Your Name bio photo

Your Name

Describe your self.

Theme Setup


General notes and suggestions for customizing Minimal Mistakes.

Basic Setup

  1. Install Jekyll if you haven’t already.
  2. Fork the Minimal Mistakes repo
  3. Make it your own and customize, customize, customize.

Minimal Mistakes on GitHub

├── _includes/
|    ├── _author-bio.html  #bio stuff goes here
|    ├── _browser-upgrade.html  #displays on IE8 and less
|    ├── _footer.html  #site footer
|    ├── _head.html  #site head
|    ├── _navigation.html #site top nav
|    └── _scripts.html  #jQuery, plugins, GA, etc.
├── _layouts/
|    ├── home.html  #homepage layout
|    ├── page.html  #page layout
|    ├── post-index.html  #post index layout
|    └── post.html  #post layout
├── _posts/
├── assets/
|    ├── css/  #preprocessed less styles
|    ├── fonts/  #icon webfonts
|    ├── js/
|    |   ├── _main.js  #Main JavaScript file, plugin settings, etc
|    |   ├── plugins  #jQuery plugins
|    |   └── vendor/  #jQuery and Modernizr
|    └── less/
├── images/  # images for posts and pages
├──  # about page
├──  # lists all posts from latest to oldest
└──  # homepage. lists 5 most recent posts



Most of the variables found here are used in the .html files found in _includes if you need to add or remove anything. A good place to start would be to change the title, tagline, description, and url of your site. When working locally comment out url or else you will get a bunch of broken links because they are absolute and prefixed with {{ site.url }}1 in the various _includes and _layouts. Just remember to uncomment url when building for deployment or pushing to gh-pages

Owner/Author Information

Change your name, bio, and avatar photo (100x100 pixels or larger), Twitter url, email, and Google+ url. If you want to link to an external image on Gravatar or something similiar you’ll need to edit the path in _author-bio.html since it assumes it is located in /images.

Including a link to your Google+ profile has the added benefit of displaying Google Authorship in Google search results if you’ve went ahead and applied for it. Don’t have a Google+ account? Just leave it blank.

Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools

Your Google Analytics ID goes here along with meta tags for Google Webmaster Tools and Bing Webmaster Tools site verification.

Edit page/post titles and URLs to include in the site’s navigation. For external links add external: true.

# sample top navigation links
  - title: About Page
    url: /about/
  - title: Posts
    url: /posts/
  - title: Other Page
    url: /other-page/
  - title: External Page
    external: true

Adding Posts and Pages

There are two main content layouts: post.html (for posts) and page.html (for pages). Both have large feature images that span the full-width of the screen, and both are meant for long form articles and blog posts.

Feature Images

A good rule of thumb is to keep feature images nice and wide so you don’t push the body text too far down. An image cropped around around 1024 x 256 pixels will keep file size down with an acceptable resolution for most devices. If you want to serve these images responsively I’d suggest looking at the Jekyll Picture Tag plugin2.

The two layouts make the assumption that the feature images live in the images/ folder. To add a feature image to a post or page just include the filename in the front matter like so.

  feature: feature-image-filename.jpg
  thumb: thumbnail-image.jpg #keep it square 200x200 px is good

If you want to apply attribution to a feature image use the following YAML front matter on posts or pages. Image credits appear directly below the feature image with a link back to the original source.

  feature: feature-image-filename.jpg
  credit: Michael Rose #name of the person or site you want to credit
  creditlink: #url to their site or licensing

Post Index Page

A sample index page listing all posts grouped by the year they were published has been provided. The name can be customized to your liking by editing a few references. For example, to change Posts to Writing update the following:

  • In _config.yml under links: rename the title and URL to the following:
  - title: Writing
    url: /writing/
  • Rename to and update the YAML front matter to match the title and URL set in _config.yml
  • Update the View all posts link in post.html layout found in _layouts to match title and URL set previously.

Thumbnails for OG and Twitter Cards

Post and page thumbnails work the same way. These are used by Open Graph and Twitter Cards meta tags found in _head.html. If you don’t assign a thumbnail the default graphic (default-thumb.png) is used. I’d suggest changing this to something more meaningful — your logo or avatar are good options.

Table of Contents

Any article or page that you want a table of contents to render insert the following HTML in your post before the actual content. Kramdown will take care of the rest and convert all headlines into a contents list.

PS: The TOC is hidden on small devices because I haven’t gotten around to optimizing it. For now it only appears on larger screens (tablet and desktop).

<section id="table-of-contents" class="toc">
<div id="drawer" markdown="1">
*  Auto generated table of contents
</section><!-- /#table-of-contents -->


Video embeds are responsive and scale with the width of the main content block with the help of FitVids.

Not sure if this only effects Kramdown or if it’s an issue with Markdown in general. But adding YouTube video embeds causes errors when building your Jekyll site. To fix add a space between the <iframe> tags and remove allowfullscreen. Example below:

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0"> </iframe>

Theme Development

If you want to easily skin the themes’ colors and fonts, take a look at variables.less in assets/less/ and make the necessary changes to the color and font variables. To make development easier I setup a Grunt build script to compile/minify the LESS files into main.min.css and lint/concatenate/minify all scripts into scripts.min.js. Install Node.js, then install Grunt, and then finally install the dependencies for the theme contained in package.json:

npm install

From the theme’s root, use grunt to rebuild the CSS, concatenate JavaScript files, and optimize .jpg, .png, and .svg files in the images/ folder. You can also use grunt watch in combination with jekyll build --watch to watch for updates to your LESS and JS files that Grunt will then automatically re-build as you write your code which will in turn auto-generate your Jekyll site when developing locally.

And if the command line isn’t your thing (you’re using Jekyll so it probably is), CodeKit for Mac OS X and Prepros for Windows are great alternatives.


Having a problem getting something to work or want to know why I setup something in a certain way? Ping me on Twitter @mmistakes or file a GitHub Issue. And if you make something cool with this theme feel free to let me know.


This theme is free and open source software, distributed under the GNU General Public License version 2 or later. So feel free to use this Jekyll theme on your site without linking back to me or including a disclaimer.

  1. Used to generate absolute urls in sitemap.xml, feed.xml, and for canonical urls in _head.html. Don’t include a trailing / in your base url ie: When developing locally remove or comment out this line so local .css, .js, and images are used.

  2. If you’re using GitHub Pages to host your site be aware that plugins are disabled. So you’ll need to build your site locally and then manually deploy if you want to use this sweet plugin.