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3.5 Other Cool Features

With all the great features of Jekyll itself, combined with the features included in some of the themes out there, it's simply impossible to show you everything. So in this lesson, I'll give you some tips on how to find out about some of the useful features included in various themes. Remember, you are much better picking a theme that is well documented.

3.5 Other Cool Features

So one of the final things that I wanna do is I wanna walk you through some of the more commonly used configuration aspects of Jekyll and this particular theme, that I think you'll really like, and that will be very beneficial for you. So if you were to start in the configuration section here, once again, you can look on the right-hand side and see all the different configuration options you have. And one of the other ones we kind of alluded to before that I didn't add in here was the idea of comments. Now, comments is actually very cool and that what you can do is you can set up accounts with some of the more popular commenting kind of third party engines. Things like Discuss, Discourse, you can use Facebook, Google, and you can actually use a static commenting engine called Staticman. And if you were to look through this section, it shows you exactly how to set all of these up in your site. So you can use Disqus, and it will tell you that you need to go set up an account. You need to use your shortname, and it will show you exactly how to set all of these things up, so that is obviously very cool as well. I also really like the site search functionality, and that's a really easy one to add in. All you have to do is go into your configuration and set search equal to true, and then you will by default get a little search icon a little magnifying glass. That will pop up a search dialog, kind of within your site, that will allow you to just start to type in what it is you're looking for. And the search engine will actually go through and search through all of your post, or pages, or whatever you have available. And wherever it finds those key words it will give you the results just like this, so that's another really cool one that I tend to add to my sites. You should also definitely pay attention to the SEO social sharing and the analytical settings. Those are very important as well, we started to see a little bit about sharing. You saw how you can share your posts with other people on different social media platforms, but one of the other very important things that I would highly recommend, is using Google Analytics. So if you're using this site to start to maybe create a blog or whatever have you, you should absolutely start tracking the traffic that comes through your site. What people are doing, where they're reading, what they're not reading, what the content is that they like, how long they're spending on pages. And there's a lot of links and information here about how you can do that. So you can click on these links here that will show you how to set those things up. And then all it really takes is just going into your configuration file, and just setting a couple little settings, and you're right in the game. So that is very cool, and definitely something that you should be paying attention to as well. A couple other interesting things on the site that you should also pay attention to that can be very beneficial, when you really start to dig into customization. It's gonna be over on the left hand side over here, so I would highly recommend you paying attention to UI text. UI text is gonna be important, this is gonna give you some options on what you can do as far as localization and you can change the language that you're page is displaying. So if you're not naturally English speaking and you want this to be in different languages, or you want to support multiple languages for people all over the world. Then this is gonna show you how to do that and it's actually quite easy, it just takes a couple of files and you specifying translations to different languages, and it's all gonna start to work just fine. And then once you get into some other things into the content section here, working with collections is actually a very nice feature as well. So what this is gonna show you how to do, is start to integrate things like collections where you can create portfolios, that's really good. But it's also gonna start to show you how you can use things like categories and tags on your posts, and how you can create separate pages to start to show categorizations. I can show a page that's gonna give me all of the tags that show up throughout all of my posts and I can then start to narrow down all my posts by specific tags. If I wanna learn about specific technologies or different categories and I can start to narrow things down. If you wanna do things like that then definitely take a look at the collection section. Now when i'm building out blogs and web pages using Jekyll and GitHub pages and specifically this particular theme but also other themes as well. I typically like to figure out how I can start to customize my content, how I can format things, how do I put in images, how do I float things to the right? How do I apply styles to my content and my paragraphs and things like that, so typically when you wanna do those types of things. You're going to spend a fair amount of time in the content section under helpers and utility classes. So if you come into helpers, you're gonna see a lot of really interesting things that you can do here. You can learn how to add in figures and galleries and the feature roles are actually very, very cool. What that allows you to do is to add in a row of images with some titles underneath and some content in there. So, that's actually really, really cool and I tend to do that quite a bit cuz I really like those. You're also gonna learn how to add in and embed videos, either from YouTube or Vimeo, which is actually very, very nice as well. So if you wanna create a video tutorial-type site, then you can learn how to embed those videos onto your web pages responsively, and they will be responsive. So if you shrink this page or view it on a mobile device, the video itself is gonna shrink appropriately and look good on that particular device. Then you can also come into the Utility Classes, and this is where you're gonna learn about How do you do some formatting and some alignment when it comes to text and images? So if you wanna like float things or align things to the left, it shows you how to do that using mark down, which is actually very cool. So to be able to apply some of these alignment changes, and some of these classes almost, you can continue to do those things in mark down, you don't have to switch over to HTML and use CSS and things like that. A lot of that is done behind the scenes for you, you can specify all that stuff here, so that's where you're gonna find how to do a lot of that. Finally, if you're really starting to dig deep into this particular theme, and you really want to get under the covers and you want to do customizations. You want to add in your own scripts, you wanna add in your own style sheets. You wanna do all that type of stuff that you would normally do on a fully customized website. You still have the ability to do it in these customized themes that you're using that other people have made. And in this particular case, you're gonna see that under extras, so you can click on style sheets. It's gonna show you the format of the style sheets that are being used in this particular theme, but you can also learn how to overwrite and how to add in your own style sheets to add in your own CSS and classes. If you wanna be able to add that to your site, which is actually very cool, and then, finally, you can do the same thing with JavaScript. You can add in your own JavaScript libraries, you can add in other third-party libraries, so that you can start to take advantage of some of that dynamic functionality that JavaScript and jQuery bring to a particular website, and that's really nice to be able to do as well. So once again, these are a lot of really cool things that you can look at to start to incorporate Into your site using GitHub pages in Jekyll. Once again all of this is made possible by these open source libraries, these open source themes that are put on GitHub that you can use on your Jekyll sites. Just remember that not all themes are created equal, a lot of them don't have as fully rich documentation as you're gonna see with minimal mistakes, and this is why I typically start with this one. You can absolutely find other ones out there that are documented in a very similar fashion. But just please make sure that if you are gonna choose one of those themes you are using one that does have good documentation. So you can truly learn how to tweak it and learn how to get in there and use it to truly make it your own even though you're using someone else's theme.

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