This section will introduce a few concepts and terms for you to be aware of before you begin configuring and creating your site.
Static sites are websites without a graphical user interface (GUI) to manage content, aka a content management system (CMS). Examples of CMSs include Drupal, WordPress, Wix, and Squarespace. While some like this back end for administering sites, CMSs often come with technical and sometimes financial costs. Services like Wix and Squarespace also restrict your ability to export your content which can be problematic if you ever want to move your site. They may require frequent updates to stay running and secure and a zoo of plugins in order to customize to your needs. This adds up to bogged down load time with unnecessary processes trying to run on a page.
Traditionally, the one major downside to working with and maintaining statics sites has been the high barrier for entry without some previous experience or knowledge with Git, the Unix Shell, HTML/CSS, and code editing. However, we will be using a “quick start” workflow in this workshop that will allow us to create a new site in a few easy steps entirely in a web browser. Nevertheless, the following sections will outline the basics of jekyll and static sites to give an overall sense of how such sites work.
Static sites rely on formatting and style in order to look a particular way, as well as scripts to interact with users.
Structuring and formatting elements of your site – like placing text, images, and other content in areas on web pages – is traditionally done with hypertext markup language (HTML). We’ll also use Markdown in this workshop for inserting formatted text. Markdown is a simplified way of formatting web content, and is a handy method for avoiding html markup.
Styling your site’s look and feel – like making text a certain typeface, rounding corners on your images, and making the background be a specific color – is done with cascading style sheets (CSS).
For this workshop we’re going to stick to Markdown.
- Introduction to Git and GitHub workshop
- Introduction to the Unix Shell workshop
- Internetting is Hard (for HTML and CSS)
- Adam Pritchard’s Markdown Cheatsheet - An quick overview of Markdown format
- Markdown Guide - A more in-depth introduction to using Markdown
- Dillinger - An online Markdown editor with a live preview