I figured it was about time I join the bandwagon and built my own (minimalist) website where all my projects and interests come together.

I figure a good ‘first blog’ would be to explain how I built this site. Hopefully this helps other people who are looking to do something similar.

My requirements

Here is a simple list of my requirements for a personal website:

  • Minimalist design
  • Low maintenance
  • Simple to make changes / add a new blog post
  • Ability to preview changes before they are live
  • Low cost

What I used to make this site

There was no need to re-invent the wheel - there are literally 1000’s of blogging platforms out there.

With that in mind, I went looking for a solution. Here are some of the platforms / tools that considered:

  • Wordpress (didn’t want the bloat)
  • Medium (wanted more control)
  • Voice (wanted more control)
  • Static site generators (some complex, some looked great)

When I found GitHub pages I didn’t see the need to look further. I use GitHub daily and it looks pretty simple to get things set up.

The stack (summary)

Step by step

  1. Create the GitHub repository
    • Create a repo called <your-username>.github.io
    • Full instructions here
  2. Setup the custom domain davidplumridge.com
    • Create a file named CNAME in the repository like this one here
    • Setup the DNS records with namecheap. Full instructions here
  3. Install Jekyll. I did this by following the 3 commands on their homepage here
  4. How I customized the site;
    • You can find theme details here
    • Override some default styles using this file here
    • Changed some default layouts using these files here {:target=”_blank”}
    • Created some extra pages like this one here {:target=”_blank”}
    • Created social data here, a template here and used include as shown here


It’s easy to make changes locally, preview them by starting Jekyll and push them to GitHub once I am ready. Hopefully this blog / guide helps!

Have a question? Contact me here