A beautiful, simple, clean, and responsive Jekyll theme for academics


A simple, clean, and responsive Jekyll theme for academics. If you like the theme, give it a star!

User community

The vibrant community of al-folio users is growing! Academics around the world use this theme for their homepages, blogs, lab pages, as well as webpages for courses, workshops, conferences, meetups, and more. Check out the community webpages below. Feel free to add your own page(s) by sending a PR.

Courses CMU PGM (S-19)
CMU DeepRL (F-19, S-20, F-20, S-21, F-21, S-22)
CMU MMML (F-20, F-22)
CMU AMMML (S-22, S-23)
CMU ASI (S-23)
CMU Distributed Systems (S-21)
Conferences & workshops ICLR Blog Post Track (2023)
ML Retrospectives (NeurIPS: 2019, 2020; ICML: 2020)
HAMLETS (NeurIPS: 2020)
ICBINB (NeurIPS: 2020, 2021)
Neural Compression (ICLR: 2021)
Score Based Methods (NeurIPS: 2022)
Images2Symbols (CogSci: 2022)

Lighthouse PageSpeed Insights

Table Of Contents

Getting started

Want to learn more about Jekyll? Check out this tutorial. Why Jekyll? Read Andrej Karpathy's blog post!


For a hands-on walkthrough of al-folio installation, check out this cool video tutorial by one of the community members! 🎬 🍿

The preferred way of using this template is by clicking in Use this template above the file list. Then, create a new repository at github.com:<your-username>/<your-repo-name>. If you plan to upload your site to <your-github-username>.github.io, note that the name of your repository must be <your-github-username>.github.io or <your-github-orgname>.github.io, as stated in the GitHub pages docs. For more information on how to deploy your site, check the Deployment section below. After you created your new repository, just download it to your machine:

$ git clone [email protected]:<your-username>/<your-repo-name>.git
$ cd <your-repo-name>

You need to take the following steps to get al-folio up and running in your local machine:

  • First, install docker and docker-compose.
  • Finally, run the following command that will pull a pre-built image from DockerHub and will run your website.
$ docker-compose up

Note that when you run it for the first time, it will download a docker image of size 300MB or so.

Now, feel free to customize the theme however you like (don't forget to change the name!). After you are done, you can use the same command (docker-compose up) to render the webpage with all you changes. Also, make sure to commit your final changes.

To change port number, you can edit docker-compose.yml file.

(click to expand) Build your own docker image:

Note: this approach is only necessary if you would like to build an older or very custom version of al-folio.

Build and run a new docker image using:

$ docker-compose -f docker-local.yml up

If you want to update jekyll, install new ruby packages, etc., all you have to do is build the image again using --force-recreate argument at the end of previous command! It will download ruby and jekyll and install all ruby packages again from scratch.

Local Setup (Standard)

Assuming you have Ruby and Bundler installed on your system (hint: for ease of managing ruby gems, consider using rbenv).

$ bundle install
$ bundle exec jekyll serve --lsi

Now, feel free to customize the theme however you like (don't forget to change the name!). After you are done, commit your final changes.


Deploying your website to GitHub Pages is the most popular option. Starting version v0.3.5, al-folio will automatically re-deploy your webpage each time you push new changes to your repository! :sparkles:

For personal and organization webpages:

  1. The name of your repository MUST BE <your-github-username>.github.io or <your-github-orgname>.github.io.
  2. In _config.yml, set url to https://<your-github-username>.github.io and leave baseurl empty.
  3. Set up automatic deployment of your webpage (see instructions below).
  4. Make changes, commit, and push!
  5. After deployment, the webpage will become available at <your-github-username>.github.io.

For project pages:

  1. In _config.yml, set url to https://<your-github-username>.github.io and baseurl to /<your-repository-name>/.
  2. Set up automatic deployment of your webpage (see instructions below).
  3. Make changes, commit, and push!
  4. After deployment, the webpage will become available at <your-github-username>.github.io/<your-repository-name>/.

