Settings that affect your entire site can be changed in Jekyll’s configuration file: _config.yml, found in the root of your project.

Note: for technical reasons, _config.yml is NOT reloaded automatically when used with jekyll serve. If you make any changes to this file, please restart the server process for them to be applied.

Take a moment to look over the configuration file included with the theme. Comments have been added to provide examples and default values for most settings. Detailed explanations of each can be found below.

Site Settings

Site Locale

site.locale is used to declare the primary language for each web page within the site.

Example: locale: "en-US" sets the lang attribute for the site to the United States flavor of English, while en-GB would be for the United Kingdom style of English. Country codes are optional and the shorter locale: "en" is also acceptable. To find your language and country codes check this reference table.

Properly setting the locale is important for associating localized text found in the UI Text data file. An improper match will cause parts of the UI to disappear (eg. button labels, section headings, etc).

Note: The theme comes with localized text in English (en, en-US, en-GB). If you change locale in _config.yml to something else, most of the UI text will go blank. Be sure to add the corresponding locale key and translated text to _data/ui-text.yml to avoid this.

Site Title

The name of your site. Is used throughout the theme in places like the site masthead and <title> tags.

Example: title: "My Awesome Site"

You also have the option of customizing the separation character used in SEO-friendly page titles.

Example: title_separator: "|" would produce page titles like Sample Page | My Awesome Site.

Site Name

Used to assign a site author. Don’t worry, you can override the site author with different ones on specific posts, pages, or collection documents.

Example: name: "Michael Rose".

ProTip: If you want to get crafty with your YAML you can use anchors to reuse values. For example foo: &var "My String" allows you to reuse "My String" elsewhere in _config.yml like so… bar: *var. You’ll see a few examples of this in the provided Jekyll config.

Site Description

Fairly obvious. site.description describes the site. Used predominantly in meta descriptions as part of SEO efforts.

Example: description: "A flexible Jekyll theme for your blog or site with a minimalist aesthetic."

Site URL

The base hostname and protocol for your site. If you’re hosting with GitHub Pages this will be something like url: "" or url: "" if you have a custom domain name.

Note: It’s important to remember that when testing locally you need to change the site.url. Ideally you’d use multiple config files with bundle exec jekyll serve --config _config.yml, to apply development overrides. Simply commenting out the line works as well # url: "". Just remember to uncomment it before pushing or else you’ll have broken assets and links all over the place!

ProTip: To force GitHub hosted sites to redirect http traffic to https use a service like Cloudflare.

Site Base URL

This little option causes all kinds of confusion in the Jekyll community. If you’re not hosting your site as a GitHub Pages Project or in a subfolder (eg: /blog), then don’t mess with it.

In the case of the Minimal Mistakes demo site it’s hosted on GitHub at To correctly set this base path I’d use url: "" and baseurl: "/minimal-mistakes".

For more information on how to properly use site.url and site.baseurl as intended by the Jekyll maintainers, check Parker Moore’s post on the subject.

Note: When using baseurl remember to include it as part of your path when testing your site locally. Values of url: and baseurl: "/blog" would make your local site visible at http://localhost:4000/blog and not http://localhost:4000.

Site Default Teaser Image

To assign a fallback teaser image used in the “Related Posts” module, place a graphic in the /images/ directory and add the filename to _config.yml like so:

teaser: "500x300.png"

This image can be overridden at anytime by applying the following to a document’s YAML Front Matter.

  teaser: my-awesome-post-teaser.jpg
teaser image example
Example of teaser images found in the related posts module.

Enable breadcrumb links to help visitors better navigate deep sites. Because of the fragile method of implementing them they don’t always produce accurate links reliably. For best results:

  1. Use a category based permalink structure e.g. permalink: /:categories/:title/
  2. Manually create pages for each category or use a plugin like jekyll-archives to auto-generate them. If these pages don’t exist breadcrumb links to them will be broken.

breadcrumb navigation example

breadcrumbs: true  # disabled by default

Breadcrumb start link text and separator character can both be changed in the UI Text data file.

Reading Time

Enable estimated reading time snippets with read_time: true in YAML Front Matter. 200 has been set as the default words per minute value — which can be changed by adjusting words_per_minutes: in _config.yml.

reading time example

Instead of adding read_time: true to each post, apply as a default in _config.yml like so:

  # _posts
  - scope:
      path: ""
      type: posts
      read_time: true

To disable reading time for a post, add read_time: false its YAML Front Matter to override what was set in _config.yml.


Commenting for Disqus, Discourse, Facebook, and Google+ are built into the theme. First set the comment provider you’d like to use:

Name Comment Provider
disqus Disqus
discourse Discourse
facebook Facebook Comments
google-plus Google+ Comments
custom Other

Then add comments: true to each document you want comments visible on.

