Group Jekyll Posts into Collections

Jekyll offers tools to publish blog posts to your website but misses an important thing: separate posts into categories. You can add tags to your posts, but in the end, they will still end up in a single long list.

I write the majority of my blog posts in English but wanted to start a new series written in Dutch. After a quick search on the Internet, I found a way to separate this new series and my default post library. The nice thing is that the solution is already implemented: Jekyll Collections! Collections allow you to group related content. Think about people on a team page, your talks at a conference or - in my case - a series of posts in a different language.

The end result is a new page on my website that holds all articles related to my series. Here’s how I did it:

A new collection

The first step is to create a new collection in your Jekyll site. You can do this by adding a new collection to the root of your _config.yml. My new collection’s name is “ask”.

collections:
  ask:
    output: true

I’ve added output: true as option for my new collection, to ensure posts in this collection render on my website.

The next step is to create a new directory that holds all content for this series. This works the same as for the built-in Posts.

In the root of your website, create a new directory with the same name as your collection and prefix it with an underscore. In my case, the name of this directory is _ask.

The collection’s layout

Now that the basics are in place, you need a new page to show the content of your new collection. You can design the new page from scratch, or use a similar layout as your normal page for Posts. I’ve done the latter and copy-and-pasted my Posts archive into the new page. Check out the Jekyll Docs for all information on how to build pages, layouts and posts.

Set the permalink (optional)

You can do one more thing for the content in your new series: set the permalink. The permalink is the generated URL for each piece of content in your new series. By default, Jekyll adds the name of the directory as prefix to a piece of content. In my case, posts are accessible via /ask/<post title>. Because I will transfer posts to my new series and want to keep the same link, I need to overwrite the permalink. The Jekyll website has good documentation on how to create your own permalinks. You can add the permalink option to the collection settings in your _config.yml:

collections:
  ask:
    output: true
    permalink: /:title

This syntax for permalinks makes each piece of content accessible from the root of my website. That results in links like https://<your website>/<new series content>.

Photo by JJ Ying on Unsplash

And that’s it! A simple and effective way to separate a series of posts from your default Posts archive. I hope it helps you too!

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