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Building static empires with node.js.

Install: [sudo] npm install -g romulus



Romulus is a static site generator (like jekyll) featuring:

  • a clear folder convention
  • ejs template processing
  • generating css from less files
  • github flavored markdown
  • a local development server behaving like github pages
  • deploying to github pages


  • page scripts that run before rendering
  • partials that can be included on any page
  • plugins (themes, blogging, google analytics, disqus, etc.)

You should use romulus if you want a simple tool for creating static github pages with node.js.

Creating a static page

Create a new directory, and inside this directory create the folder structure below:

Note: Only the pages folder is required, the other folders are optional.


Now create a file called pages/index.html and put some HTML into it:

<p>Hello World</p>

Run this to build your static site:

$ romulus build my-site

You should now see a new folder called my-site containing your index.html page exactly as you wrote it.

Note: If you ommit the my-site argument, romulus will default to naming your output folder build.

For testing your site, you should run the local development server at http://localhost:8080/ by typing this:

$ romulus


In order to make this more interesting, let's say you want to wrap your new page in a fancy layout. To do this you need to change your pages/index.html file like this:

<% this.layout = 'default' %>
<p>Hello World</p>

Now you need to create the layout itself, so add a file called layouts/default.html:

<!doctype html>
    <meta charset="UTF-8">
    <title>My static empire</title>

    <!-- Can be a plain css file or rendered from less, continue reading -->
    <link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="/css/main.css" />
    <!-- You can include any JS / CSS files, main.js / main.css are just examples -->
    <script src="/js/main.js"></script>
    <h1>My Header</h1>
    <%- page %>

That's it, you should now see your page being rendered inside your template!

Accessing page variables in your layout

Let's say you want to set a title variable in your page that should be used by the layout. For this, add this to your page template:

<% this.title = 'My title'; %>

And output it in your layout like this:

<title><%= this.title %></title>

Generating css from less files

Now that you have this wonderful site, you probably want to style it. To do so, create a file called public/css/main.less:

    color: #0080FF;

Sweet, your headline is now featuring my favorite color!

Static file support

Any file placed in the public folder will be included at the top level of the build output folder. The local development server also supports serving them.

Using markdown

romulus natively supports github flavored markdown for page files. Using markdown is as easy as creating a file with a .md extension like pages/ and adding some markdown to it:

<% this.layout = 'default'; %>

Markdown is **fun**, and you can still use EJS inside of your markdown

This page now will be served at /markdown-rocks.

Deploying to github pages

Deploying to github pages is as simple as:

romulus deploy

This should work well for project pages, but has not been tested for organization pages yet.


MIT License.


Building static empires with node.js.







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