Switching from Blogger to Jekyll

The why and how

If you’re reading this, then you’ve probably noticed: I moved my blog from blogspot to my own new site. Among other things, that meant a change in the engine that runs the blog, from blogger to Jekyll. It was a big jump from the simplest, hosted blogging platform out there to a rather advanced engine designed by hackers for hackers.

Why switch?

I had been wanting for some time to include a lot more math and code in my blog posts, and it was a hassle with Blogger. The output often looked funny and was hard to control. With Jekyll, I get beautiful results like this. I also wanted more control over my blog’s appearance and greater interoperability, which meant keeping things in plain text and using (generated) static HTML, both of which Jekyll enables me to do.

But really the switch was part of a much bigger change: I’ve migrated the content of my professional home page here to davidketcheson.info and begun an open science notebook. That’s why the link at the top of the page reads NoteBlog: it’s intended to be a combination notebook and blog. On the blog side, I’ll keep posting about issues like scientific publishing, open science, reproducibility. On the notebook side, there will be a lot more posts of raw results and experiments from my current research projects, not intended for a general audience. And somewhere in-between there’ll be reasonably polished expository math-y posts accessible to students and researchers in my field.

How I switched

It was easy, thanks primarily to Carl Boettiger. This site was built based on Carl Boettiger’s labnotebook site. Carl publishes the source for his site on Github as the labnotebook project and releases it all under CC0, so setting my site up was as easy as following his instructions, replacing the _posts directory, and making a few CSS customizations.

I migrated all my Blogger content following these instructions. This didn’t manage to bring in the tags or comments, unfortunately. I had done a poor job of tagging my posts in the past anyway, so I manually re-tagged my 45 existing posts.

Subscribing to my new blog and/or notebook

One nice thing about having more control is that I can set up separate feeds for different kinds of posts. On the right you’ll see three RSS feed links: one for all entries (notebook and blog), and one each for the separate notebook and blog feeds. I imagine most of you will only want to subscribe to the blog, unless you’re interested in my research niche (you can look at the categories page to get an idea of what each will include).