Editing a Jekyll Theme in 2017

Published on: Tuesday 11/21/2017

Author: Kelly-Ann
Project blog

I'm trying to set up a Jekyll site to showcase some of my artwork. I last used Jekyll about a year ago, and was a little baffled by all the options but understood the basic gist of editing the theme files to customize.

(After all, the best part of having a website is not contributing to it, but customizing the theme, right?!)

So I figured that now, a year later, after having learned a bunch of Ruby, this should be a piece of cake.

So I ran a new Jekyll install and . . . what? There are no theme files.

Okay, so Jekyll uses gem-based themes now, which maybe I'll grow to love, but as a newbie I hate this, because everything seems locked away in a secret place! You can edit the theme by overriding it with files in the local directory, but how are you supposed to do that if you can't get your grubby little hands on the theme itself?

Actually, you could probably just look the theme gem up on github or something and then have at it with customizing, but honestly, I want to really figure out how the whole thing is put together.

So, I just cleared out my gem file, and am basically rebuilding the Minima (default) theme by looking at each of its pages on github and seeing how adding one file at a time back in helps build up the site.

(Chrisanthropic has a nice quick post here on clearing out the minima theme, and then how to take your new files and turn them into a gem at the end.)

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