As part of the INSPiRE project I have had to create and host a project website (a work in progress by any definition) and create and host an online survey. With no background in web design and only a vague idea of HTML, CSS and JavaScript, I got going. My first attempts was with Google Sites, but I have to admit, I found working with the templates a bit clunky. I was not happy with the way the website ended up looking. Back to the drawing board. To get a better understanding of the fundamentals, I took an online class in web design. This led to what is the current INSPiRE project website. The problem now was that everything was written out in HTML and there was not really an option for adding content quickly. I like to think this is one of the reasons why I have not been better at updating the website. Then I learned of Jekyll. Now, creating static websites became easy. I could use Liquid syntax to avoid code duplication and focus on creating content (I didn’t, so my above excuse doesn’t really hold, does it?).

That said, over the last few months I have been working on a little pet project. I still intend to produce more content and become better at updating the websites, but I find myself creating more of them. There is my professional website, project website and down the line R package and software websites. The idea for jekyll-pro-theme was borne out of the need to have a uniform look to my professional and project websites, as well as minimize the code I had to write to do that. I am happy to say that I am on the way to accomplishing that goal. There is no official release of jekyll-pro-theme, but a preview version is ready and available.

jekyll-pro-theme comes with a simple (and somewhat extensive) manual to get you started with using the theme. The project website also includes several examples of the different code snippets that make up the theme does. My professional website is now created using jekyll-pro-theme and the INSPiRE project website will soon be updated to use a variant of the theme as well.

Screenshot from jekyll-pro-theme-website