Gem Version Build Status

JekyllPlus is now a tool that simplifies the installation and usage of a Jekyll Site linked to a gem-based Jekyll Theme. Disclaimer: This plugin works best with gem-based themes that are serve-ready packages.


Simply run:

$ gem install jekyll-plus


This gem installs an executable jekyll+ that takes a couple of new commands to enrich the Jekyll experience.
Note: Along with the following commands, all existing Jekyll Commands are available to be used with the executable.
The new additions are :


jekyll+ new-site -- Creates a custom Jekyll site scaffold in PATH


  jekyll+ new-site PATH

          --classic          Classic Jekyll scaffolding
          --theme GEM-NAME   Scaffold with a custom gem-based theme
          --force            Force creation even if PATH already exists
          --verbose          Output messages while creating


jekyll+ new-site is very much like jekyll new in that it generates a static-site precursor to be processed into an HTML website. But its also very different in the sense that new-site deviates from Jekyll's no-magic philosophy

A default site generated by new-site will have the site's title configured based on the PATH argument supplied.

$ jekyll+ new-site my blog
# => New jekyll site (titled) My Blog installed in ~/my blog.

$ jekyll+ new-site blogs/summer rain
# => New jekyll site (titled) Summer Rain installed in ~/blogs/summer rain.

If the user has Git installed and configured on their system, another set of keys are automatically defined — name: and email:, both of which will now be populated with the corresponding Git credentials.

This auto-populate feature extends to sites generated with --classic and --theme switches if the theme-gem doesn't bundle a _config.yml within it.


The --theme switch is for those who have decided what theme-gem to use with their site.
Simply provide the theme's gem-name.
e.g. To install a site with the gem-based version of the popular theme Minimal Mistakes, (minimal-mistakes-jekyll), simply run

$ jekyll+ new-site awesome blog --theme minimal-mistakes-jekyll

If you have an older version of the theme-gem already installed on your system, then though a new site will be immediately installed at ./awesome blog, with the _config.yml and Gemfile already set to use this theme, the downside is that you'll still have to manually download the Minimal-Mistakes-config-file from the theme repo to be serve-ready

But if you have installed the serve-ready version of the theme-gem, then by simply running the command stated above, the new site installed at ./awesome blog will have the minimum required elements to let you serve and preview the site immediately — a Minimal-Mistakes-config-file that has all the settings for your site and the associated template files.
The data files need not be copied over to the source unless they need to be customized. Data files within the theme-gem will be read like the remaining template files via the built-in jekyll-data plugin.

If you dont have any version of the theme installed, then new-site will automatically run bundle install and install the latest version available if you're connected to the internet.


When the --classic switch is used, the generated site will contain all the directories expected in a Jekyll installation prior to Jekyll v3.2
The --classic and --theme switch can be used together to install a classic-style site with the template files and directories extracted to your source from the theme-gem.

Key Points:

  • new-site when passed without the --classic or the --theme switch doesn't run bundle install at the end.

  • if either --classic or --theme is used, JekyllPlus will first check if the theme-gem (defaults to "minima") is installed in the system. If not found, then it'll initiate bundle install to install the theme-gem.

  • the --classic switch will run the extract-theme command (described below) and copy the theme's template directories and files to the site's default source directory. Additionally, if the theme-gem has included a _config.yml within it, it will be copied over too, replacing the one currently present at source.

  • the --theme switch will initialize a Gemfile and a _config.yml with the provided GEM-NAME. Additionally, this too will replace the _config.yml at source if a namesake is present at the root of the theme-gem.



jekyll+ extract-theme -- Extract files and directories from theme-gem to source

Alias: extract


  jekyll+ extract-theme [DIR (or) FILE-PATH]
  jekyll+ extract [DIR (or) FILE-PATH]

          --force     Force extraction even if file already exists
          --list      List the contents of the specified [DIR]
          --lax       Continue extraction process if a file doesn't exist
          --quiet     Swallow info messages while extracting
          --verbose   Additional info messages while extracting

extract-theme or extract does just one thing — **copy* files or entire directories from the configured theme-gem to the site's source directory.* You can extract any combination of files and directories within the theme-gem as long as you know their path, relative to the theme-gem.

Example scenario: — Extracting the theme's layouts

  • Lets first inspect the contents of the _layouts directory.
  $ bundle exec jekyll+ extract-theme _layouts --list
  # =>
      Listing: Contents of '/_layouts' in theme gem...

             * /_layouts/default.html
             * /_layouts/home.html
             * /_layouts/page.html
             * /_layouts/post.html
  • Now I know what layouts are available. To extract the entire _layouts directory
  bundle exec jekyll+ extract-theme _layouts
  • Or, to simply extract the layouts for posts and pages:
  bundle exec jekyll+ extract-theme _layouts/page.html _layouts/post.html
  • To extract whatever is available under the assets directory and the post.html layout:
  bundle exec jekyll+ extract-theme assets _layouts/post.html
  • Any file within the theme-gem can be extracted to source.
  bundle exec jekyll+ extract-theme read-me.html

Gem Recommendation

The only functional difference between jekyll new and jekyll+ new-site is that the latter's --theme and --classic switches revolve around a jekyll theme-gem (either the default theme-gem "minima" or the string passed to --theme.)

The following are a set of recommendations directed at theme-gem developers to make their themes serve-ready:

  • Serve-ready theme-gems contain all the minimum elements that are required to let the consumer easily preview their site by simply running bundle exec jekyll+ serve

  • If your theme is dependent on a custom _config.yml that declares necessary plugins and other settings, then please don't hesitate from bundling that file within your theme-gem. jekyll+ new-site will then automatically replace the _config.yml at source with your bundled file. You just need to make sure that the theme key is properly defined.

  • If your theme-gem requires a set of data files that impart locale-configuration (they seldom require customization), bundle them into the gem. They will be read-in via the included jekyll-data plugin if the user decides to build their site locally using jekyll+ build or jekyll+ serve.

  • If your theme-gem requires certain customizable data files to exist at source, again, pack in the _data directory. It can be easily sent to your user's source by having them simply run jekyll+ extract-theme _data or jekyll+ extract _data. Your theme's documentation may need to instruct the user to use that command.

  • Except for index.html, files generated by jekyll+ new-site do not have the layout: key hard-coded in the FrontMatter and hence one can easily bootstrap a site with a theme-gem provided that the theme-gem's _config.yml has the Front Matter Defaults defined, for example:

    - scope:
        path: ""
        type: posts
        layout: post
    - scope:
        path: ""
        type: pages
        layout: page
  • index.html will take on the values defined for pages and hence the layout is set to home by default.

Plugins & Patches

  • Includes the jekyll-data plugin that enables reading of data files and _config.yml within the theme-gem.
  • Includes patches to various modules and classes used by Jekyll adapted from certain existing pull-requests at their respective repos and will be altered / removed as required in future releases.
    For details, please refer this file.


Bug reports and pull requests are welcome on GitHub at
This project is intended to be a safe, welcoming space for collaboration, and contributors are expected to adhere to the Contributor Covenant code of conduct.


The gem is available as open source under the terms of the MIT License.