Nesta starting point with baked-in H5BP, Compass, Semantic GS, & Capistrano
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Getting Started

Nesta Boilerplate is simple to setup and comes with baked-in support for Compass (and Sass/Haml), Capistrano with semi-optional support for HTML Boilerplate, jQuery, and Semantic GS.

First things first, learn about Nesta then get started like so:

$ git clone
$ cd nesta-boilerplate
$ bundle
$ shotgun

Then point your browser to And voila, you're rockin' some Nesta Boilerplate goodness.

By default, Capistrano is setup to deploy from your current directory, no need to setup a git repo if you don't want.

Also, you'll want to edit config/deploy.rb with all of your server-specific info.

Using Git for Deployment

If you'd like to use Git to deploy your Nesta site, rename deploy.git.rb to deploy.rb and delete/ or rename the other deploy.rb to deploy.old.rb. Lastly, rename the folder deploy.git to simply deploy, then you can:

$ cap deploy                  // deploy to stage, or...
$ cap production deploy       // deploy to production

What you get from Nesta Boilerplate


  • Compass
  • Capistrano


  • HTML5 Boilerplate
  • jQuery
  • Semantic Grid System
  • Coderay Syntax Highlighting

By using Nesta Boilerplate, you get by default Compass & Capistrano configured and ready to go. I recommend modifying or installing your own theme by replacing/deleting what's in themes/nestabp-theme with your own theme. The theme is basically a convenience for those wanting HTML5 Boilerplate, jQuery, and a responsive grid -- a common paradigm in web development. The theme is built on essentially 10 lines of CSS, so do what you will with it.

Credit where credit's due

Many tips 'n tricks were taken from Wynn Netherland's Nesta blog, this post by Scott Martin, and Adam Stac's Nesta Boostrap. And of course, thanks to Graham Ashton for creating Nesta CMS.