A Jekyll Workflow

1. Sublime Text (Portable) + Plugins

By using Sublime Text with the Sublime Jekyll and Git plugins allows me to write and publish posts from within a single app. By-and-large, Sublime is the “Admin UI” for this website.

I tried using other editors, but I just couldn’t get them to work the way I wanted them to work. Your mileage may vary though, so if you don’t feel Sublime is still worth the license fee, Visual Studio Code is good.

Using the portable version of Sublime lets me drop it into a USB stick/Dropbox/whatever and take my settings with me. 99% of the time this works seamlessly, but now and then I’ll run into an environment issue breaking the link between Git and Sublime. This isn’t that big of an issue though — I just open up a terminal session for all of the Git commands instead.

2. Setup Some Templates

Sublime Jekyll gives a lot of handy commands for quickly working with Jekyll — ctrl-shift-p jnp to start a new post was my most used for quite some time. But manually typing in all of the front matter except the title was a PITA. I use front matter for controlling the “style” of different post-types on the front page, so it is important to my setup. Then I found out about the ability to create templates, which speeded things up considerably.

To use templates, create a _templates folder in your Jekyll site. Create one or more markdown files in there to correspond to your various front matter defaults. $n can be used to set tab-stops. For example, here are my “Post” and “Link” templates respectively:

layout: post
date: $1
layout: link
date: $1
link_title: $2
link: $3

Note the tab-stop marker on date which lets me quickly insert the full, formatted, date and time using a Sublime Jekyll command

3. Git, plus a Commit Hook

I can’t always install Ruby + Jekyll on the environment I’m working on, so I offload the compilation of the site to the web server itself. To automate things, I manage the source files with Git, push changes to a repository on the server, and a commit hook fires whenever the server receives an update.

If you followed my post on [setting up a blog with Caddy and Jekyll][g], you might already have this setup. If not, the details can be found in this guide on Digital Ocean, which I linked to from there.

[g]:{{site.url}}{% link _posts/2017-06-26-start-a-blog-with-caddy-and-jekyll.md %}

4. Write

This bit I’m still working on improving my efficiency at…

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