This repo is no longer maintained. I'm happy to approve pull requests but I'm not personally working on this theme any longer, it has been replaced by my Slim Pickins Hugo Theme

Live Demo HERE

Slim Pickins is what I consider to be a minimal 'core' theme with everything I need to quickly develop new themes for Jekyll.

Basic features include:

  • Jekyll 3.0 compatible
  • SASS
  • Minimal Zurb Foundation 6 Integration
    • Responsive grid
    • Visibility classes
  • Responsive navigation
  • Optional full-width banner
  • Sticky footer
  • Javascript free
  • Custom Rakefile with tasks for deploying and notifying search engines about updates
  • image_optim plugin to optimize all images
  • Basic SEO


Includes the following variables:

Base Colors

  • $primary-color
  • $secondary-color
  • $complimentary-color
  • $body-bg
  • $body-font-color


  • link-color
  • link-hover-color
  • link-visited-color


  • $base-font-family
  • $base-font-size
  • $small-font-size
  • $base-line-height

Navbar Settings

  • $navbar-height
  • $navbar-color
  • $navbar-text-color
  • $navbar-hover-color
  • $navbar-active-color
  • $navbar-font-size
  • $navbar-font-family

Socials Navbar Settings

  • $socials-font-color
  • $socials-font-size


  • $spacing-unit


  • $footer-height
  • $footer-color


Uses minimal sass from Zurb Foundation:

A fully responsive navigation bar with the following features:

  • 2 navigation areas
    • Left - Primary navigation
    • Right - Social media links
  • Both navigation areas are populated using Jekyll 'data' files, nav.yml and socials.yml respectively
  • Ability to create 'external' links that link offsite while still using socials.yml to do so
  • Easily customizable text, link, and background colors using the supplied sass variables

This theme is configured with a 'wrap' of 1920px so banner images look best at that width.

First it checks a pages yaml frontmatter for the header image, if none is found then it checks for a site-wide default in your config.yml, if none is found then no banner image is displayed.

Site-Wide You can set a site-wide default banner image by adding the following to your _config.yml: header_image: "path/to/image.jpg"

Per Page You can also override it per page by adding the following code to a pages yaml front matter: header_image: path/to/image.jpg

I like my footers to stay on the bottom of the page no matter what. You can easily edit the size and color using the supplied sass variables.


The only thing in the theme that uses Javascript is the optional use of google analytics.


Includes the following custom tasks:

  • notify - pings google and bing to notify them about changes to the site/sitemap

These tasks have been bundled into custom build and deploy tasks

  • build - runs jekyll build followed by minify_html
  • deploy - runs s3_website push and then notify


  • Custom image_optim plugin will optimize all images in the /images folder and any subdirectories
  • Cache file is created on the first run so that only updated/new images are optimized


  • Google Analytics*

    • *Uses Javascript
    • just add your google_universal_analytics ID to the _config.yml file.
  • Facebook Open Graph Fill out the following in your config.yml

      facebook_app_id:                      #enter your App ID
      facebook_locale: en_US
      facebook_page:                        #the URL of your Facebook Page
      facebook_image:            #enter a default image (at least 200x200px) to use here for posts/pages that don't have one.    
  • Twitter Cards Fill out the following in your config.yml

      twitter_card: true
      twitter_image:              #enter a default image (at least 200x200px) to use here for posts/pages that don't have one.
  • Sitewide description/keywords

    • Edit the description in your config.yml and it will be used as the default description in the metadata for every page/post.
    • Add Keywords: some, bunch, of random keywords to your config.yml and it will be used as the default keywords in the metadata for every post/page.
    • Set specific keywords per page/post (override the sitewide defaults) by adding them to the front matter of any page/post.
      • Example:
Title: Example Post
Description: Some Yaml Frontmatter to show what's what.
Keywords: Example, Zim, this is only a test

Basic Use

For now it's best to start fresh or install the them and then transfer over any old files (posts, images, etc) from your old site.

  • Git clone this repo, cd into the directory and run bundle install --binstubs --path=vendor to install the required dependencies.
  • Edit your config.yml file
    • Change the title and description at a minimum.
  • Update your navigation
    • edit the _data/nav.yml file as needed
  • Update your social links
    • edit the _data/socials.yml file as needed


I use S3 to host my site and the s3_website plugin to deploy, if you don't do both of these, delete the s3_website.yml file and edit the deploy raketask to fit your needs.

If you plan on using S3 make sure you edit the configs:

  • FIRST - add the s3_website.yml file to your gitignore so your credentials don't end up on the web.
  • s3_website.yml
    • add your s3_id. s3_secret, and s3_bucket
  • Update the Rakefile notify task to use your url
    • replace site = "" with your actual url.


The blog posts included are duplicated from my actual blog and are the documentation of how I created this theme. From starting with a fresh Jekyll installation to the final product.