TL; DR: Make a professional web page, like mine, and/or a blog, like mine. Use Jekyll and my links: work page, blog page.


Summary:


Introduction

We live in the age of information. It is easier than ever to find someone from another site of the planet, and contact them. That said, that is only possible if you are online.

Most of us are online, some way or another. If you google your full name, chances are you’re gonna find some information about you. Possibly a Facebook or other social media page. Maybe an old blog, that you forgot to delete. Possibly things you didn’t even know were online, like public documents with your name, or aggregator sites with your information. Most of all, you’ll probably find things that aren’t you.

Suppose someone is trying to find you, but they know only your name, and possibly occupation. Could they? Furthermore, could they contact you? Do you have enough information for they to discern if it is really you? Do they have to contact you to see your area of expertise? Your projects? For that end, it is usually a good idea to store some information about youself in a webpage mantained by yourself.

I’ll will show an example of web page management that takes little effort, and you can use for a personal page and/or a blog.

General Information

The name of the game is Jekyll. This software mantains web pages using templates, page snippets, and a little programming to make your job easier. If you enter this blog, you’ll see what it looks like.

The most important folder is _posts. This is where you write your posts. The naming follows the format YYYY-MM-DD-name-of-the-post.ext, and you begin the file with a little header like

---
layout: post
title:  Professional site and blog for researchers, professors and students
date:   2016-02-13
name:   2016-02-13-professional-site-and-blog-for-researchers-professores-and-students
---

and then you can write the content. On a clean project, just creating a new file like this is enough for you to have a new blog post, but now you want to make it look good. To create a page that is not a post, like my about page, you can simply create a file inside the folder, create a similar header, and write the page. See my own about.md.

The first thing you’ll notice is the layout part. In the folder _layouts there are some templates for a site. For instance, the “default” layout is an html documeent that includes a head.html, then a header.html, then the content, then a footer.html. These included files reside in the folder _includes.

Notice that the content is written between {{ and }}. This is the language that Jekyll interprets to generate the site. This between {% and %} are for commands, and between {{ and }} are for variable input. For instance, to print the current page’s title somewhere in your text, you may use {{ page.title }}. Not very useful so far, but if want to put a list of posts in a page you may use

{% for pt in site.posts %}
  - {{ pt.date }}: {{ pt.title }}
{% endfor %}

This is only a simple example, and you’ll probably want to improve your list to your liking. In addition, you can play around with conditionals and filters. For instance, the navigation bar on my work site is a list of all pages with a title, of the same language of the one you’re in, ordered by an internal value.

To create a clean site and test these fun things, first install Jekyll (follow the instructions on the site for your system), and then issue the commands in the terminal

jekyll new mysite
cd mysite
jekyll serve -w

Your site will be built and available at localhost:4000. To get the site to look good, however, you’ll need to edit a few things, like the layouts for your liking, the css, and so on. To avoid doing that, you can use my own site as a starting point. I show you how in the next section.

Using my site as a starting point

First, let’s create a work page. If you don’t want one, then jump to the blog part. Also, if you know git, and are familiar with GitHub, you can jump a few steps.

Work page - Easy way

  • Create a GitHub account.
  • Go to my github page.
  • Fork the page, finding the button that says fork and clicking on it.
  • In your page, with name http://github.com/youruser/abelsiqueira.github.io, go to settings, and rename the repository to youruser.github.io.
  • Edit the file _config.yml and change all pertinent information. Don’t leave anything with my user. You can edit and create files directly on GitHub, but you can’t preview your site before publishing. To edit, click on edit, make your modifications and then on the bottom of the page click on commit. To create, click on the + button, and do similar steps.

This is sufficient for a site to appear on http://youruser.github.io in at most a few minutes. Now you only need to edit to your liking. For a multilingual support (default), I suggest you create files with the format name.lg.md where name is whatever name you want to give, like research and lg is a language prefix. There is no real need to follow this, but it’s cleaner. Then inside this file, you need to fill

---
layout: page
title:  Page Title
key:    name
lang:   lg
order:  Where you want the page in the navigation bar. Lower if leftmost.
permalink: /lg/name/
---

See the files research.br.md and research.en.md for the differences.

It’s very important that pages that are translations for each other to have the same key. Also, for the flag image to appear, you need a file lg.png in the folder assets.

I keep a folder disciplinas for my teaching files. You may erase it.

If you don’t want a blog, you probably want to delete the navigation bar’s blog, which is hardcoded. Go to file _includes/header.html and find the lines with <a class=...Blog</a> and delete it.

Change the picture.

Work page - Hard way

Read the easy way first, but don’t do anything yet. Download my page’s source code, either using git or zip. Modify as you see fit, following the guidelines above. Test the page with jekyll serve -w as I said before, and build it for publishing with jekyll build. Your page’s files will be inside the folder _site. You can publish them however you want. If you have a site at your university, you can send these files there (probably). For that, you’ll have to check with your IT department.

The advantage of this is that you don’t have to use GitHub (or even git) for anything. The disavantage is that you need to install Jekyll, and you won’t have a default site location.

Blog page - Easy way

  • Create a GitHub account.
  • Go to my github blog page.
  • Fork the page, finding the button that says fork and clicking on it.
  • Edit the file _config.yml and change all pertinent information. Don’t leave anything with my user. You can edit and create files directly on GitHub, but you can’t preview your site before publishing. To edit, click on edit, make your modifications and then on the bottom of the page click on commit. To create, click on the + button, and do similar steps.
  • Edit the about.md file to be about you.
  • Delete all posts in _posts, except maybe one to use as a beginning point.
  • Write your post.

If you access http://youruser.github.io/blog/, you’ll see your blog. Notice that, if you haven’t created the work page, http://youruser.github.io won’t exist, although your blog will. Also, you won’t want the Work entry on the navigation bar. Go to the file _includes/header.html and modify the line <a class="page-link" href="/">Work</a>. If you don’t have a work page, then delete it. If you do, you can change the “/” to your work page url.

Blog page - Hard way

Read everything. Do as in the hard part of the work page.

Both - Hard way

If you want both, when publishing the content of the blog, remember to publish the blog pages to a folder blog.