Instead of adding YAML Front Matter to each document, apply as a default in _config.yml. To enable comments for all posts:

  # _posts
  - scope:
      path: ""
      type: posts
      comments: true

If you add comments: false to a post’s YAML Front Matter it will override the default and disable comments for just that post.


To use Disqus you’ll need to create an account and shortname. Once you have both update _config.yml to:

  provider: "disqus"
    shortname: "your-disqus-shortname"

For guidance on how to set up Discourse for embedding comments from a topic on a post page, consult this guide.

  provider               : "discourse"
    server               : #
Facebook Comments

To enable Facebook Comments choose how many comments you’d like visible per post and the color scheme of the widget.

  provider               : "facebook"
    appid                : # optional
    num_posts            : # 5 (default)
    colorscheme          : # "light" (default), "dark"
Other Comment Providers

To use another provider not included with the theme set provider: "custom" then add their embed code to _includes/comments-providers/custom.html.

SEO, Social Sharing, and Analytics Settings

All optional, but a good idea to take the time setting up to improve SEO and links shared from the site.

Google Search Console

Formerly known as Google Webmaster Tools, add your verification code like so: google_site_verification: "yourVerificationCode".

Note: You likely won’t have to do this if you verify site ownership through Google Analytics instead.

Bing Webmaster Tools

There are several ways to verify site ownership — the easiest adding an authentication code to your config file.

Copy and paste the string inside of content:

<meta name="msvalidate.01" content="0FC3FD70512616B052E755A56F8952D" />

Into _config.yml

bing_site_verification: "0FC3FD70512616B052E755A56F8952D"


To claim your site with Alexa add the provided verification ID alexa_site_verification: "yourVerificationID".


To verify site ownership copy and paste the string inside of name:

<meta name='yandex-verification' content='2132801JL' />

Into _config.yml

yandex_site_verification: "2132801JL"

Twitter Cards and Facebook Open Graph

To improve the appearance of links shared from your site to social networks like Twitter and Facebook be sure to configure the following.

Site Twitter Username

Twitter username for the site. For pages that have custom author Twitter accounts assigned in their YAML Front Matter or data file, they will be attributed as a creator in the Twitter Card.

For example if my site’s Twitter account is @mmistakes-theme I would add the following to _config.yml

  username: "mmistakes-theme"

And if I assign @mmistakes as an author account it will appear in the Twitter Card along with @mmistakes-theme, attributed as a creator of the page being shared.

Note: You need to apply for Twitter Cards and validate they’re working on your site before they will begin showing up.

Facebook Open Graph

If you have a Facebook ID or publisher page add them:

  app_id:  # A Facebook app ID
  publisher:  # A Facebook page URL or ID of the publishing entity

While not part a part of Open Graph, you can also add your Facebook username for use in the sidebar and footer.

  username: "michaelrose"  #

ProTip: To debug Open Graph data use this tool to test your pages. If content changes aren’t reflected you will probably have to hit the Fetch new scrape information button to refresh.

Open Graph Default Image

For pages that don’t have a header.image assigned in their YAML Front Matter, site.og_image will be used as a fallback. Use your logo, icon, avatar or something else that is meaningful. Just make sure it is place in the /images/ folder, a minimum size of 120px by 120px, and less than 1MB in file size.

og_image: "site-logo.png"
Twitter Card summary example
Example of a image placed in a Summary Card.

Documents who have a header.image assigned in their YAML Front Matter will appear like this when shared on Twitter and Facebook.

page shared on Twitter
Shared page on Twitter with header image assigned.
page shared on Facebook
Shared page on Facebook with header image assigned.
Include your social profile in search results

Use markup on your official website to add your social profile information to the Google Knowledge panel in some searches. Knowledge panels can prominently display your social profile information.

  type:  # Person or Organization (defaults to Person)
  name:  # If the user or organization name differs from the site's name
    - ""
    - ""
    - ""
    - ""
    - ""


Analytics is disabled by default. To enable globally select one of the following:

Name Analytics Provider
google Google Standard Analytics
google-universal Google Universal Analytics
custom Other analytics providers

For Google Analytics add your Tracking Code:

  provider: "google-universal"
    tracking_id: "UA-1234567-8"

To use another provider not included with the theme set provider: "custom" then add their embed code to _includes/analytics-providers/custom.html.

Site Author

Used as the defaults for defining what appears in the author sidebar.

author sidebar example

Note: For sites with multiple authors these values can be overridden post by post with custom YAML Front Matter and a data file. For more information on how that works see below.

  name   : "Your Name"
  avatar : "bio-photo.jpg"  # placed in /images/
  bio    : "My awesome biography constrained to a sentence or two goes here."
  email  : # optional
  uri    : ""

Social media links are all optional, include the ones you want visible. In most cases you just need to add the username. If you’re unsure double check _includes/author-profile.html to see how the URL is constructed.

