Jeremy NealSoftware Developer

Deploying Jekyll with Travis CI

I like Jekyll. It’s a clean, simple piece of software that makes hosting blogs painless. I use it for this site, and some others as well. I just built a site for a friend.

When I was building her site, the traditional route would have been to use something like Wordpress or some other CMS, as she would need to edit content after the fact. Alternatively, I could implement my own CMS for her. I didn’t like either of these options. I really dislike Wordpress for a number of reasons, and I don’t have the time to write such a complicated system, as I’m in my last semester of my bachelor’s. Instead, I chose to use Jekyll.

For the most part, Jekyll was fine, aside from the user-friendliness. She’s not a developer, and expecting her to use the command-line would have been absurd. So here’s what I did to get her site up and running.

Create a Github repo.

There’s nothing particularly private on her site, putting everything in a public Github repo was easiest.

Deploy with Travis CI.

This website could have been hosted on Github pages, but for particular reasons, I chose to host her site on Namecheap. This makes the build process more complicated. On the Jekyll site, they list a number of ways of deploying. Since I didn’t want her to have to touch any of the tools, I chose to deploy with Travis CI.

The setup for this was pretty easy, but I ran into a few problems that might not be immediately straightforward to solve. First, you need to hook up the repo to Travis. This is covered in a number of places.

I wanted to upload this site over FTP, and this required using a username and password. I was immediately worried that this would be sitting in my repo, which is dangerous! However, Travis is awesome and provides a way of encrypting your credentials for deployment.

In my case, I needed to include my FTP username and password. After installing the Travis gem, running the following commands encrypts your keys and stores them in .travis.yml, allowing you to call them without exposing them:

travis encrypt --add FTP_USER=ftp_username
travis encrypt --add FTP_PASSWORD=FTP_PASSWORD

Within your build instructions, you can call these values by name. I did just this to deploy the _site directory to the web host.

In the after_success section of .travis.yml, add the following command:

cd ./_site && find . -type f -exec curl -u $FTP_SUSER:$FTP_PASSWORD \
--ftp-create-dirs -T {}{}

In case you are unsure, this will change the context to the site directory, find all files and upload them to the public_html directory of the host using curl.

Content with

As I said before, my friend is not a technical user. I didn’t expect her to open a text editor and use Markdown (though it is quite easy) just to add new content to her site. Using, she can easily add images, blog posts, or any other content, without having to play around with git commands, text editors, etc.

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  • jekyll,
  • ruby,
  • travis,
  • ci