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Free solution for serving a Jekyll blog stored in a private repository

Since I began to document my travels on my blog, I was interested in switching excommito repository to private mode. Unfortunately Github requires to move to Team plan to serve private repositories.

I investigated the free options and selected two contenders : Digitalocean and Netlify.


The “Jekyll static site” setup is one of many others and this is reflected in the onboarding funnel, I had to pay attention as sometimes it was upgrading me from starter kit to a premium kit for no obvious reason.
I had to fiddle with settings to fill in the build command as it was empty by default.
Then the build failed because of a Unicode problem, the fix was to define the LC_LOCALE environment variable in DO dashboard.
At that point I was able to build the site and have it online, so I wrote a post … to discover that included images were not properly displayed. I wrote a Github issue on their repo about that.


First thing I noticed is that I’m not asked to enter a credit card number, the onboarding is way simpler than DO and the whole solution works out-of-the-box.
The first difficulty I met was to enables HTTPS on my custom domain, but was straightforward once I found the documentation.


After a two weeks test period, I have validated Netlify free blog hosting and removed github-pages dependency from my Gemfile.