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Automated Archives in GitHub pages

Jekyll Archives Workflow

This workflow action helps in automatically creating archives for GitHub pages built with Jekyll.

Blog Configuration

Create a collection

  • Open _config.yml file to edit your configuration.
  • Add a collection to the configuration like below.
# Archives
collections:
  archives:
    output: true
    permalink: /archives/:path/

Setup _archives folder

  • Create a folder _archives in your GitHub pages root.
  • Create a text file archivedata.txt with the below code.
---
---
{
"categories": [
    {%- for category in site.categories -%}
    "{{ category[0]}}"{% unless forloop.last %},{% endunless %}
    {%- endfor -%}
],
"tags": [
    {%- for tag in site.tags -%}
    "{{ tag[0] }}"{% unless forloop.last %},{% endunless %}
    {%- endfor -%}
],
"years": [
    {%- for post in site.posts -%}
    "{{ post.date | date: "%Y" }}"{% unless forloop.last %},{% endunless %}
    {%- endfor -%}
]
}

_archives folder setup

Test the setup

  • Build your site and see if you can see the archive data by navigating to your site. (yoursite.com/archives/archivedata)

  • You should see a json structure like the below one.

{
    "categories": [
        "Software Testing",
        "Excel",
        "Blogging",
        "Programming",
        "Quiz",
        "Photography",
        "RPA"
    ],
    "tags": [
        "Automation Testing",
        "UFT",
        "QTP",
        "Excel VBA"
    ],
    "years": [
        "2020",
        "2020",
        "2019",
        "2018",
        "2017"
    ]
}

File was formatted for better reading. This will appear minified on your site.

Setup _layouts folder

  • Create 3 layouts in the _layouts folder.
    • archive-categories.html
    • archive-tags.html
    • archive-years.html

Layouts folder setup

Sample layouts and files are present in the folder blog-files of this repository. If you are using it make sure to include a file from _includes folder too.

Do not rename the files in the _layouts folder.


2. Setup a new action

  • Got to your blog repository.
  • Create a folder named .github and create workflows folder inside it if it doesn't exist.
  • Create a new file named add_archives.yml in the workflows folder. You can name it anything you want.
  • Add the following code inside the file.
name: Generate Jekyll Archives
# description: Generate categories, tags and years archive files.
on:
  workflow_dispatch:
  push:
    paths:
      - "_posts/**"

jobs:
  build:
    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
    steps:
      - uses: actions/checkout@v2

      - name: Jekyll Blog Archive
        uses: kannansuresh/jekyll-blog-archive-workflow@v1.0.3
        with:
          archive_url: "https://yoursite.com/archives/archivedata"
          archive_folder_path: "_archives"

      - name: setup git config
        run: |
          git config user.name "GitHub Actions Bot"
          git config user.email "<>"

      - name: commit
        run: |
          git add --all
          git commit -m "Created and updated archive files." || echo "No changes to commit."
          git push origin master || echo "No changes to push."

Variables

Variable Name Description Required
archive_url Your blog's archive data URL. e.g. yoursite.com/archives/archivedata Yes
archive_folder_path Path to your _archives folder. Default value _archives Yes

In the code above, make sure to change the variable archive_url to your site's archive data URL.

By default, the code pushes changes to master branch. Change the code if you want the changes to be pushed to a different branch.

The action is set to run every time a commit happens in your _posts folder.

Archive files created by action

  • To trigger the action manually
    • Navigate to Actions tab.
    • Select Generate Jekyll Archives.
    • Select Run workflow and run it.
    • Wait for the run to complete.
    • After a successful run, navigate to _archives folder and you will see the archive files generated.

To view the archives on your site, use the following URLs.

  • For categories: yoursite.com/category/category_name
  • For tags: yoursite.com/tag/tag_name
  • For categories: yoursite.com/year/2020

See it in action

I have implemented this on my website Aneejian

See the below URLs.

About

Jekyll Archives workflow action. This action brings archive feature to Jekyll blogs hosted on GitHub pages.

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