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Generate HTML with Mustache and Markdown

Read the blog post.


  • Provide an easy way to combine Mustache templates with Markdown.
  • Generate static HTML using templates, partials and JSON data.
  • Generate only the files that changed, adding created and modified timestamps.
  • Plain text files only. No database. No setup.
  • Full test coverage

Current Status

Good enough to give it a shot. Feedback, issues and pull requests welcome.


$ npm install -g blogdown

Get Started

  • Create src/template.mustache with HTML and a {{{md}}} placeholder somewhere
  • Create src/ with Markdown in it
  • Run blogdown from the root of the project directory and inspect the generated site/index.html

Templates and JSON properties

  • The template.mustache file in each directory will be used as the mustache template unless an item has a .html or .mustache template defined.
  • The template.json file can be created to inherit JSON properties into each item in the same folder and sub folders
  • A template folder can be created and filled with mustache templates that will be used as partials. Reference the partials with {{>partial-name}}.
  • If JSON files are created in the template folder, the content is merged into the template.json using the file name as the key.

Config file

Global configs are stored in a blogdown.json file in the root of your project. The file defines date formats and lists of files, as well as any custom properties you want to define that will be made available to all mustache templates under the "blogdown." object namespace.

A custom output folder can also be specificed here using the siteDir property.

Date formats

Blogdown uses moment.js for date formatting. A list of date formats can be configured in the config file:

"dates"   : {
  "long"  : "ddd, DD. MMMM YYYY - HH:mm:ss",
  "short" : "DD.MM.YYYY HH:mm:ss",
  // ...

The mustache templates can refer to the dates like this:

  • {{dates.long.created}} for the long format showing the file creation date and time
  • {{dates.long.modified}} for the long format showing the file's last modified date and time
  • {{dates.short.created}}
  • etc ...


You can specify custom lists of files in the global config files:

"lists"      : {
  "articles" : {
    "filter" : "file.path = blog/*",
    "sort"   : "file.created DESC",
    "limit"  : 25

An array of items with the configured name will be available in the mustache template:

  <a href="{{{file.path}}}"><h3>{{heading}}</h3></a>

This will show 25 items from the blog folder ordered newest files first.

Changing the file name

By default, items are generated with their file names. If you want to use a different file name, you need to put "file" : { "name" : "different" } in the corresponding .json file.

Item Structure

The model of each item that is passed to Mustache for rendering looks like this:

  // File related meta information:
  file         : {
    path       : 'path/to/file.html',
    name       : 'file',  // without the extension
    root       : '../..', // relative path to root dir
    created    : '2013-03-17T22:01:53+01:00',
    modified   : '2013-03-17T22:01:53+01:00',
    active     : true // if this file is currently rendered, otherwise false

  // True if blogdown was called with --publish, otherwise false
  publish      : true,

  // Markdown:
  md           : '<p>parsed from markdown</p>',

  // Formatted dates according to config in "blogdown.json":
  dates        : {
    article    : {
      created  : 'Sun, 31. March 2013 - 17:24 CET',
      modified : 'Sun, 31. March 2013 - 17:24 CET'

  // Lists of items according to config in "blogdown.json":
  newArticles  : [{ ... }, { ... }],
  coolProjects : [{ ... }, { ... }],

  // And any other properties in "blogdown.json" are available
  blogdown.anyProperty : 'defined in blogdown.json'

  anyProperty  : 'defined in a .json file'

Command line options

To get more information about which templates and items where found and which properties they contained, use --debug (or -d).

$ blogdown --debug
$ blogdown -d


This project was build on top of the hard work of other people: