How to Easily Start Blogging with Jekyll and GitHub Pages (2023)

Blogging has evolved significantly, and today's landscape offers various platforms to share your voice. Among these, Jekyll combined with GitHub Pages stands out for its simplicity, power, and cost-effectiveness.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the steps of setting up your blog using Jekyll, GitHub Pages and JekyllPad, perfect for beginners and seasoned bloggers.

Understanding Jekyll and GitHub Pages

What is Jekyll?

Jekyll is a popular static site generator, transforming plain text into static websites and blogs.

It's widely praised for its simplicity, speed, and flexibility, allowing customization without the bloat of traditional CMS platforms.

Ideal for bloggers who prefer control and efficiency, Jekyll is a cornerstone in the world of static site generation.

Why GitHub Pages?

GitHub Pages ( provides a free hosting solution, seamlessly integrating with Jekyll.

It’s a perfect match for developers and bloggers who already use GitHub. Offering robust performance and ease of use, GitHub Pages makes publishing your Jekyll blog a hassle-free experience.

Setting Up Your Jekyll Blog

Creating a GitHub Account

If you’re new to GitHub, setting up an account is your first step. It’s straightforward: visit GitHub’s website, sign up, and you're ready to go.

A GitHub account not only gives you access to hosting on GitHub Pages but also opens up a world of possibilities for collaboration and version control.

Using Jekyll Now for Quick Setup

By forking the Jekyll Now repository on GitHub, you can bypass the complex configuration and jump straight into blogging.

This approach is perfect for those who want to focus more on content than coding.

Customizing Your Jekyll Blog

Customizing your Jekyll blog is easy. Start by editing the _config.yml file to personalize settings like your blog’s title and description.

You can also choose themes and customize layouts to match your style. Remember, changes you make are reflected once you push them to GitHub.

Understanding Markdown

Markdown is the heart of Jekyll’s content creation. It’s a simple markup language that lets you format text using plain text.

For instance, # for headers or * for bullet points. It's straightforward, and there are plenty of online resources to get you started.

For example, take a look at this Markdown cheat sheet.

Start Using JekyllPad is a Jekyll WYSIWYG editor and CMS for Jekyll blogs hosted on Github Pages.

It takes the burden of dealing with Markdown directly of your shoulders and gives you tools to write, manage, tag and share your posts.

Writing Your First Post

Creating your first post in JekyllPad is easy and exciting.

Advanced Jekyll Blogging Tips

SEO Best Practices

Optimizing your Jekyll blog for search engines is crucial. Focus on quality content, use relevant keywords, and ensure your site has a clean, responsive design.

Utilizing SEO-friendly URLs and meta tags in your Jekyll configuration can also significantly boost your visibility.

Enhancing Your Blog with Plugins

Jekyll supports various plugins that can extend functionality, from SEO tools to feed generators.

Explore Jekyll’s plugins directory to find ones that suit your needs. However, remember that GitHub Pages has some limitations on custom plugins for security reasons.

Maintaining and Updating Your Blog

Regular Updates

Keeping your blog updated with fresh content is key to engaging your audience and improving SEO.

Establish a consistent posting schedule and stick to it, whether it's weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly.

Regular updates keep your blog relevant and visitors coming back.

Keeping Jekyll and Dependencies Updated

Just like any software, Jekyll and its dependencies need to be kept up-to-date.

Regular updates ensure security, introduce new features, and improve performance. Check for updates periodically and follow the Jekyll update guide to keep your blogging platform running smoothly.


Starting a blog with Jekyll and GitHub Pages is a journey that combines the simplicity of static site generation with the power of web development.

It’s a pathway to a more controlled, cost-effective, and enjoyable blogging experience. JekyllPad has been built and released so that it makes this journey even more enjoyable.

Dive in, explore the possibilities, and start sharing your unique voice with the world.