A static site generator is a program that takes some text + templates as input and produces HTML files on the output. Jekyll is a free, open-source, simple, blog-aware, static site generator. It takes your content written in Markdown or Liquid templates and transforms it into a website.
The generated website can be deployed to any web host with no additional plugins or software needed. If you are serious about your website ranking, you should seriously consider static site generators.
Static sites are great for SEO. By generating the HTML of your site on a build server, you can easily avoid duplicate content issues and have complete control over your site's URLs. As a result, static sites rank better than dynamic ones in search engines because they are easier to crawl and understand by search engines like Google.
Because static sites have no database or server-side code needed to render them, they can be served quickly by any web host with little effort---even on low-cost shared hosting plans. This means that you can keep your costs low without sacrificing performance or security!
Jekyll is a simple, blog-aware and static site generator. It's written in Ruby and runs on top of the Liquid templating engine. You can use Jekyll to create a blog, portfolio or personal website as well as complex websites for your business. Jekyll includes several built-in plugins that allow you to add functionality such as pagination, tags and categories; social sharing buttons; Disqus comments; Google Analytics tracking code; email subscription forms and more with just a few clicks of your mouse.
Jekyll is a static site generator. It takes your content, runs it through the template engine of your choice (Liquid, Haml, etc.), and outputs a series of static HTML files that you can upload to your web server and host.
Jekyll doesn't run a web server---you'll need to do that yourself if you want people to be able to access your site. Instead, it's something like "wget for websites." You just run jekyll build in the directory where you have Jekyll installed and then use scp or rsync or whatever other tool helps you transfer files from to your web hosting provider.
The point here is that Jekyll does not run any code on-the-fly; instead it takes all of the content on your site (pages/post) in Markdown format; processes them through templates defined by Liquid; compiles everything into static HTML files; and then puts those static HTML files onto a local directory. The statically generated files are enough to serve the whole website.
Think of Jekyll like an old-school version of WordPress or Drupal that requires no database or server side processing to run. Instead, Jekyll compiles content into HTML pages which are then hosted on your own server (usually GitHub Pages) and served via any web server you like (Apache2, Nginx).
This has several benefits: you get to use something as simple as TextEdit for writing your content; you don't have to worry about security holes in plugins; all your content is stored in one place so it's easy to backup; finally, since all of the logic happens on the frontend rather than the backend there's less chance for bugs or crashes due to unhandled exceptions or poorly written code.
Jekyll is a simple, fast, and secure framework for building web applications and APIs. If you're interested in doing more with Jekyll than just blogging, take a look at our list of websites built with Jekyll. You'll find that there's quite a bit of variety in what people have been able to build using Jekyll.
Jekyll powers all kinds of websites, from personal sites to small businesses to large companies like Kickstarter and Crowdrise (which was built entirely on GitHub Pages). And these aren't just static blogs; they're fully-featured web applications with real content management systems (CMS) behind them.
One of the most important features of Jekyll is that it's secure. That doesn't mean that your site can never be hacked, but having a framework that's secure and safe means you can rest easy knowing that your underlying codebase won't be vulnerable to security issues.
Jekyll makes updating and maintaining your website easy: you don't have to worry about keeping track of all the different versions of every piece of software needed for running a website or API, as Jekyll handles this for you with its built-in automation tools. You also don't need an expert in web development---in fact, anyone who has access to basic knowledge on how computers work should be able to manage their own website using Jekyll with ease!
Jekyll is a great way to build any kind of site, whether you're building a personal site or a website for your business. It's easy to use and requires little maintenance once it's set up. You can easily create beautiful sites using the templates provided, or customize them to fit your needs. If you're looking for something simple but powerful, give Jekyll a try!