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Gem Version

For a demo, please click here.

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This is a simple yet powerful theme that will make your website look really stylish. This theme is especially suitable for users who would want to focus on writing blogs instead of working on front-end stuffs.

The primary features of this theme are:

  • Gulp
  • Post search functionality
  • svg symbol functionality (plugin)
  • string original type check functionality (plugin)
  • Rake to create a post / category
  • Related posts customization
  • txtpen integration
  • Disqus integration (with each post having its unique identifier)
  • Color customization functionality
  • Categorization (data-driven)
  • Offcanvas menu
  • Pagination functionality (utilises jekyll-paginate as well as jquery paginator)
  • Internationalization (uses jekyll-polyglot)
  • SEO (uses jekyll-seo-tag)

There are more features to come. Stay tuned!

Table of Contents


Fork the repository and make sure that you checked out the master branch.

And then execute:

$ npm install -i

This will install all the dependencies delineated in package.json. Then, run

$ gulp

It has been known that sometimes it may be necessary to run above command twice (as minified js and css may not be generated). After running above command, then make sure that in _config.yml, if you are running locally, you change production_url and url to (highly likely to be the case). Then please run the following command:

$ bundle install
$ bundle exec jekyll serve

Also, please make sure that rake tasks are loaded correctly. In the folder that contains Rakefile, in the command line, execute rake -T and you should be able to see the following tasks:

  • rake category:create
  • rake category:list
  • rake category:query
  • rake localize:create
  • rake localize:list
  • rake localize:query
  • rake post:create
  • rake subcategory:create

There you go! If you would like to publish it using Github Pages, you can view my website for your reference.

Gulp settings

To be able to use Gulp, you will need to install Node.js as well as its package manager (i.e. npm). Once you have installed npm. Go to the folder where the package.json is located and run npm install and it will install all the dependencies including Gulp.

$ npm install

When running gulp command, it will run the default gulp task. Make sure to run the following command when you are in the folder that has gulpfile.js.

$ gulp

This task would run several other tasks defined in gulpfile.js. To run individual tasks, please type gulp [task name]. For example:

$ gulp minify-css

Using a BrowserSync instead of Jekyll generated local server.

When running Jekyll serve, it is possible to run a server. However, I chose to use BrowserSync instead of that for few reasons:

  • BrowserSync is a de-facto standard nowadays.
  • It is used with Gulp and Gulp provides bundling as well as minifying, which based on my knowledge is not possible with Jekyll generated server.

Therefore, please do use gulp!


Creating a post

Please use rake command to create a post. Using this command would automatically generate Jekyll front matter with a unique Disqus identifier. The syntax for rake command is [assuming that you are in the root folder]:

rake post:create title="Title" [date="2017-01-13"] [category="category"]

[] are optionals.

Creating a category

Please use rake command to create a category. Using this command would automatically generate the following data:

  • create the category detail in `_data/categories.json`
  • create the localization data for the category in `_data/localization.json`
  • create necessary folders and files in category folder

The syntax for this rake command is [assuming that you are in the root folder]:

rake category:create title="Title" [href=""] [id=""]
rake subcategory:create title="" subcat_of="" (cat_id) [href=""] [id=""]

[] are optionals. Please for href, do not add '/'! This script will automatically create that for you.

When executing this command, you will be prompted to supply translated version of that category name. This program fetches available languages from _config.yml, which has languages option.

!Unfortunately, for modifying and deleting existing categories, please wait for updates, which should be happening soon.

Contributing to localization

To make an entry to _data/localization.json, please execute the following command:

rake localize:create id=""

When executing this command, you will be prompted to supply translation for this entry. This program fetches available languages from _config.yml, which has languages option.

!Unfortunately, for modifying and deleting existing entries. please wait for updates, which should be happening soon.

Querying category and localization

The motivation behind for creating these functionalities is that when the file size for _data/category.json and _data/localization.json gets too large, changing these files by directly modifying the json files is not practical. Furthermore, above rake commands will uglify the existing json, making the querying process much harder for users. To address these problems, I have created rake commands to see the list and query specific key and its respective value.

rake category:list
rake category:query id=""
rake localize:list
rake localize:query id=""

For these commands, there are no optional parameters. For example,

rake category:query id="computing"

will give us the following result:

title: Computing
href: /computing
id: computing
subcategories: exists
    1. Machine Learning ( id:machine_learning, href: /machine_learning )
    2. Web Programming ( id:web_programming, href: /web_programming )
    3. Algorithms ( id:algorithms, href: /algorithms )

Adding related posts to a post

Unlike other jekyll plugins, which leverage popular text analysis algorithms to automatically find related posts, a user must specify related posts for each post in the YAML front matter. Each post can uniquely be identified via disqus_identifier variable in the front matter (you might consider this as an id of a post). To add related posts please add related variable like:

 - 050336f93fbba1f6
 - 76bb54921f3bbef7

(This sample is extracted from 'sample10' post, which can be found in _posts/

Integrating Disqus with your website.