To enable automatic deployment:

  1. Click on Actions tab and Enable GitHub Actions; do not worry about creating any workflows as everything has already been set for you.
  2. Go to Settings -> Actions -> General -> Workflow permissions, and give Read and write permissions to GitHub Actions
  3. Make any other changes to your webpage, commit, and push. This will automatically trigger the Deploy action.
  4. Wait for a few minutes and let the action complete. You can see the progress in the Actions tab. If completed successfully, in addition to the master branch, your repository should now have a newly built gh-pages branch.
  5. Finally, in the Settings of your repository, in the Pages section, set the branch to gh-pages (NOT to master). For more details, see Configuring a publishing source for your GitHub Pages site.

If you keep your site on another branch, open .github/workflows/deploy.yml on the branch you keep your website on and change on->push->branches and on->pull_request->branches to the branch you keep your website on. This will trigger the action on pulls/pushes on that branch. The action will then deploy the website on the branch it was triggered from.

(click to expand) Manual deployment to GitHub Pages:

If you need to manually re-deploy your website to GitHub pages, go to Actions, click "Deploy" in the left sidebar, then "Run workflow."

(click to expand) Deployment to another hosting server (non GitHub Pages):

If you decide to not use GitHub Pages and host your page elsewhere, simply run:

$ bundle exec jekyll build --lsi

which will (re-)generate the static webpage in the _site/ folder. Then simply copy the contents of the _site/ directory to your hosting server.

Note: Make sure to correctly set the url and baseurl fields in _config.yml before building the webpage. If you are deploying your webpage to your-domain.com/your-project/, you must set url: your-domain.com and baseurl: /your-project/. If you are deploying directly to your-domain.com, leave baseurl blank.

(click to expand) Deployment to a separate repository (advanced users only):

Note: Do not try using this method unless you know what you are doing (make sure you are familiar with publishing sources). This approach allows to have the website's source code in one repository and the deployment version in a different repository.

Let's assume that your website's publishing source is a publishing-source subdirectory of a git-versioned repository cloned under $HOME/repo/. For a user site this could well be something like $HOME/<user>.github.io.

Firstly, from the deployment repo dir, checkout the git branch hosting your publishing source.

Then from the website sources dir (commonly your al-folio fork's clone):

$ bundle exec jekyll build --lsi --destination $HOME/repo/publishing-source

This will instruct jekyll to deploy the website under $HOME/repo/publishing-source.

Note: Jekyll will clean $HOME/repo/publishing-source before building!

The quote below is taken directly from the jekyll configuration docs:

Destination folders are cleaned on site builds

The contents of <destination> are automatically cleaned, by default, when the site is built. Files or folders that are not created by your site will be removed. Some files could be retained by specifying them within the <keep_files> configuration directive.

Do not use an important location for <destination>; instead, use it as a staging area and copy files from there to your web server.

If $HOME/repo/publishing-source contains files that you want jekyll to leave untouched, specify them under keep_files in _config.yml. In its default configuration, al-folio will copy the top-level README.md to the publishing source. If you want to change this behavior, add README.md under exclude in _config.yml.

Note: Do not run jekyll clean on your publishing source repo as this will result in the entire directory getting deleted, irrespective of the content of keep_files in _config.yml.

Upgrading from a previous version

If you installed al-folio as described above, you can configure a GitHub action to automatically sync your repository with the latest version of the theme.

Go to Settings -> Actions -> General -> Workflow permissions, give Read and write permissions to GitHub Actions, check "Allow GitHub Actions to create and approve pull requests", and save your changes.

Then go to Actions -> New workflow -> set up a workflow yourself, setup the following workflow and commit your changes:

name: Sync from template
    # cronjob trigger
  - cron:  "0 0 1 * *"
  # manual trigger
    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
      # To use this repository's private action, you must check out the repository
      - name: Checkout
        uses: actions/checkout@v3
      - name: actions-template-sync
        uses: AndreasAugustin/[email protected]
          github_token: ${{ secrets.GITHUB_TOKEN }}
          source_repo_path: alshedivat/al-folio
          upstream_branch: master

You will receive a pull request within your repository if there are some changes available in the template.

Another option is to manually update your code by following the steps below:

# Assuming the current directory is <your-repo-name>
$ git remote add upstream https://github.com/alshedivat/al-folio.git
$ git fetch upstream
$ git rebase v0.9.0

If you have extensively customized a previous version, it might be trickier to upgrade. You can still follow the steps above, but git rebase may result in merge conflicts that must be resolved. See git rebase manual and how to resolve conflicts for more information. If rebasing is too complicated, we recommend re-installing the new version of the theme from scratch and port over your content and changes from the previous version manually.


