Blog

Join us on GitHub Discussions

The Siteleaf Community now has a new home on GitHub Discussions where you can get help, vote on new features, and share what you’re working on!

To get started we created topics for:

GitHub Discussions will replace our existing Slack community, and we look forward to building a more open, accessible, and searchable archive for questions that pop up often.

We also hope to offer a greater level of transparency by opening up our roadmap and allowing the community to vote on new features.

Most helpful

We’ll be rewarding the most helpful community members with exclusive perks:

Screenshot of GitHub Discussions showing most helpful community members

GitHub will automatically recognize community members who contribute the most comments marked as answers within the past 30 days in the Community Support section. If you see your name in the leaderboard, we’ll be in touch to give you some exclusive perks as a thank you.

Join us at: https://community.siteleaf.com

Introducing Siteleaf VIP: our affiliate program

Today we are officially launching our much requested affiliate program: Siteleaf VIP

We know a lot of our customers use Siteleaf with clients (and enjoy referring friends and colleagues), so we’re excited to say thanks and give back!

For every new user who signs up with your unique VIP link, you’ll earn a 30% commission for any paid sites they create. Depending on the plan chosen, you could earn over $1,000/year for a single referral — which recurs for as long as the site is active. For freelancers, this is a nice way to add a little recurring revenue to your income.

How it works

Sign up to create a unique referral link, and share this with your clients and colleagues. Feel free to add this link to your website footer and share it on social media. It looks something like this:

https://www.siteleaf.com/?via=yourname

You can link to any page on siteleaf.com by adding ?via=yourname to the end of the URL.

All you need to get started is a PayPal account, and you can keep track of your leads and conversions using the VIP dashboard at:
https://vip.siteleaf.com

Thanks for using Siteleaf and continuing to spread the word!

Upgrading to Jekyll 4

Jekyll 4.0 is out in the world, and brings upon many improvements over 3.x.

Notably, your site should build much faster now thanks to super-powered caching and content transformations. You can see a full list of changes here.

While GitHub Pages is still pinned to Jekyll 3.8.x, it’s possible to start using Jekyll 4 today with a little help from Siteleaf.

Check out our upgrade guide to get started:
Upgrading from Jekyll 3.x to 4.x

Here’s to speedy rendering! 🍃

New sites in our gallery

We’re biased, but we think the best sites use Siteleaf. Some of our favorites include Antfood, Capitol Cider House, and The Creative Independent. This week we added five new sites to our gallery.

Super Brewing Co.

Screenshot of Super Brewing Co.'s website

Super Brewing Co. is an independent nano-brewery based in Oregon, who specialize making super beer. Their site is full of lovely design details & moments of joy.

Read more

How to check your site for broken links

Clicking on links that are broken is a bad experience for users, and it can even affect your SEO. Thankfully, it’s really easy to automate the process of checking the links on your site using html-proofer.

You can install html-proofer however you like, for the sake of argument we’ll use bundle by adding the following to your gemfile:

gem 'rake'
gem 'html-proofer'

And then run bundle install. Then you can get html-proofer to check for any broken links using the following commands:

bundle exec jekyll build
bundle exec htmlproofer ./_site`

Then you’ll receive a breakdown of every external and internal link which is broken. Go forth and fix things! Hat’s off to Super Tech Crew for this tip. 

Antfood

Antfood is a creative audio studio with offices in Brooklyn, Amsterdam, and São Paulo.

We are all about Antfood’s website, which is built with Siteleaf. In particular, their loading animations inject a touch of humor to the site, which transforms a potentially boring wait into a moment of joy. This playful style translates directly into their work.

It’s one of the only portfolios where exploring and finding hidden gems feels like an exciting quest and a considered part of the user journey, rather than an afterthought. This thoughtfulness is perhaps unsurprising as the site was designed by XXIX, who make amazing treats for the internet.

We chatted with Wilson Brown, ECD and Partner at Antfood, about curiosity, collaboration, and the year ahead.

Read more

Summer of Siteleaf

Summer is the time for sun, sea, and Siteleaf. No, really.

Lots of festivals use Siteleaf to manage their sites. Siteleaf makes it easy for content creators to update static sites while still optimizing for site speed. Here are a few of our favorites.

Image of two women wearing backpacks climbing stairs at a festival

Outside Lands

With sets from Janet Jackson, The Weekend, DJ Snake, Chvrches, Janelle Monáe, Carley Rae Jepson, and fifty more artists you can be sure that there’s something for you.