You will need to first have Disqus account. Once the account is ready, please modify config.yml file by adding your shortname for disqus like below:

disqus_shortname: [your short name. Remove the bracket!]

By doing this, every disqus script would use that information and disqus identifier to fetch relevant data.

Customizing Console Theme Colors

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If you carefully analyze the structure it is easy to change! Just simply go to _data\variables.json and you will see a list of variables. The variable names reflect the section name described above so it should be quite intuitive as to which variable to change.

Integrating txtpen with your website.

You will need to first have txtpen account. Once the account is ready, please modify config.yml file by adding your sitename for txtpen like below:

txtpen_sitename: [your site name. Remove the bracket!]

Using svg symbol

Using svg symbol is a good practice. By doing this, we can organize svgs better while not losing the caching functionality. Make sure you change your svg file to the file that conforms to the svg symbol style:

<svg xmlns="" style="display: none;">
  <symbol id="beaker" viewBox="214.7 0 182.6 792">
    <circle cx="344.8" cy="20.2" r="20.2"/>
    <circle cx="344.8" cy="92.9" r="20.2"/>
    <circle cx="320.5" cy="169.7" r="24.2"/>
    <circle cx="243" cy="141.4" r="24.2"/>
    <circle cx="284.2" cy="56.6" r="36.4"/>

If we would like to use this, we use svgicon tag by:

{% svgicon beaker %}

This would display beaker on the screen! Examples are available.

This external svg file is located in: assets/css/images/graphics/svg-symbols.svg

Adding more languages

This theme uses jekyll-polyglot plugin with the plugin I developed. I have already initiated the internationalization work. The partially translated languages are: English, German and Korean. To add languages, simply add the language acronym (e.g. German is de ('Deutsch') but really you can define your own acronym) to languages variable in _config.yml (e.g. languages: ["en", "de", "ko"]). To add more languages, you would need to do the following:

  1. localization.json: this is a nested json object file. The key represents the id for each translation and the value would have another key-value object with its key repesenting language acronym and the value being the translated word.

  2. search.js: this may later be integrated with localization.json file but at the moment it is separate. In this js file, you will see populateJSON() function. The translation json in this function will be used in search.html. To add more languages, you need to modify this function.

The above files will then be used by the plugin called Localization (i.e. _plugins/localize.rb) and to use this simply:

{% localize [key_id] %}

Explore the files and you will see plenty of examples. The plugin will automatically detect the language currently being used and then translate the word according to the one defined in localization.json.


This theme uses data-driven categorization, which makes the construction of categoization simple and succinct. The json file for category is located in _data/categories.json. Each category has three attributes: title, href and id (used to uniquely identify them). Please view the sample file to get a sense of it.

To create the category pages, you need to create a 'category' folder and subfolders would be the name of categories. They can be further nested (i.e. sub categories). Each folder would have (as we will be using folder structure for creating the page for category.) You can reference my website or refer to the examples provided.

Now, I have create a rake command that would simplify this process please visit Creating a category

Layouts and Blocks

This theme values simplicity. As such, every layout would look extremely analogous with each other. However, for extensibility there are about 7 layouts:

  • category
  • default
  • main
  • page
  • post
  • search
  • home

These layouts share same blocks, which are defined in _includes folder. There are about 10 blocks:

  • category: the block that displays the available categories.
  • comment: the comment block, which would be visible if comment: true in the front matter for posts.
  • footer: the footer area.
  • global: the global menu area.
  • head: corresponds to the head tag in html.
  • header: the header area. This area usually shows the location of particular page.
  • home: corresponds the index.html
  • navigation: the block for the menu.
  • not_found: for 404 page.
  • search: the block for search.


Jekyll uses sass, which is a scripting language that would be interpreted into css files. They are largely divided into three usages:

  • blocks: the rest. The files are well separated. ( I think. )
  • configurations: color settings and foundation styling will be here.
  • mixins: self-explanatory. The breakpoint would be set here for responsive web design.

Based on your needs, you may modify these files.

Why some pages need to use folder structure

To create a page, there are few ways to achieve it. One of the solutions would be to use folder structure. For example, if we were to create a page called 'archive', then you can create the folder called 'archive' and then include index.html. For pages that use jekyll-paginate functionality, it is mandatory to use this. Otherwise, the functionality would not work. Please do not use .md extension. Use .html only as it would not work if this extension is not used.


Bug reports and pull requests are welcome on GitHub at This project is intended to be a safe, welcoming space for collaboration, and contributors are expected to adhere to the Contributor Covenant code of conduct.


To set up your environment to develop this theme, run bundle install.

Your theme is setup just like a normal Jekyll site! To test your theme, run bundle exec jekyll serve and open your browser at http://localhost:4000. This starts a Jekyll server using your theme. Add pages, documents, data, etc. like normal to test your theme's contents. As you make modifications to your theme and to your content, your site will regenerate and you should see the changes in the browser after a refresh, just like normal.

When your theme is released, only the files in _layouts, _includes, and _sass tracked with Git will be released.


The theme is available as open source under the terms of the MIT License.


simple yet powerful theme that will make your website look stylish







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