Here are some frequently asked questions. If you have a different question, please ask using Discussions.

  1. Q: After I create a new repository from this template and setup the repo, I get a deployment error. Isn't the website supposed to correctly deploy automatically?
    A: Yes, if you are using release v0.3.5 or later, the website will automatically and correctly re-deploy right after your first commit. Please make some changes (e.g., change your website info in _config.yml), commit, and push. Make sure to follow deployment instructions in the previous section. (Relevant issue: 209.)

  2. Q: I am using a custom domain (e.g., foo.com). My custom domain becomes blank in the repository settings after each deployment. How do I fix that?
    A: You need to add CNAME file to the master or source branch of your repository. The file should contain your custom domain name. (Relevant issue: 130.)

  3. Q: My webpage works locally. But after deploying, it is not displayed correctly (CSS and JS is not loaded properly). How do I fix that?
    A: Make sure to correctly specify the url and baseurl paths in _config.yml. Set url to https://<your-github-username>.github.io or to https://<your.custom.domain> if you are using a custom domain. If you are deploying a personal or organization website, leave baseurl blank. If you are deploying a project page, set baseurl: /<your-project-name>/.

  4. Q: Atom feed doesn't work. Why?

    **A:** Make sure to correctly specify the `url` and `baseurl` paths in `_config.yml`. RSS Feed plugin works with these correctly set up fields: `title`, `url`, `description` and `author`. Make sure to fill them in an appropriate way and try again.
  5. Q: My site doesn't work when I enable related_blog_posts. Why?
    A: This is probably due to the classifier reborn plugin, which is used to calculate related posts. If the error states Liquid Exception: Zero vectors can not be normalized..., it means that it could not calculate related posts for a specific post. This is usually caused by empty or minimal blog posts without meaningful words (i.e. only stop words) or even specific characters you used in your posts. Also, the calculus for similar posts are made for every post, which means every page that uses layout: post, including the announcements. To change this behavior, simply add related_posts: false to the front matter of the page you don't want to display related posts on.



Your publications' page is generated automatically from your BibTex bibliography. Simply edit _bibliography/papers.bib. You can also add new *.bib files and customize the look of your publications however you like by editing _pages/publications.md.

(click to expand) Author annotation:

In publications, the author entry for yourself is identified by string array scholar:last_name and string array scholar:first_name in _config.yml:

  last_name: [Einstein]
  first_name: [Albert, A.]

If the entry matches one form of the last names and the first names, it will be underlined. Keep meta-information about your co-authors in _data/coauthors.yml and Jekyll will insert links to their webpages automatically. The co-author data format in _data/coauthors.yml is as follows,

  - firstname: ["Edwin", "E.", "E. P.", "Edwin Plimpton"]
    url: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edwin_Plimpton_Adams

  - firstname: ["Boris", "B.", "B. Y.", "Boris Yakovlevich"]
    url: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boris_Podolsky

  - firstname: ["Nathan", "N."]
    url: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nathan_Rosen

  - firstname: ["Johann Sebastian", "J. S."]
    url: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johann_Sebastian_Bach

  - firstname: ["Carl Philipp Emanuel", "C. P. E."]
    url: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Philipp_Emanuel_Bach

If the entry matches one of the combinations of the last names and the first names, it will be highlighted and linked to the url provided.

(click to expand) Buttons (through custom bibtex keywords):

There are several custom bibtex keywords that you can use to affect how the entries are displayed on the webpage:

