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Trying out Zola


For nearly two years I have been inactive on my blog despite spending time making a fancy website, but I can no longer afford the extra code to maintain and infrastructure work to keep it running. So I decided to move the posts I had on the old website to a statically generated one while waiting for the CI to pass during the gtk-rs hackfest.

One of the annoyances I had with static websites generators is that they were too slow. Add to that Jekyll is written in Ruby and it was too difficult to get any rubygem installed on my machine.

Enters Zola

Per the project description, Zola is a "A fast static site generator in a single binary with everything built-in".


The installation process is pretty easy using cargo

cargo install zola

You could also use the pre-built binaries if you want to avoid waiting a bit of time for everything to compile locally, see

Once Zola is installed, you can initialize a new project:

zola init my-new-blog

To run the web server and test your changes:

zola serve

Then you either have the choice to write your template/theme based on your needs or if you want something that just works like me, you will probably be served by

Writing process

That would depend on the theme you ended up picking, in the case of Serene, all I had to do is create a blog directory inside content and add a markdown file for each post.

A very helpful feature I noticed while porting my articles to markdown, that validates all the links on your posts is

zola check


The simplest way of publishing a static website nowadays is to use something like Github/Gitlab Pages. The documentation got you covered as they include the yaml receipe for the popular services out there

Although, when using the Github receipe, it seems there is an error in the documentation and you will have to do the following change for it to work

-           TOKEN: ${{ secrets.GITHUB_TOKEN }}
+           TOKEN: $GITHUB_ACTOR:${{ secrets.GITHUB_TOKEN }}


As you might have noticed, I managed to migrate all the content I had on the old website a few hours after installing Zola for the first time. The whole process is pretty smooth if you are familiar with static website generators.

If you are looking for a Jekyll/Hugo replacement, I highly recommend you to give Zola a try.

This work is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0.