A lot of tech bloggers will write their blog posts in Markdown, convert it to HTML and paste that HTML into their blog of choice and then in the blog’s editor clean it up to suit their blog. This is an excellent way to create easy to read portable documents that can easily be published in multiple formats.
However what if there was a way to skip the second part of that and just create a markdown page, submit it into your source control ( you do use source control right? ) and your blog would automagically update.
In comes Octopress, it’s a framework that wraps around Jekyll which is Github’s blogging engine that powers Github Pages. Essentially you edit Markdown files and Octopress will compile it into a static-html Jekyll blog. This means that your blog will be lightning fast ( no need to run an interpreted language in your web server ) and ultra portable.
Another side benefit is that you can host it for free on Github ( as long as you’re okay with sharing your source … and you should be! ) or for free on Heroku ( don’t have to share your source ) or host it on any simple no frills Apache, LightHTTP, nginx, node.js, etc server.
Here is how I’m porting my blogger site to Octopress hosted on Github Pages. I’m not using any of the fancy Jekyll migration tools as I only have a few posts and it will help me get used to the extended syntax that Octopress uses in Markdown.
Read on →