Jekyll, Foundation and Grunt

What is Grunt

Grunt is a Javascript library that runs via Node.js. It allows you to automate all your production tasks into one command. (for example minifying the JS and CSS, compiling the CSS from SASS, running the server etc.)

All of these things are run by the plugins that are made for Grunt.

This allows me to build my Jekyll, compile my Foundation (via Compass) and compile pygments using a single command Grunt. This command will run a file called a Gruntfile.js. This is useful because there are probably going to be a few more libraries before this goes online. Thus I can compile the entire site with one command.

How to Grunt

First Install Node.js from here

Assuming You have it download Grunt by going to your folder in the command line and writing

npm install grunt

Now we need some plugins. I'm going to use the watch plugin to check when my files are changed, the compass plugin to compile Compass and the shell plugin to run the Jekyll commands from the Grunt file

Install the 3 plugins with the following commands (when in your project directory)

  1. npm install grunt-contrib-watch
  2. npm install grunt-contrib-compass
  3. npm install grunt-contrib-shell

My Gruntfile.js

// Gruntfile.js
module.exports = function(grunt) {
        pkg: grunt.file.readJSON('package.json'),
        compass: {
            dist: {
                options: {
                    sassDir: 'sass',
                    cssDir: 'stylesheets'
        shell: {
            jekyllBuild: {
                command: 'jekyll build'
            jekyllServe: {
                command: 'jekyll serve'


    grunt.registerTask('watch:test', function() {
        // Configuration for watch:test tasks.
        var config = {
            options: {
            interrupt: true
        post: {
            files: [
              tasks: ['shell:jekyllBuild','shell:jekyllServe']
            tasks: ['compass']

          grunt.config('watch', config);

    grunt.registerTask('default', ['watch:test']);

Notice if I change my SCSS Compass will compile. Otherwise it will just run the Jekyll Build and serve commands. After this just go to your projects folder and type grunt

Negatives of Grunt

It slows things down. jekyll sever --watch is a much better alternative while writing. But for making a production ready version Grunt is the way to go

09 Apr 2014