Adding categories to a Jekyll blog isn’t hard but there are a few things to remember to do. During my first attempts at adding categories I figured that they must work the same as tags and I approached the implementation on that basis. I was wrong though, they don’t work the same way.

After adding categories you get some new urls in this form:

Posts which are assigned to this category will then have URLs with that as a prefix.

These could then be added to a header to allow users to view different categories of posts on your site.

Here’s my solution.

Create the category file structure

For each category you add a subdirectory of your project root directory named after that category.


Add an index for each category

In each of these category directories you create an index.html which contains something like this:

layout: base
title:  Category Title
{{ "{%" }} for post in site.categories.categoryN %}
   {{ "{%" }} include summary.html %}
{{ "{%" }} endfor %}

Critical thing to remember is that the line {{ "{%" }} for post in site.categories.category1 %} has to refer to the directory name that the index.html is in. So in this case that would be “categoryN”.

Create a post summary include

Notice in the index.html file there is an include of summary.html. That file looks like this:

<article class="excerpt">
  <div class="meta-title">
    <h3 class="clear"> <a href="{{ post.url }}" title="{{ "{{" }} post.title }}">{{ "{{" }} post.title }}</a>
    <small>{{ "{{" }} | date_to_long_string }}</small>
    {{ "{%" }} for tag in post.tags %}
      <a href="/tags/#{{ "{{" }} tag }}"><span class="badge">{{ "{{" }} tag }}</span></a>
    {{ "{%" }} endfor %}
  <div class="post-content">
    <p>{{ "{{" }} post.content | strip_html | truncatewords: 100 }}</p>

So now what you have is an index.html which iterates over all the posts in the category. For each post it outputs the title, data and first 100 words of the content.

Add “categories” to your posts

Now you can assign categories to each of your blog posts by adding this to the header:

categories: [category1, ..., categoryN]

On the site I used this one I chose to only assign on category per post but there is nothing stopping you from assigning multiple categories per post.

Add some flair

Finally you could add some flair so that people can see what category a post is assigned to. Wherever you output a post title you add something like this in before it:

{{ "{%" }} for category in post.categories %}
  {{ "{%" }} if category == 'pc' %}
     <span class="label label-primary"><i class="fa fa-wrench"></i></span>
  {{ "{%" }} elsif category == 'gaming' %}
     <span class="label label-warning"><i class="fa fa-gamepad"></i></span>
  {{ "{%" }} elsif category == 'running' %}
     <span class="label label-success"><i class="fa fa-trophy"></i></span>
  {{ "{%" }} endif %}
{{ "{%" }} endfor %}