How to create your blog using Jekyll and GitLab CI or Github Pages.

Well, I kinda promised, didn’t I? Right 👉 here, that I would share instructions on how to create and deploy your Jekyll blog using GitLab? Incase you didn’t know, jekyll is a static site generator built with Ruby while gitlab is a site used to host projects created with git.


There are a couple of things you need to install first before you can start using jekyll. Since I ❤️ the terminal, most of the links to the prerequisites and my instructions will be terminal based.

  1. Ruby
  2. Git
  3. Jekyll
  4. Npm (npm is installed with NodeJS)

Getting Started

You can get started with GitLab Pages using Jekyll easily by either forking this repository or by uploading a new/existing Jekyll project.

Remember you need to wait for your site to build before you will be able to see your changes. You can track the build on the Pipelines tab.

Start by forking this repository

  1. Fork this repository.
  2. IMPORTANT: Remove the fork relationship. Go to Settings (⚙) > Edit Project and click the “Remove fork relationship” button.
  3. Enable Shared Runners. Go to Settings (⚙) > Pipelines and click the “Enable shared Runners” button.
  4. Rename the repository to match the name you want for your site.
  5. Edit your website through GitLab or clone the repository and push your changes.

Start from a local Jekyll project

  1. Use jekyll new to create a new Jekyll Project.
jekyll new
  1. Add this .gitlab-ci.yml to the root of your project.
  2. Setup your theme.
  3. Push your repository and changes to GitLab.

GitLab CI

This project’s static Pages are built by GitLab CI, following the steps defined in .gitlab-ci.yml:

image: ruby:2.3

  JEKYLL_ENV: production

  - bundle install
  - bundle exec jekyll build -d public
    - public
  - master

Using Jekyll locally

To work locally with this project, you’ll have to follow the steps below:

  • Clone the repository and go into the project folder
git clone && cd
  • Install the necessary dependencies (gems and npm packages).
bundle install && npm install
  • Run the local server
bundle exec jekyll serve --drafts #it will also show you the draft blogs

The above commands should be executed from the root directory of this project.

Read more at Jekyll’s [documentation][].

GitLab User or Group Pages

To use this project as your user/group website, you will need one additional step: just rename your project to, where namespace is your username or groupname. This can be done by navigating to your project’s Settings.

GitHub User

To use this project as your own website, you will need to rename it to a different name and remove the fork relationship (I prefer creating a new repo then setting it as an upstream to the original repo until I ensure things are working smoothly then delete the fork).

There is a gem (a jekyll plugin) that is used to automatically deploy the project to github pages. gem "github-pages". All you need to do is push your work.

Did you fork this project?

If you forked this project for your own use, please go to your project’s Settings and remove the forking relationship, which won’t be necessary unless you want to contribute back to the upstream project.

Newton Karanu

Newton Karanu

I’m a fullstack software developer who loves coffee, travel, adventure, poetry, photography and blogging.