Every time I want to write about something, I find myself a small little thing to code, so that I don’t have enough time to actually write… the bright side is that I end up with some little tweak I enjoyed doing + a blog post about it.

Aaaanyway, today I started writing an article… and noticed that generating this blog was taking 16 seconds on my computer. That’s too much. I started looking for alternatives, I’ve heard good things about hugo… which sounds great, but I’d miss Jekyll’s extensibility deeply (I’m automatically adding “nofollow” to my external links, verifying that they don’t break and adding width and height to the images on my articles).

I’m using drone.io to do continuous deployment (so that I just do a push and my server takes care of building it and invalidating cloudflare’s cache), so I really don’t care about how long my entire site takes to build on the server… what’s really bothering me is my local time. I like to write -> check how it looks -> tweak it -> check how it looks -> tweak it… and you got the idea.

So what I did is… just another simple plugin! If this is enabled (it can be enabled on the _config.yml file), it checks the _data/build_only_this.yml file to check which posts and pages it builds… and that’s it! as my .drone.yml removes the lines that have #local on them and removes #prod: from all the lines, I can get away with using this in my _config.yml:

  enabled: true #local

This solution probably doesn’t work for everybody, but it certainly works for me and writing Jekyll plugins always make me happy (even if I don’t particularly enjoy Ruby). If this is the kind of thing you enjoy, definitely give it a try to Jekyll… and don’t fall for the “Jekyll is too slow” argument: it doesn’t really need to.

And that’s it! I have a really fast Jekyll locally that I can easily extend via Ruby plugins. Now, let’s write that freaking article.

Gervasio Marchand

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