The Modern Developer

a blog.

Why I switched to Jekyll from Octopress

A little background, Octopress is a framework for creating statically generated website blogs. These days most blogs are hosted on the Wordpress framework. However if you need a simple blog Wordpress can be an overkill. A statically generated website offers many benefits. You can host it anywhere, it does not require a separate database, and it is usually much faster than a dynamically generated website.

In the last few years Octopress became a favourite among developers needing a quick and easy way to generate a static blog.

Personally, I run a couple of my client's blogs on Octopress. However when it was time for me to write my personal blog I decided to go with Jekyll. Jekyll is a "blog aware" static website generator build by the people at github. In fact Octopress is actually built on top of Jekyll.

I made my decision based on the following reasons:

Let's break these down a little bit...

Octopress is Outdated

At the time of this writing Octopress' main website has a latest release date of July 23rd, 2011.

Octopress comes bundled with a twitter widget that has been broken ever since twitter retired their public API in 2012. Even Octopress' own website still shows a broken "Status updating..." widget.

Most Octopress sites look the same

While it is possible to change your default theme, most users chose to not do so. I can always tell when someone is using an Octopress blog. A blog should be about the content but I would still prefer to see some originality in website creation. (This is the same issue I have with a lot of Bootstrap based sites).

Jekyll is More Flexible

Jekyll is more than a blog generator, it is a static website generator. With Octopress you are limited to blogs whereas learning Jekyll will allow you to create non-blog websites. Many companies are now generating their corporate sites with jekyll and hosting them on Amazon's S3.

The web team responsible for raising money for Obama's campaign used Jekyll to generate the fund raising website. Their jekyll generated website raised over $250 million dollar and handled over 81m page views (with the help of a CDN).

Finally I would like to conclude that if you like Octopress then please continue using it, it is a great framework. Just remember to fix/remove the twitter widget and please change your default theme.

Discussion, links, and tweets

I'm a full stack web developer. My current tools are RoR, Node.js, and AngularJS. Contact me for help on interesting projects.

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