To add social media links not included with the theme or customize the author sidebar further, read the full layout documentation.

Reading Files

Nothing out of the ordinary here. include and exclude may be the only things you need to alter.

Conversion and Markdown Processing

Again nothing out of the ordinary here as the theme adheres to the defaults used by GitHub Pages. Kramdown for Markdown conversion, Rouge syntax highlighting, and incremental building disabled. Change them if you need to.

Front Matter Defaults

To save yourself time setting Front Matter Defaults for posts, pages, and collections is the way to go. Sure you can assign layouts and toggle settings like reading time, comments, and social sharing in each file, but that’s not ideal.

Using the default key in _config.yml you could set the layout and enable author profiles, reading time, comments, social sharing, and related posts for all posts — in one shot.

  # _posts
  - scope:
      path: ""
      type: posts
      layout: single
      author_profile: true
      read_time: true
      comments: true
      share: true
      related: true

Pages Front Matter defaults can be scoped like this:

  # _pages
  - scope:
      path: ""
      type: pages
      layout: single

And collections like this:

  # _foo
  - scope:
      path: ""
      type: foo
      layout: single

And of course any default value can be overridden by settings in a post, page, or collection file. All you need to do is specify the settings in the YAML Front Matter. For more examples be sure to check out the demo site’s _config.yml.


The default permalink style used by the theme is permalink: /:categories/:title/. If you have a post named with categories: foo in the YAML Front Matter, Jekyll will generate _site/foo/my-post/index.html.

Note: If you plan on enabling breadcrumb links — including category names in permalinks is a big part of how those are created.


If using pagination on the homepage you can change the amount of posts shown with:

paginate: 5

You’ll also need to include some Liquid and HTML to properly use the paginator, which you can find in the Layouts section under Home Page.


This sets the timezone environment variable, which Ruby uses to handle time and date creation and manipulation. Any entry from the IANA Time Zone Database is valid. The default is the local time zone, as set by your operating system.

timezone: America/New_York


When hosting with GitHub Pages a small set of gems have been whitelisted for use. The theme uses a few of them which can be found under gems. Additional settings and configurations are documented in the links below.

Plugin Description
jekyll-paginate Pagination Generator for Jekyll.
jekyll-sitemap Jekyll plugin to silently generate a compliant sitemap for your Jekyll site.
jekyll-gist Liquid tag for displaying GitHub Gists in Jekyll sites.
jekyll-feed A Jekyll plugin to generate an Atom (RSS-like) feed of your Jekyll posts.
jemoji GitHub-flavored emoji plugin for Jekyll.

If you’re hosting elsewhere then you don’t really have to worry about what is whitelisted as you are free to include whatever Jekyll plugins you desire.

Archive Settings

The theme ships with support for taxonomy (category and tag) pages. GitHub Pages hosted sites need to use a Liquid only approach while those hosted elsewhere can use plugins like jekyll-archives to generate these pages automatically.

The default type is set to use Liquid.

Note: category_archive and tag_archive were previously named categories and tags. Names were changed to avoid possible conflicts with site.categories and site.tags.

  type: liquid
  path: /categories/
  type: liquid
  path: /tags/

Which would create category and tag links in the breadcrumbs and page meta like: /categories/#foo and /tags/#foo.

Note: for these links to resolve properly, category and tag index pages need to exist at /categories/index.html and /tags/index.html. The necessary Liquid code to build these pages can be taken from the demo site.

If you have the luxury of using Jekyll Plugins then jekyll-archives will make your life much easier as category and tag pages are created for you.

Change type to jekyll-archives and apply the following configurations:

  type: jekyll-archives
  path: /categories/
  type: jekyll-archives
  path: /tags/
    - categories
    - tags
    category: archive-taxonomy
    tag: archive-taxonomy
    category: /categories/:name/
    tag: /tags/:name/

Note: The archive-taxonomy layout used by jekyll-archives is provided with the theme and can be found in the _layouts folder.

HTML Compression

If you care at all about performance (and really who doesn’t) compressing the HTML files generated by Jekyll is a good thing to do.

If you’re hosting with GitHub Pages there aren’t many options afforded to you for optimizing the HTML Jekyll generates. Thankfully there is some Liquid wizardry you can use to strip whitespace and comments to reduce file size.

There’s a variety of configurations and cavets to using the compress layout, so be sure to read through the documentation if you decide to make change the defaults set in the theme’s _config.yml.

  clippings: all
    envs: development  # disable compression in dev environment

Caution: Inline JavaScript comments can cause problems with compress.html, so be sure to /* comment this way */ and avoid // these sorts of comments.