Jekyll, the static site generator used by GitHub Pages, recently released their third major version 💯 🌟 and GitHub Pages just announced their support. Here is a list of all the new cool stuff and what you need to change!

Jekyll Static Site Generator

What is a static site generator?

Jekyll is one of many static site generators perfect for making for personal, project, or organization sites. Think of it like a file-based CMS, but without all the complexity. A static site generator takes your content, often written in some sort of Markdown flavor, and out comes a complete, static website ready to be served by Apache, Nginx or another web server.

Because the output it is just bunch of static files it does not require any database, it can be cached and served extremely efficient over HTTP. Jekyll is the engine behind GitHub Pages, which you can use to host sites right from your GitHub repositories for free.

What is new in Jekyll 3.0?

Many of the important changes in Jekyll 3.0 are under the hood. The two most prominent new features are related to performance and profiling.

The --incremental regeneration of changes makes local builds significantly faster. This is especially important for large sites, and you will be able to preview changes instantly.

The --profile option tells Jekyll to analyze your site’s build time. This enables you to find exactly the spots where you can speed things up if compile time is an issue.

> jekyll build --profile
Filename Count Bytes Time
feed.xml 1 58.48K 0.200
_layouts/default.html 12 120.54K 0.088
sitemap.xml 1 3.06K 0.054
_includes/side.html 12 11.59K 0.007
_layouts/post.html 9 53.38K 0.006
_includes/head.html 12 18.30K 0.003
index.html 1 9.02K 0.003
_includes/header.html 12 1.05K 0.002
timeline.html 1 6.42K 0.001
_includes/footer.html 12 10.09K 0.001

The default highlighter has been changed from Pygments to Rouge - a pure-ruby code highlighter that is compatible with Pygments. The change should be seamless for most users of Jekyll and GitHub Pages.

The {{ site.collections }} is now array of collections and {{ site.posts }} is now a part of all the collections and not a special array. Read more about Jekyll Collections.

New Filters

Also new is Liquid 3.0. Liquid is the templating engine which makes all the {{ }} and {% %} magic work. As with Jekyll, many of the changes in Liquid 3.0 are under the hood, but this release also includes some new Liquid Filters.

Filter Example Output
uniq {{ [1,1,3,2,3,1,4,3,2,1] | uniq }} [1,3,2,4]
url_encode {{ "Jackô & Jones" | url_encode }} Jack%C3%B4%20%26%20Jones
strip {{ "\tab c \n \t" | strip }} ab c
default {{ first_name | default: 'User' }} User

What is new in GitHub Pages?

As you might have guessed, GitHub Pages now uses Jekyll 31 with all of the new stuff mentioned above. However, there are some other changes as well, and the most important is the change of Markdown parsing engine to Kramdown. If you are using Rediscount or Redcarpet for rendering your Markdown (like I did) you should read on!

Jekyll Site Generating

When working with the new changes locally I immediately ran into problems. First of all there were some minor inconsistencies in how Jekyll was rendering Markdown. Fenced code blocks using three or more backticks did not evaluate to syntax highlighted code. This was solved by setting input: GFM2.

Setting this suddenly all my articles had very strange line breaks, after some googling around I found a post on StackOverflow which suggested setting hard_wrap: false which solved the line break problem3.

Still, syntax highlighting was not working correctly and after even more googling I found a blog post which explained how to get Jekyll working with Rouge syntax highlighter by explicitly setting syntax_highlighter: rouge4.

Your final _config.yml should include the following:

markdown: kramdown
highlighter: rouge

    input: GFM
    hard_wrap: false
    syntax_highlighter: rouge

Running Locally

The easiest way to run your Jekyll site locally is to use the GitHub Pages Docker Image .

> docker pull starefossen/github-pages
> docker run -v "$PWD":/usr/src/app -p "4000:4000" starefossen/github-pages



If you have any questions or other feedback to the article, please post them in the comment section bellow and I promise to read them and respond to you on a regular basis.