Creating & editing blog posts with markdown and GitHub

Table of contents

Process overview

  1. Create the blog post file
  2. Create a pull request
  3. Confirm via the preview deployment site that everything is looking good (the deploy/netlify — Deploy preview ready! link in the checks section)
  4. Request a review from the editor who reviewed your draft

Adding a blog post

Add a blog post by creating a Markdown file in one of the blogposts child directories using the following template as a starting point:

---
title: The title
description: A 300 character limit field for describing your post. Use this is you want to specially craft the excerpt shown on the index page. Uses the first 300 characters of text from your post if this field does not exist.
author: The author name
authorUrl: https://example.com/
publishDate: YYYY-MM-DDT10:00-07:00
tags: [blog]
slug: the-blog-slug
heroImage: /blog/thumbnail-image.jpg
socialImage: Use to set large social image i.e.  https://about.sourcegraph.com/blog/sourcegraph-social-img.png
canonical: Use to override the canonical link i.e. https://www.fastcompany.com/90565930/im-deaf-and-this-is-what-happens-when-i-get-on-a-zoom-call
published: true
---

Your markdown content goes here

The data between the --- is called front matter and is used to provide post metadata. Important to note about this metadata, is that:

  • The description field is optional and only needed if you want to craft the description for your post on the blog the index page.
  • The authorUrl field is optional but recommended.
  • The tags field should be left as blog until we incorporate filtering posts va tags.
  • The publishDate field must be in the exact format above. Don’t worry about the time, just change the date.
  • As long as published is true, your post will be visible, even if the value of publishDate is set in the future.
  • The canonical field is optional and only required to override the canonical link. Important for cross-posting blogs from personal blogs or published news sites. By default, set to https://about.sourcegraph.com/blog/the-blog-slug.
  • The socialImage field is optional. Use the full path to image in order to be read properly on Twitter and Facebook. Ideal image size: 1,200 x 628 pixels. Latest social size guidelines.

Adding images and other media

Sizing images

  • Make images as small as possible (aim for less than 200Kb).
  • Images should be no larger than 1600px wide (if you want @2x retina quality) but often, this isn’t needed and 800px is fine.
  • JPEG images should be compressed at no larger than 80% quality to reduce file size.
  • The ImageOptim app and CLI is great for significantly reducing the size of PNG files and JPEG files.

Uploading images

  • If you do not have a custom hero or social image, use this default hero image.
  • Small images can be placed in the website/static/blog directory and have the url of /blog/example-image.jpg in your markdown.
  • Large images, GIFs, and other binary assets should be uploaded to the sourcegraph-assets Google Cloud Storage bucket. You can use the UI uploader at https://console.cloud.google.com/storage/browser/sourcegraph-assets/blog or you can use the CLI with gsutil cp local/path/to/myasset.png gs://sourcegraph-assets/, with the image src being https://sourcegraphstatic.com/blog/myasset.png.
    • Note: You may need to request permission to upload files to the GCP bucket. If you see an error message that additional permissions are required, you can ask for help in #it-tech-ops on Slack.
  • Please use lower case letters and hyphens instead of spaces in folder and image names:
Yes
  • api-docs-hero.png
No
  • API docs hero.png

YouTube video embed code

Uses Bootstrap for responsive sizing and adequate whitespace between adjacent elements, and that only Sourcegraph videos are shown on the end screen.

<div class="container my-4 video-embed embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9">
  <iframe
    class="embed-responsive-item"
    src="https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/${YOUTUBE_ID}?autoplay=0&amp;cc_load_policy=0&amp;start=0&amp;end=0&amp;loop=0&amp;controls=1&amp;modestbranding=0&amp;rel=0"
    allowfullscreen=""
    allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture"
    frameborder="0"
  ></iframe>
</div>

Adding a screenshot or screen recording

You can read about embedding GIFs and videos here.

Previewing your blog post

It’s recommended to run the development site to preview your blog post locally.

Once your pull request is created, you can preview your blog post through the netlify build. To do so:

  • In your PR, on the ‘conversation’ tab
  • Find the checks at the bottom
  • Find the deploy/netlify check and click the details link
  • This will open a build of the Sourcegraph marketing website
  • Add /blog to the end of the url

Publishing your post

Once your pull request has been approved and merged, a new build of the production site will be triggered and your post will be live in 5 minutes.

Troubleshooting: If your blog post is not appearing on the blog index page

If you’re not seeing your blog post on the index page, check that:

  • Your blog post file has a .md file extension
  • That it’s in a child directory of the blogposts directory
  • That your frontmatter data matches that of the template, e.g., make sure the publishDate format is correct

Editing blog posts

Fixing, editing, and updating a blog post on about.sourcegraph.com is easy, can be done in minutes, and does not require running code locally.

This video shows the process from start to finish, although only those with repository push access will be able to squash and merge the change.

Watch on YouTube