Blog

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.

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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.

2-screen-shot-blank-post-small-6555ef.png

Start by typing your title up at the top.

If you want to specify your URL, you can do that underneath the title, but if you leave it blank Siteleaf will do all the hard work for you and the slug (that’s the end of the URL) will be the title of the blogpost separated by hyphens.

Having slugs that are readable by both humans and machines is good for SEO because it encourages users to click on the link as they already understand the content of the post. It also tells the web crawlers hanging out online what the main subject of the post is about, which will help generate traffic to your site. Read more about SEO with Jekyll and Siteleaf here.

Underneath the URL in the big box is where you write the content for your post.

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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 optomizing 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 whitelisted 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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Connect Siteleaf To 1000 Other Apps With Zapier

siteleaf-banner-blue.png

Zapier connect’s the apps you use every day to automate your work, so you can concentrate on the bigger creative tasks. Zapier makes it possible for your emails to trigger a new task in your time management tool, or your social media output to be saved in your cloud storage system.

Before it was a struggle to get them all working in tandem. Now that Zapier has 1,000 integrations, you can choose your favorite tools and easily integrate them with Siteleaf.

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Holiday gifts #builtwithsiteleaf

At Siteleaf we are really behind on our Holiday shopping, so we turned to websites that use Siteleaf for some holiday inspiration and they delivered.

Here are a few things that we would love to wake up and find under the tree:

KEYCHAIN-022f3f.jpg

Girl’s Night In have a selection of goodies for any homebody on your list. We love their going home after this keychain, because it lets everyone know exactly where you would rather be for just $15.

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Introducing remote themes

Some exciting news! GitHub Pages has announced support for loading remote themes from any GitHub-hosted repository. This is also supported on Siteleaf as of today, whether you publish to GitHub or anywhere else.

Remote themes are similar to Gem-based themes, but do not require Gemfile changes or whitelisting. This means you can now use any of the hundreds of community-curated themes available on GitHub.com, or create your own without having to publish a Gem.

Jekyll themes package layouts, includes, and stylesheets in a way that can be overridden by your site’s content. It’s a great way to maintain a separation of content and code, and makes it possible to share themes across multiple sites.

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Making your first Jekyll theme: Part 1

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

By nature, any well structured site that has easily editable content is ‘themeable’ — a layer, or skin, that presents content in the way the owner or creator intended; Jekyll is no different. Pages, posts and any other form of formatted content can be segregated from the templating files.

Themes for Jekyll have been around for a while, but the process of installing a theme was a bit clunky. Content files and templating files would have to be carefully copied over. But, with the introduction of Gem-based themes, themes can now be installed with a couple of lines of code.

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See you at GitHub Universe

Next week the Siteleaf team is heading west for the GitHub Universe conference, October 11th and 12th in San Francisco.

If you are attending the conference or in the nearby area, hit us up! We’d love to meet up and chat with as many Siteleaf users as possible.

A few talks we’re excited to see at GitHub Universe:

  • Real-time collaborative editing: the science behind the magic
  • Caring for your fellow developers
  • Tools as a catalyst for culture change
  • Accessibility: it’s more than just screen readers
  • Balancing identity & privacy: building tools to help users

As a proud sponsor of the conference, we’re excited to offer 15% discount on tickets. Use the promo code COMMUNITYU1715 and come hang with us!

Jekyll 3.5.2 is here

Recently GitHub Pages upgraded to Jekyll 3.5.2, and we’ve now made it our default to match.

This update includes a few enhancements and bug fixes, most notably one which should dramatically speed up generation of your site! In testing jekyllrb.com, generation went from 18 seconds down to 8.

For a full list of revisions check out the release notes.

If you are still using Jekyll 3.4, here’s everything that’s new in 3.5 so far:

  • Jekyll now uses Liquid 4, the latest! It comes with whitespace control, new filters concat and compact, loop performance improvements and many fixes.
  • Themes can specify dependencies and Jekyll will require those. This makes it easier for theme writers to use plugins.
  • The gems key in the _config.yml is now plugins. This is backwards-compatible, as Jekyll will gracefully upgrade gems to plugins if you use the former.
  • Filters like sort now allow you to sort based on a subvalue, e.g. {% assign sorted = site.posts | sort: "image.alt_text" %}.
  • You can now use tab-separated data files.
  • Using layout: none will now produce a file with no layout. Equivalent to layout: null, with the exception that none is a truthy value and won’t be overwritten by front matter defaults.
  • Dramatically faster site generation!
  • Lots more bug fixes.
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Add SSL to your site for free

Add SSL to your site free

Is your website encrypted?

Back in 2014, Google announced it would begin using HTTPS encryption as search ranking signal. If you are still serving your site over basic HTTP in 2017, you may be missing a key part in your SEO strategy.

The good news? It’s never been easier to jump aboard the HTTPS train and secure your traffic.

HTTPS (also known as HTTP over TLS, or Transport Layer Security) uses SSL/TLS certificates to identify your website and encrypt data in transit to your website’s visitors.

Google will be pushing further with the release of Chrome 56 later this month, announcing it will mark all non-HTTPS pages containing password and credit card input fields as “Not Secure”. Eventually, Chrome plans to show a Not Secure warning for all pages served over HTTP, regardless of whether or not the page contains sensitive input fields. Here’s what visitors will see in the new version:

Treatment of HTTP pages with password or credit card form fields in Chrome 56

There are several ways obtain an SSL certificate for your site — many of them are completely free, and only take a few minutes to set up. Since Siteleaf supports publishing to any web host, you can choose the option that best fits your needs.

We’ll review our favorites in this blog post, starting with CloudFront (which we use ourselves for this blog).

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