I used to host mindefrag.net on a shared hosting from my country. I would use FTP as a mean to deliver updates of this jekyll-generated blog. Every time I was satisfied with the result of my changes I would run jekyll build/serve and then navigate to /_site directory with filezilla and upload it to /domains/mysite/public_html overwriting old files. Oh look, I made a typo in that post - let’s do it again! Not that I’m complaining, but I knew from the first time I used jekyll that there must be a more elegant and efficient way to push changes online. And there certainly is!
Jekyll website provides rich documentation of the project and also mentions about deployment methods. Beside Netlify it enumerates Aerobatic, Kickster, and other more sophisticated methods that require a bit of coding like Amazon s3_website, rack-jekyll etc.
I’ve chosen Netlify because:
- it’s simple, requires no additional coding
- provides one-click deploy of Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate
- it’s well documented.
Here is a simplified tutorial of how to migrate your site to Netlify. This guide assumes you are already familiar with git version control system.
Prerequisites: git repository on either one of those: Github, Gitlab or Bitbucket. Create an repo, then copy the url to it. Then type:
git clone email@example.com:mDfRg/test-project.git cd test-project jekyll new . git add . git commit -am "my new jekyll site" git push
Create account on Netlify. Once you log-in, from app.netlify.com:
- Click ‘New site from Git’
- Choose between Github, Gitlab and Bitbucket
- After being authorized to one of the accounts above, pick a repo
- If you’re not changed anything in main settings (especially in _config.yml), stick to the default settings, namely:
- branch: master
- build command: jekyll build
- publish directory: _site/
- Congrats! Your site is deployed! Now you can change site name: Site settings->General->Site details
- Add/Change DNS, Use HTTPS (Domain management)
What about DNS?
Sleek thing about Netlify and DNS is that you don’t really need to to buy a domain - you can have your .netlify.com address (same as with .github.io) and be done with it. However, if you fancy having your own address, you can either:
Use Netlify as your DNS provider
The ns address will show after you set it up in your settings panel. Then you can create a DNS zone and create @ and www A/AAAA records pointing to your page. Detailed documentation is located in chapter custom domains and dwells about specific configs like custom subdomain (blog.mywebsite.com).
Easier: change your hosting DNS
If you, like me, already purchased domain along with shared hosting, chances are you are provided with email. That’s something I don’t want to loose switching to Netlify, so instead of changing my site’s NS servers I put following settings in my DNS configuration:
Note the @ A record pointing to Netlify’s load balancer’s IP: 184.108.40.206 and the CNAME record for www subdomain.
Thanks to this settings I can benefit from Netlify CDN and Let’s Encrypt SSL deployment whilst having my email settings unchanged.
For basic settings, like this blog Netlify is free of charge. Now all I have to do to publish my post / web change is
git push to origin/master!