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10 April 2013


I had this weird requirement to have seperate pagination templates that are different from my homepage. I know, weird right? No it’s true! It turns out that Jekyll pagination is pretty simplified, and whilst it offers a certain level of flexibility, it’s flexibility that doesn’t make any sense.

The pagination guide within the jekyll documentation is pretty complete, however it fails to mention that it expects you to use the /index.html file as the template for generating all pagination templates, and that /index.html would be page 1. Since I didn’t want that functionality exactly, I came up with another solution.


The way that Jekyll generates the pagination by default is to first enter in the pagination configuration in _config.yml

paginate: 10

And then it will generate pagination, using /index.html as the template, within the site paths of /page2/, /page3/, /page4/ and so forth, using /index.html as the page 1.

However, as you can tell from my pagination this wasn’t the behaviour I wanted, but i did find a way around it.


There is a little documented option in Jekyll that I found in an old pull request that added the config option of paginate_path to the scope. This allows you to specify the path in which the paginated pages should be generated, using :num to represent the actual number. It will still generate them as directories, so hoping for nice .html extensions is a bit much.

So I entered:

paginate: 10
paginate_path: posts/page:num

I had created a specific template for pagination within posts/index.html, as I had found out that the pagination site variable was only available on templates with index.html as the filename.

So, now I had the first page being generated, and all the other pages were being generated off the root index.html template, which was not what I wanted.

My solution to this was a little hacky, and was to create a partial in _includes/custom/pagination and include that in the pagination template using:

{% include custom/pagination %}

And finally enter into the root /index.html an if statement that meant if it thought it was being generated in the scope of a page2, page3, etc - it would include the partial template:

{% if != 1 %}
  {% include custom/pagination %}
{% else %}
<div class="page-header">....
{% endif %}

And that was it, awkward, but at least it does what I want it to do now.


As much as I’m liking Jekyll, it honestly feels like I’m engaged in some kind of extended boxing match with it, trying to outwit it. Now, granted, there are many plugins available that will make Jekyll sing and dance and do what I want it to do, as well as being written in ruby so that i could write plugins myself, but this isn’t an option when you’re hosting on GitHub Pages - unless you want to generate the site prior to pushing to github, and that’s not an option for me.

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