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Stuff, mostly software development stuff

Creating GitHub Pages With Jekyll & LiveReload

Composing blog posts in Markdown is great but it would be even better if I can see how pages are rendered live. So, let’s have that.

First thing, get a Jekyll blog set up. create a new blog structure in the current directory with:

jekyll new .

See quick start guide for details on viewing it from Jekyll’s built-in server.

Next, enable live reload as you are editing content. Basically, it works as a Grunt project that uses grunt-contrib-watch plugin’s support for livereload. It also bypasses Jekyll’s built-in web server and use Grunt’s web server for hosting – not a big deal but just so you know.

Create/Update Configuration Files

Create Gruntfile.js:

module.exports = function (grunt) {
        shell: {
            jekyllBuild: {
                command: 'jekyll build'
        connect: {
            server: {
                options: {
                    port: 8080,
                    base: '_site'
        watch: {
          livereload: {
            files: [
            tasks: ['shell:jekyllBuild'],
            options: {
              livereload: true

    grunt.registerTask('default', ['shell', 'connect', 'watch'])

Create package.json:

  "name": "My Jeykll Blog",
  "version": "0.0.1",
  "devDependencies": {
    "grunt": "~0.4.2",
    "grunt-contrib-connect": "~0.6.0",
    "grunt-contrib-watch": "~0.5.3",
    "grunt-shell": "~0.6.4"

Update _config.yml to exclude these non-Jekyll files from being processed by Jekyll:

exclude: [node_modules, Gruntfile.js, package.json]

Update .gitignore to exclude node_modules from being committed.


To make this work, there are some pre-requisites.


Type npm install to download the required Grunt dependencies for the first time.

After that, just type grunt to start a web server at port 8080 to host your blog with live reload enabled.

→ grunt
Running "shell:jekyllBuild" (shell) task

Running "connect:server" (connect) task
Started connect web server on http://localhost:8080

Running "watch" task

Hope you find this helpful.