Jekyll is the static site generator used to construct this site. It was chosen because GitHub uses Jekyll as the default SSG and because the theme I wanted to use for my site was made for Jekyll. Information on Jekyll can be found both here and in the Top Nav bar of this page because they server a couple different purposes. This project serves as an explanation and documentation of my use of Jekyll, while the top bar navigation is more for external sites related to this theme and Jekyll in general. At some point these may be consolidated, but for now, I am leaving it alone.
Jekyll is very easy to get and to install, and while at first I tried to avoid it, I found it very useful to have a local installation of Jekyll. Having it installed teaches you many of the intricacies you may miss if you just use a default theme and upload directly to GitHub Pages, for example (like I was attempting to do). Further, it lets you try out different things without them going live. But the best reason to install Jekyll is to open the entire world of Jekyll options to you so that you are not limited by the theme you have implemented. With Jekyll, you can create your own pages, your own layouts, or even your own site (and create your own theme from it).
As a last note regarding Jekyll - there are a lot of different static site generators, and they largely work the same way. The main difference is the language(s) they are written in and support for their templating. Jekyll uses Ruby, a common web-centric scripting language that packages it’s scripts into “gems”. Others, such as Hugo, use a different scripting language (in the case of Hugo it is “Go”). If you like the idea of Jekyll but want to use a different language (perhaps one you already know), here is a good rundown of SSG’s and their supported language: http://staticsitegenerators.net