Concept → IO ()

Linux Emacs Coding Music Links About Search

How to create this homepage

This homepage was created with Emacs and Org mode. It is hosted at and comments can be done using Disqus. I assume a working Org mode setup and a GitHub as well as a Disqus account.

[2015-03-26 Thu] Update; general revision of code and text.

[2016-04-09 Sat] Another update.

General idea

Org mode
A great tool for taking notes and exporting them to all kind of formats. One of this formats is HTML. The idea here is to use the publishing capabilities of Org mode to create a very basic website that can be used to blog and publish articles.
Offers a freely available hosting service, a very easy way to make the website available.
Provides the ability to comment posts.

Many people also use Jekyll to create homepages and blogs together with Org mode and GitHub. This is certainly a very appealing alternative but I prefer a setting that is easier to set up and has fewer options.

Folder structure

I decided to use the following folder structure; it is somehow arbitrary but the Org mode publishing setup has to be adjusted accordingly:

└── org
    ├── css
    ├── js
    └── posts

8 directories

The folders css and js are self explanatory. Good style sheets are hard to get. I use a neat one from Worg with a few changes. For this setup, it has to be saved as /blog/org/css/site.css. is the git repository of the GitHub homepage (there are detailed explanations on GitHub about how to set it up). The posts created with Org mode reside in the org directory. It is important that you create an file because GitHub is looking for an index.html file and displays it as the main page. You can use all capabilities of Org mode and its export and publishing framework.

Org Mode publishing setup

This is the main step. Org mode has to know how to export your Org files so that they can be hosted by GitHub:

(setq org-publish-project-alist
        ;; Blog posts in Org mode that are exported to html and hosted
        ;; by GitHub.
         ;; Directory with Org files.
         :base-directory "~/Shared/blog/org/"
         :base-extension "org"
         ;; Output directory for html files on GitHub.
         :publishing-directory "~/Shared/blog/"
         :publishing-function (org-html-publish-to-html)
         :html-extension "html"
         ;; Create a sitemap that contains all posts in
         ;; anti-chronological order.
         :auto-sitemap t
         :sitemap-filename ""
         :sitemap-title "Archive"
         :sitemap-sort-files anti-chronologically
         :sitemap-style list
         :recursive t
         :section-numbers nil
         :with-toc t
         ;; Do not include predefined header scripts.
         :html-head-include-default-style nil
         :html-head-include-scripts nil
         :html-head "<link rel='stylesheet' href='/css/site.css' type='text/css'/>
<meta name=\"viewport\" content=\"width=device-width\"/>"
         :html-preamble website-html-preamble
         :html-postamble website-html-postamble
         :html-link-home ""
         :html-link-use-abs-url nil)

         :base-directory "~/Shared/blog/org/"
         :base-extension "css\\|js\\|jpg\\|gif\\|png\\|pdf\\|mp3\\|ogg\\|swf"
         :publishing-directory "~/Shared/blog/"
         :publishing-function org-publish-attachment
         :recursive t)

        ;; ("website" :components ("blog" "images" "js" "css"))))
        ("website" :components ("blog" "static"))))

This defines a set of projects that can be published simultaneously with the project website (e.g. with M-x org-publish website). The preamble includes a small header; the postamble includes the Disqus comment section and Google Analytics (make sure to replace you user name and tracking ID).

;; BugFix: Manually disable home/up links in preamble.
(setq org-html-home/up-format "")

(defun website-html-preamble (info)
  "Org-mode website HTML export preamble."
  (format "<div class='nav'>
<li><a href='/'>Home</a></li>
<li><a href='/archive.html'>Archive</a></li>

(defun website-html-postamble (info)
  "Put Disqus into Org mode website postamble.  Do not show
   disqus for the Archive and the Index."
   (cond ((string= (car (plist-get info :title)) "Archive") "")
         ((string= (car (plist-get info :title)) "Index") "")
         ((string= (car (plist-get info :title)) "GitHub -> IO ()") "")
         (t "<div id='disqus_thread'></div>
<script type='text/javascript'>
  // required: replace example with your forum shortname
  var disqus_shortname = 'YOUR DISQUS NAME HERE';
  (function() {
      var dsq = document.createElement('script');
      dsq.type = 'text/javascript'; dsq.async = true;
      dsq.src = '//' + disqus_shortname + '';
      (document.getElementsByTagName('head')[0] ||
<noscript><p>Please enable JavaScript to view the
  <a href=''>comments powered by Disqus.</a></p>
   (format "<div class='footer'>
Copyright 2014 AUTHOR<br/>
Last updated %s <br/>
Built with %s <br/>
<script type='text/javascript'>
 (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o),

 ga('create', 'PUT YOUR TRACKING ID HERE', 'auto');
 ga('send', 'pageview');

           (format-time-string "%Y-%m-%d")


Create your homepages with Emacs Org mode. The file can include links to all blog articles. Links, source blocks, images and so on can be used everywhere. This is explained in great detail on the Org mode homepage. Publish the homepage with org-publish (i.e., bind this to a key) and push the changes to GitHub. Voila!