Jekyll Themes

Jekyll Themes

As I continue to hack away at the design of Made Mistakes and improve on things, I try to release simplified Jekyll starters and themes after each major site revision.

The goal is to make things easier to build a Jekyll site using mine as a starter. Rather than having to sift through my main repository and strip out the cruft before making it your own.

Below are all of the Jekyll starters I’ve open sourced thus far. Each “theme” contains all of the _layouts, _includes, Sass/CSS, JavaScript, and other sample files needed to build a site or blog. There are a lot of similarities between how they work and the file organization — which should make switching and updating between them easier.


The basic setup for each of my theme’s is roughly the same:

  1. Install theme gem or fork the theme repository you’d like to use.
  2. Install Bundler gem install bundler and run bundle install to install all dependencies (Jekyll, Jekyll-Sitemap, etc)
  3. Update _config.yml, data files (found in _data), and replace sample posts and pages with your own.

For more specifics, review each theme’s documentation by clicking on the Setup Guide buttons below.

So Simple Theme

So Simple Jekyll theme screenshot
Large images and site logo if that’s your thing

So Simple is a simple Jekyll theme for your words and pictures. Features include:

  • Compatible with GitHub Pages.
  • Available as a Ruby Gem theme.
  • A variety of layouts with clean and readable typography.
  • Microformats markup to make post content machine-readable and discoverable.
  • Disqus Comments and Google Analytics support.
  • SEO best practices via Jekyll SEO Tag.
  • Options to customize the theme and make it your own.

Basically Basic Theme

Basically Basic Jekyll theme screenshot
Your new Jekyll default theme.

Basically Basic is a Jekyll theme meant as a substitute for the default — Minima. Conventions and features found there are fully supported by Basically Basic, with a few enhancements thrown in for good measure:

  • Compatible with GitHub Pages.
  • Available as a Ruby Gem theme.
  • Clean responsive design with six customizable skins
  • Curriculum Vitæ/Resume layout powered by JSON data
  • About page layout
  • Disqus Comments and Google Analytics support
  • SEO best practices via Jekyll SEO Tag

Minimal Mistakes Theme

Minimal Mistakes Jekyll theme screenshot
A minimal design to let your content shine.

A flexible two-column Jekyll theme with a minimalist aesthetic.

  • Compatible with GitHub Pages.
  • Available as a Ruby Gem theme.
  • Several layout options (single, archive, splash pages).
  • SEO optimized with support for Twitter Cards and Open Graph data.
  • Optional header images, sidebars, table of contents, galleries, related posts, breadcrumb links, and more.
  • Optional comments (Disqus, Facebook, Google+, Staticman, and more).
  • Optional analytics (Google Analytics and custom).


HPSTR Jekyll theme screenshot
A traditional blog approach with a modern style

A responsive Jekyll blog theme designed to give your site a modern and somewhat cliché feel.

  • Compatible with GitHub Pages.
  • Modern design with rounded rectangles and subtle gradients.
  • Animated main menu.
  • Built-in support for Sass and data files (requires Jekyll 2.x).

Skinny Bones Theme

Skinny Bones Jekyll theme screenshot
Includes a fun off canvas menu

A Jekyll starter based off of an older incarnation of Made Mistakes.

  • Compatible with GitHub Pages.
  • Built-in support for Sass and data files (requires Jekyll 2.x).
  • Off canvas menu.
  • Tile based archives.
  • Optional table of contents, share links, Disqus comments modules, and more.


These themes are free and open source software, distributed under the MIT License. Feel free to modify them to suit your needs.