Week One: Website set-up

The purpose of this post is mostly to get to know some Markdown features and play around with text and images.

(I’ll admit; the last time I owned a website was in the 1999 Geocities era; it was a website dedicated to The Simpsons and I was 14 years old).

Website - How did I choose the environment I chose

My German blood makes me a true believer in version-controlled projects. Most of my experience was with perforce, but I’ve owned a Github account for a while now.

A good friend at CODE@HBS recently introduced me to Jekyll, a blog-building platform that works well with GitHub and is extremely easy to use, so I gave it a shot.

Website - Setup

This site is based on Barry Clark’s Build a Blog with Jekyll and Github Pages tutorial. Here are the major steps I took after forking the project onto my own GitHub page:

At first, I updated the site through the web-based editor, and committed files immediately:

  • Personalized _config.yml
  • Added photo
  • Updated first Blog Entry (“Week Zero”)

(By the way, if you want to make an unordered list in Markdown, you have to leave a blank line between the end of the last paragraph and the list. Ugh.)

At some point I noticed the site stopped updating; I’ve received an email from GitHub that the Jekyll build failed, but the error message was very vague. I decided to download the Jekyll Build tools to my personal computer to debug in an easier way:

  1. Downloaded RubyInstaller
  2. Downloaded GitHub Desktop
  3. Cloned my project to my local computer
  4. Built my site locally
  5. Commited, pushed to GitHub

That’s how I finally figured out the error: This was because I used a colon - : - without the backslash escape character - \: - in the first Blog post. In the title, the escape character isn’t enough and one must use the HTML code for colon, :. Lesson learned!

I also found this very useful Markdown Cheatsheet.


To add and summarize, here are my weapons of choice for maintaining this site:

  1. The Gvim editor is my love, now and forever. It has a steep learning curve, but I’ve been using it since I was 12 and can’t really imagine using any other editor anymore.
  2. GitHub Desktop
  3. Git command line tools (Git Shell)
  4. Jekyll
Written on September 10, 2016