Are there tutorials for total non-techy idiots such as myself? Or should I give up?


I have basic editing skills in WordPress but that’s about the extent of my ability. I’ve found some basic tutorials online as far as installation is concerned. Namely, these folks over at: who’ve got a video on installing all the goodies.

I’m having a problem with using Terminal. It’s my first time using it and I’m trying to get to do this step by step, slowly. Alas, I’ve hit a roadblock now where I’ve asked Jekyll to create a new site named lselondontest by inputting “jekyll new lselondontest” then it says command not found, when I put it again, it says “Conflict: /Users/myusername/lselondontest exists and is not empty.” – Since I’ve zero experience with all this, this is my first road block.

I’m wondering if y’all feel Jekyll may be too hard to learn as a total utter noob, or if it’s worth sticking to? I feel like I can learn, even if it takes a while, but some things are already way out of my league. Thanks for your thoughts in advance.


I tried 1 year ago and failed to get it to work, moved to squarespaces, and then this year finally came back to it and got things running. It can be tough for a non-technical person I think if you want to do any type of customization beyond the basics. I would not recommend this solution to someone who isn’t at least going to be able to work with the basics of Git with checking stuff in, branching etc (I’ve learned just for this).

That said, if you are willing to learn and have a technical leaning to be willing to work through the learning curve, I think Jekyll is pretty cool!

My advice would be that you could get started and running relatively easy if you just fork an existing repo in Github and then customize just the very basics and go from there.

If you are on windows jekyll can be very challenging to run. If you are not technical then getting into using docker, chocolately, and other things might be frustrating.

I used this well supported/documented theme and am a day or two away from completing the migration I started.

Try this quick start out, fork the repo (you are creating your own copy) and then edit and save. Github pages will recompile and run jekyll for you. You don’t need to have jekyll at all, which would simplify things.

I plan on writing about my experience soon, but target audience is mostly developer focused.

For windows, Wyam is easy to run and generates a nice template. It doesn’t have the wealth of customization without developer work, but easy for quickly generating a simple site


Thanks for the thorough response. My needs are beyond basic, my skills are not. It sounds like the learning curve may be tough. I’m going to keep it and play with it from time to time, but I think I’m going to go with WordPress. I’ve never looked into SquareSpace… but they sure do advertise a lot on podcasts. Thanks for your input.


The first thing to do is to make sure you install bundler as recommended in the docs. This is the hardest part as it means you have a proper Ruby version running on your system.

About the message.
If you haven’t done any work, you can safely remove the folder if the default jekyll website wasn’t properly created :
rm -rf lselondontest

and run jekyll new lselondontest again who is the easiest way to get you started.

This is barely equivalent to running all these commands:

mkdir lselondontest 
cd lselondontest
bundle init
bundle add jekyll
bundle add minima
bundle exec jekyll new . --force

In both case you have now a scaffold of a jekyll website with a gem-based theme.

you don’t have to know a lot of commands to get jekyll running, but jekyll was meant from the start for people not afraid of learning the command line and even enjoying it :slight_smile:


Thanks, Frank! I removed it. I’ve done as you said and removed the folder since no work was done. When I try to create the new one I get the following message:

Blockquote 2: from /usr/local/bin/jekyll:23:in <main>' 1: from /usr/local/Cellar/ruby/2.5.0_2/lib/ruby/2.5.0/rubygems.rb:308:inactivate_bin_path’
/usr/local/Cellar/ruby/2.5.0_2/lib/ruby/2.5.0/rubygems.rb:289:in `find_spec_for_exe’: can’t find gem jekyll (>= 0.a) with executable jekyll (Gem::GemNotFoundException)

I have a feeling the correct Ruby version was not installed because the tutorial I used is older. I’ll go back and read the Docs. Thanks!


Please don’t just copy the error message but also the command you run.

What if you type the following :

bundle update
bundle exec jekyll build