As part of creating a personal website for myself, I looked into Jekyll and Github Pages. The theme that I am using is called Particle, created by Nathan Randecker. I forked his theme and went about customizing it to match what I wanted.
The original Particle theme was built using Gulp, which was used to compile the SCSS files and minify the JS files. Since Jekyll is able to handle parsing SCSS natively, and minifying the JS alone was not enough reason to keep the Gulp implementation, I scrapped it in favour of going for a pure Jekyll implementation. This meant I was able to keep just a single copy of the assets for the page, instead of having to commit up both the original and the Gulp output.
In the original theme, the Featured Projects section was hard coded as part of the default template. What I wanted to achieve was to have this section be more dynamic, and pull from the list of posts all of the ones I want to display on the front page. I achieved this by using Liquid to traverse the list of posts and pull out the ones that are set to be in the “project” category and have the “featured” tag. For each of these posts, I can grab the tags to display what software and frameworks they were focused on, and the rest of the content to display an excerpt. The viewer can then drill down further to read more, or to see the code itself.
For each of the posts, there needed to be a new layout template for displaying them. For this, I created a new minimal template based on the styles of the main layout.