Blogging with Git and Markdown

Disclaimer: parts of this guide covers a piece of software called Markblog, of which I am the author.

Who is this for?

This guide assumes that you are:

What's this guide about?

This guide will go through an easy way to get setup a blog. Afterwards, you will be able to blog with the following workflow:

  1. write markdown-files on your computer ✍️
  2. push your prose to github 🐙
  3. have your blog update automatically 😍

What's the techstack, briefly?

To build our blog from Markdown, we will use Markblog. This is an open source tool written with Deno.

In order to deploy our website, we will use Github Pages. Github Pages is free and works - unsurprisingly - seamlessly with projects on Github. Additionally, Github Actions will be used to automate the deployment process. If these tools are unfamiliar, this might seem like a lot. But stick with me, it is all relatively simple when it comes together 😅

Enough talk, let's get started!

Installation

  1. install Git
  2. install Deno
  3. install Markblog

Git Setup

  1. create a repository on Github (check "Initialize this repository with a README")
  2. Enable "Github Pages" in the repository settings by setting master as source.
  3. navigate to some fitting folder in your terminal, e.g. cd $HOME/Documents
  4. clone your new repo with git clone https://github.com/<your-username>/<your-repository-name>

Blog Setup

  1. navigate to your cloned repository with cd <your-repository-name>
  2. run markblog init
  3. (optional) add ./style.css to make your page look the way you want

Markblog has created two files for you: index.md and ./posts. Anything you write in index.md will appear on the front-page of your blog. ./posts is where you will write new posts on your blog.

Writing your first post

Let's take a break from the setup, and write something!

  1. open the repo-folder in your text editor of choice
  2. in index.md, write a sentence or two about the blog. Or don't - it's up to you 🤗
  3. create a new file in ./posts called my_first_post.md.
  4. Write something in ./posts/my_first_post.md. Or don't - still up to you 🍨

Automated Deployment

After this step, we will have achieved the workflow outlined at the beginning! This section is long and somewhat cumbersome. However, this is automation! In other words, we only have to do this once!

name: deploy

on:
    push:
        branches: [writing]
jobs:
    deploy:
        runs-on: ubuntu-latest
        steps:
          - uses: actions/checkout@master
          - uses: denolib/setup-deno@master
            with:
              deno-version: 0.36
          - name: Build
            run: deno --allow-read --allow-write https://raw.githubusercontent.com/olaven/markblog/master/markblog.ts build 
          - name: Deploy
            uses: JamesIves/github-pages-deploy-action@releases/v3
            with:
                ACCESS_TOKEN: ${{ secrets.ACCESS_TOKEN }}
                BRANCH: master 
                FOLDER: . # The folder the action should deploy.

Going live 🗺 🌩

  1. checkout to the branch for writing, git checkout -b writing
  2. commit your changes, git add . && git commit -m "initial blog setup"
  3. git push --set-upstream origin writing

Congratulations 👏 🎊 Within a few minutes, your blog should go live. Your next post is just an .md-file away! To publish it, just push it onto the writing-branch, and your automation will do the rest 🍇 🍏

(If you are unsure about the URL, have a look at the "Github Pages"-seciton of your Github-repository 😃)

Check out Markblog's documentation for more information about how to customize your blog. See my blog(github repo) for a live example.

Thanks for reading!