Outside Lands is a festival that takes it’s food as seriously as it’s beats. Featuring goodies from the top talent in the Bay Area including truffled grilled cheeses, arepas, Taiwanese snow cones, and liquid chocolate bars. We’re not even sure what a liquid chocolate bar is, but you can bet we want to try one.

They still have tickets available for the weekend, including VIP passes if you’re feeling fancy.

Image of white male singer holding a mic and addressing crowd

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New sites in Siteleaf's gallery

We’re probably a little biased, but we think the best sites use Siteleaf. Some of our favorites include Wade Jeffree, Girls’ Night In, and Upperquad. This week we added nine new sites to our gallery.

Capitol Cider House

Screenshot of Capitol Cider House website

Capitol Cider House is a new bar in Washington DC dedicated to showcasing cider producers within 200 miles of the Capitol building. They’ve even got a dog-friendly outside area.

Read more

Publishing a new blog post

Watch Publishing a new blog post on Vimeo

In this tutorial, we’ll go through how to write and publish a new blog post. To get caught up on Familiarizing yourself with Siteleaf watch our previous video in Siteleaf for Content Managers and Creators.

Writing a new blog post

Head up to the sidebar and click on Posts, located in the content section of the sidebar. When you click on posts, you’ll see something like this.

1-screen-shot-of-posts-small.png

To create a new post press the plus icon on the right side and it’ll take you to a screen that looks like this.

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Siteleaf for Content Managers and Creators

Watch Siteleaf for Content Managers and Creators on Vimeo

Our new series of tutorials will walk you through everything you need to know about adding content to your Siteleaf site. There’s no code involved, so you can feel confident using Siteleaf.

Familiarizing yourself with Siteleaf

When you log in to your account you’ll see something like this.

Screen Shot Dashboard.png

This is the Siteleaf Dashboard. The first thing you’ll notice is the sidebar. Here are the elements of your website broken down into four sections.

Content

This section is organized by collections — think of these as your main content buckets.

This site has several collections, but you may only have a few options on yours. It depends on how your site has been set up.

When looking at a new website I always click on each collection to familiarise myself with the content and then look at the published website to see how they relate.

Pages

A page is the most basic content type in Siteleaf - these might include your ‘about’ page, or a ‘contact’ page. See more about how to edit existing pages here.

Posts

As a content creator, you’re most likely to want to know about the blog. Posts are connected to the blog page on your website.

Screen Shot Posts.png

If your site does not have a blog, then feel free to ignore this section. You can click on the title of the post to edit.

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SEO with Jekyll and Siteleaf

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) helps your website stand a chance of appearing in search engine results and get people organically discovering your site.

Here are our top tips to consider when optimizing your Siteleaf site’s SEO:

Sitemap

Sitemaps can help search engines find information and content on your site, especially if your website is particularly big. Sitemaps can be generated with a GitHub Pages-approved Jekyll plugin jekyll-sitemap.

To enable the jekyll-sitemap plugin add the following to your site’s Gemfile:

gem 'jekyll-sitemap'

And run bundle. Then add this to your site’s _config.yml file:

url: "http://example.com" # the hostname & protocol for site
plugins:
   - jekyll-sitemap

Save, publish, and you’re done! This will automatically create a /sitemap.xml for you.

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Making your first Jekyll theme: Part 2

This is a guest post by David Darnes, creator of the Alembic theme.

In Part 1, I gave an overview of creating themes for Jekyll and a few tips for when you’re developing your own theme. In this second part, I’m going to give a full step-by-step guide to developing your own Jekyll theme gem.

Getting Setup

Before we get stuck in, you’re going to need a couple of things. It’s good to have at least a basic understanding of Jekyll; the file structure is very similar to making a Jekyll site, as is the development process. Unsurprisingly, you’ll actually need Jekyll as well, which can be installed using Ruby. For Mac users, this will be quite straightforward, as Ruby comes preinstalled. This means you can just use the following command in your command line tool of choice:

$ gem install jekyll

You can use the following article if you’re trying to install Jekyll on a Windows machine.

If you’re planning for your user base to use Siteleaf or GitHub Pages, you can install the official GitHub pages-gem, but make a note of the specific gems you’re using, as you’re going to need them later in the development process. You should also install Bundler, which will help you to manage all the gems you are using in your gem theme.

Finally, create an account on RubyGems.org - you’ll need this account later on when you want to submit your theme gem so others can install it easily.

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