

Serving the website on a local web server

After creating your Jekyll website, navigate to the website's directory using the command prompt or terminal. Use the following command to serve your website on a local web server:

bundle exec jekyll serve

The local server will start running, and you can access your website by visiting http://localhost:4000 in your web browser. Any changes you make to your website will be reflected instantly when you refresh the page.

Default files and folders in Jekyll

When you create a new Jekyll site, several default files and folders are created for you. These files and folders provide the basic structure and functionality for your website. Let's explore some of the important ones:

The _posts folder

The _posts folder is where you store your blog posts. Jekyll automatically creates a sample blog post to demonstrate the structure. You can create new Markdown files in this folder to add your own blog posts.

The _site folder

The _site folder contains the final output of your website. It holds all the files that need to be hosted on a web server. Jekyll compiles your website and generates the static HTML pages in this folder.

The _config.yml file

The _config.yml file is a YAML file where you can configure various settings for your Jekyll website. You can specify attributes like the website title, email, description, base URL, and more. This file allows you to customize the behavior of your website.

The Gemfile file

The Gemfile file is used to specify the dependencies for your Jekyll website. It lists the Ruby gems that your website requires. By default, Jekyll uses the minima gem, which is a theme that provides a visually pleasing layout for your website.

Other default files

Jekyll also creates other default files such as the homepage (index.html) and the about page (about.html). These files can be modified or replaced with your own content to personalize your website.

Modifying default files and folders

You have complete control over the default files and folders created by Jekyll. Feel free to modify them according to your needs. For example, you can change the styling, layout, or content of the default theme, or create additional folders to organize your files better.

Customizing Jekyll themes

Jekyll allows you to use different themes to style your website. You can choose from a wide range of pre-built Jekyll themes or create and use your own custom theme. Customizing the theme involves modifying the template files and CSS stylesheets to achieve the desired look and feel for your website.

Adding plugins to Jekyll

Jekyll supports plugins that extend its functionality. Plugins can be used to add additional features and automate certain tasks in your Jekyll website. You can find a wide variety of Jekyll plugins in the official Jekyll documentation and other online resources. Adding plugins to your Jekyll website can enhance its capabilities and save you time during development.


In this tutorial, we covered the basics of creating a Jekyll website, serving it on a local web server, and understanding the default files and folders in Jekyll. We also discussed how to modify these files and folders, customize Jekyll themes, and add plugins to enhance the functionality of your website. With Jekyll, you have a powerful tool at your disposal for creating and managing static websites efficiently.


  • Jekyll is a static site generator that transforms plain text into static websites.
  • Creating a Jekyll website involves running a command-line command and adjusting the default files and folders.
  • The _posts folder is where you store your blog posts, and the _site folder holds the final output files.
  • The _config.yml file allows customization of site attributes, and the Gemfile specifies dependencies.
  • Customizing Jekyll themes and adding plugins can enhance the look and functionality of your website.


Q: Can I use Jekyll to create a dynamic website with databases and user authentication? A: No, Jekyll is a static site generator and is not designed for dynamic websites. It generates static HTML pages that can be hosted on any web server.

Q: Can I use Jekyll with other programming languages or frameworks? A: Yes, Jekyll works great with other programming languages and frameworks. You can embed dynamic content from other sources using Liquid tags or JavaScript.

Q: Can I deploy my Jekyll website to a hosting service or cloud platform? A: Yes, Jekyll generates static HTML files that can be deployed to any web hosting service or cloud platform that supports hosting static websites.

Q: Do I need to have programming knowledge to use Jekyll? A: While programming knowledge is not required, having a basic understanding of HTML, CSS, and Markdown can be helpful when customizing your Jekyll website.

Q: Can I migrate an existing website to Jekyll? A: Yes, you can migrate an existing website to Jekyll. You would need to convert your existing content into Markdown format and modify the layout and styling to match your previous website.

Q: Are there any alternatives to Jekyll for static site generation? A: Yes, there are several alternatives to Jekyll, such as Hugo, Gatsby, and Next.js. Each has its own features and advantages, so you can choose the one that best fits your needs.

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