Jekyll’s documentation is overall pretty solid, but each time I do something I always feel like there’s one or two things I wish I’d known. So each time I modify this blog, I’ll probably write a post that’s essentially “what I wish I’d had when I set out to do x”

In this case, I finally have enough posts that it feels worthwhile to have pagination. Jekyll has a page on “how to page” and at first glance it seems if you just add

paginate: 5

to your _config.yml it’ll just work like magic. It’s not that easy, but it’s still pretty easy.

To break it down into steps, it’s

1. Add Pagination Configs to Your Config

Technically all you need to add in your _config.yml is the paginate keyword which controls how many posts per page, but unless you add a custom paginate_path: it’ll default to paginate_path: "/page:num/" which will render page2, page3, .... I went with the following

paginate: 5
paginate_path: "/page_:num/"

probably because I’m a Python guy. I like my underscores.

2. Make Sure You Have an index.html

By default, Jekyll projects come with an which will cause you to get the following warning in your logs

Pagination: Pagination is enabled, but I couldn't find an index.html page to use as the pagination template. Skipping pagination.

Luckily, you can just change the name of to index.html and unless you’ve heavily modified it, it should get rid of the error immediately. My index.html is literally just

layout: home

3. Change the Way You Render Posts

On your home page you likely have something that looks like

{%- for post in site.posts -%}
  // render posts
{%- endfor -%}

By replacing site with paginator our site will start automatically rendering n posts per page where n is the value you set in your _config.yml

  {%- for post in paginator.posts -%}
  // render posts
  {%- endfor -%}

This one you can take directly from the Jekyll documentation linked above. It creates links to newer and older posts if there are newer or older posts available

<!-- Pagination links -->
<div class="pagination">
  {% if paginator.previous_page %}
    <a href="{{ paginator.previous_page_path }}" class="previous">
  {% else %}
    <span class="previous">Previous</span>
  {% endif %}
  <span class="page_number ">
    Page: {{ }} of {{ paginator.total_pages }}
  {% if paginator.next_page %}
    <a href="{{ paginator.next_page_path }}" class="next">Next</a>
  {% else %}
    <span class="next ">Next</span>
  {% endif %}

If there aren’t older posts, it’ll just add the text Next but it won’t be clickable. That’s something you can choose to fix in CSS if you like. You can also change what the link text is, I went with Older --> and <-- Newer.

Personally, it bothers me that the Newer text is there on the first page, and that the Older text is there on the last page. I’d rather not see them at all. Unfortunately, if you just choose not to render anything, the links will move around because of spacing. There’s plenty of ways around this, but I personally like this one.

The code already knows whether or not there is a page to go to, so the conditional is already taken care of. All we need to do is add a custom class to the ones we want to hide

<span class="next next-hidden">Older --&#62;</span>

And then by updating the CSS to the following

.pagination {
  display: flex;
  justify-content: center;

.previous {
  margin-right: 5em;

.previous-hidden {
  visibility: hidden;

.next {
  margin-left: 5em;

.next-hidden {
  visibility: hidden;

we can use the visibility: hidden to keep the spacing that the link provides without seeing anything. The result is that the buttons remain in the same place. Now we don’t see a link to Newer posts on the first page or a link to Older posts in the last page.

I’d upload screenshots, but since you’re on the blog you can just navigate around to see how it works!