Build a quick website with Jekyll and deploy to Github Pages


In the digital age, website speed and performance are critical factors in providing a positive user experience and ensuring that visitors stay engaged. Slow-loading websites not only frustrate users but also affect search engine rankings and conversions. To build a quick and fast-loading website, developers often turn to static site generators like Jekyll and hosting platforms like GitHub Pages. In this article, we will explore how to create a speedy website using Jekyll and GitHub Pages, taking advantage of their seamless integration and optimization capabilities.

  1. What is Jekyll?

    Jekyll is a popular static site generator written in Ruby. It converts plain text files (usually written in Markdown) into static HTML pages, making it an excellent choice for simple, fast-loading websites. Unlike dynamic content management systems, Jekyll generates static files that are served directly to visitors, eliminating the need for server-side processing and database queries. This results in faster load times and improved website performance.

  2. Why Use GitHub Pages?

    GitHub Pages is a free hosting service provided by GitHub, which allows you to publish your Jekyll site directly from your GitHub repository. The integration between Jekyll and GitHub Pages is seamless, making it a powerful combination for hosting and deploying static websites. With GitHub Pages, you can easily update your website by pushing changes to your repository, and the site will automatically rebuild and update.

Now, let's dive into the steps for creating a quick, fast-loading website using Jekyll and GitHub Pages:

  • Step 1: Install Jekyll and Set Up Your Local Development Environment

    To get started, you need to install Jekyll on your local machine. Jekyll requires Ruby and RubyGems, so make sure you have them installed.

    1. Open your terminal and check if Ruby is installed:

      ruby -v
    2. If Ruby is not installed, you can install it using a package manager like Homebrew or download it from the official website (
    3. Once Ruby is installed, install Jekyll using the following command:

       gem install jekyll 
  • Step 2: Create a New Jekyll Site

    After installing Jekyll, you can create a new Jekyll site with the following command:

    jekyll new my-website

    This command will generate a new Jekyll site in a directory called "my-website."

  • Step 3: Configure Your Jekyll Site

    Next, navigate to the newly created site directory:

    cd my-website

    In the site directory, you'll find various files and folders. The most important ones are:

    • `_config.yml`: This is the configuration file for your Jekyll site. You can customize settings like the site title, description, theme, and more in this file.
    • `_layouts`: This folder contains layout templates for your site. You can create custom layouts for different pages or use the default layout provided by Jekyll.
    • `_posts`: This is where your blog posts will go. Jekyll automatically converts files in this folder into blog posts.
    • `_includes`: This folder contains reusable snippets of code that you can include in your layouts.
  • Step 4: Customize Your Jekyll Site

    Now it's time to customize your Jekyll site to suit your needs. You can modify the theme, layout, and content to match your branding and style.

    1. Choose a Theme: Jekyll offers a variety of pre-built themes that you can use to quickly set up your site. You can find a collection of themes at To use a theme, download it or clone the theme's repository into your site's root directory.
    2. Modify the `_config.yml` file: Open the `_config.yml` file and update the site information, such as the title, description, author, and other settings. You can also set the theme in this file if you're using a custom theme.
    3. Customize Layout and Content: Edit the layout files in the `_layouts` folder to customize the look and feel of your website. You can also create new layout files as needed. Add your content in Markdown format to the appropriate folders like `_posts` and `_pages`.
  • Step 5: Test Your Site Locally

    To preview your website locally and check for any errors, run the following command in your site directory:

    jekyll serve

    This command will start a local development server, and you can access your website at http://localhost:4000/. As you make changes to your site, the server will automatically update the preview.

  • Step 6: Deploy Your Website to GitHub Pages

    Once you're satisfied with your website and have tested it locally, it's time to deploy it to GitHub Pages.

    1. Create a GitHub Repository: If you don't have a GitHub repository for your Jekyll site, create one on GitHub.
    2. Push Your Code to the Repository: Push the entire content of your Jekyll site (except the `_site` folder) to the GitHub repository.
    3. Enable GitHub Pages: Go to the repository settings on GitHub, scroll down to the GitHub Pages section, and choose the branch you want to use for GitHub Pages deployment. By default, GitHub Pages uses the `gh-pages` branch.
    4. Access Your Deployed Website: After a few moments, your website will be deployed to GitHub Pages, and you can access it using the provided URL, which usually follows the pattern ``.
  • Step 7: Optimize Your Website for Speed

    Now that your website is live, it's essential to optimize it for speed to ensure a fast-loading experience for your visitors.

    1. Minimize and Compress Assets: Optimize your CSS, JavaScript, and image files by minifying and compressing them. This reduces their file size and improves loading times.
    2. Enable Caching: Implement browser caching and set appropriate cache expiration headers to reduce the number of requests made to the server.
    3. Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN): Consider using a CDN to distribute your website's static assets across multiple servers worldwide, reducing the distance between your visitors and your content.
    4. Optimize Images: Compress images to reduce their file size without compromising quality. You can use tools like ImageMagick or online services like TinyPNG.
    5. Limit External Resources: Minimize the use of external resources, such as third-party scripts and fonts, as they can impact your site's performance.


Creating a quick, fast-loading website with Jekyll and GitHub Pages is an excellent choice for developers who value simplicity, performance, and version control. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can set up a Jekyll site, customize it to your needs, and deploy it to GitHub Pages seamlessly. Remember to optimize your site for speed by compressing assets, enabling caching, and utilizing a CDN. With Jekyll and GitHub Pages, you can build a fast, responsive website that provides an outstanding user experience for your visitors.

Copyright © 2024 Kshitij Deota

Latest Build: 20 March 2024