  • abbr: Adds an abbreviation to the left of the entry. You can add links to these by creating a venue.yaml-file in the _data folder and adding entries that match.
  • abstract: Adds an "Abs" button that expands a hidden text field when clicked to show the abstract text
  • arxiv: Adds a link to the Arxiv website (Note: only add the arxiv identifier here - the link is generated automatically)
  • bibtex_show: Adds a "Bib" button that expands a hidden text field with the full bibliography entry
  • html: Inserts an "HTML" button redirecting to the user-specified link
  • pdf: Adds a "PDF" button redirecting to a specified file (if a full link is not specified, the file will be assumed to be placed in the /assets/pdf/ directory)
  • supp: Adds a "Supp" button to a specified file (if a full link is not specified, the file will be assumed to be placed in the /assets/pdf/ directory)
  • blog: Adds a "Blog" button redirecting to the specified link
  • code: Adds a "Code" button redirecting to the specified link
  • poster: Adds a "Poster" button redirecting to a specified file (if a full link is not specified, the file will be assumed to be placed in the /assets/pdf/ directory)
  • slides: Adds a "Slides" button redirecting to a specified file (if a full link is not specified, the file will be assumed to be placed in the /assets/pdf/ directory)
  • website: Adds a "Website" button redirecting to the specified link
  • altmetric: Adds an Altmetric badge (Note: if DOI is provided just use true, otherwise only add the altmetric identifier here - the link is generated automatically)
  • dimensions: Adds a Dimensions badge (Note: if DOI or PMID is provided just use true, otherwise only add the Dimensions' identifier here - the link is generated automatically)

You can implement your own buttons by editing the bib.html file.


This Jekyll theme implements collections to let you break up your work into categories. The theme comes with two default collections: news and projects. Items from the news collection are automatically displayed on the home page. Items from the projects collection are displayed on a responsive grid on projects page.

You can easily create your own collections, apps, short stories, courses, or whatever your creative work is. To do this, edit the collections in the _config.yml file, create a corresponding folder, and create a landing page for your collection, similar to _pages/projects.md.


al-folio comes with stylish layouts for pages and blog posts.

The iconic style of Distill

The theme allows you to create blog posts in the distill.pub style:

For more details on how to create distill-styled posts using <d-*> tags, please refer to the example.

Full support for math & code

al-folio supports fast math typesetting through MathJax and code syntax highlighting using GitHub style:


Photo formatting is made simple using Bootstrap's grid system. Easily create beautiful grids within your blog posts and project pages:

Other features

GitHub's repositories and user stats

al-folio uses github-readme-stats and github-profile-trophy to display GitHub repositories and user stats on the /repositories/ page.

Edit the _data/repositories.yml and change the github_users and github_repos lists to include your own GitHub profile and repositories to the /repositories/ page.

You may also use the following codes for displaying this in any other pages.

<!-- code for GitHub users -->
{% if site.data.repositories.github_users %}
<div class="repositories d-flex flex-wrap flex-md-row flex-column justify-content-between align-items-center">
  {% for user in site.data.repositories.github_users %}
    {% include repository/repo_user.html username=user %}
  {% endfor %}
{% endif %}

<!-- code for GitHub trophies -->
{% if site.repo_trophies.enabled %}
{% for user in site.data.repositories.github_users %}
  {% if site.data.repositories.github_users.size > 1 %}
  <h4>{{ user }}</h4>
  {% endif %}
  <div class="repositories d-flex flex-wrap flex-md-row flex-column justify-content-between align-items-center">
  {% include repository/repo_trophies.html username=user %}
{% endfor %}
{% endif %}

<!-- code for GitHub repositories -->
{% if site.data.repositories.github_repos %}
<div class="repositories d-flex flex-wrap flex-md-row flex-column justify-content-between align-items-center">
  {% for repo in site.data.repositories.github_repos %}
    {% include repository/repo.html repository=repo %}
  {% endfor %}
{% endif %}


A variety of beautiful theme colors have been selected for you to choose from. The default is purple, but you can quickly change it by editing the --global-theme-color variable in the _sass/_themes.scss file. Other color variables are listed there as well. The stock theme color options available can be found at _sass/variables.scss. You can also add your own colors to this file assigning each a name for ease of use across the template.

Social media previews

al-folio supports preview images on social media. To enable this functionality you will need to set serve_og_meta to true in your _config.yml. Once you have done so, all your site's pages will include Open Graph data in the HTML head element.

You will then need to configure what image to display in your site's social media previews. This can be configured on a per-page basis, by setting the og_image page variable. If for an individual page this variable is not set, then the theme will fall back to a site-wide og_image variable, configurable in your _config.yml. In both the page-specific and site-wide cases, the og_image variable needs to hold the URL for the image you wish to display in social media previews.

Atom (RSS-like) Feed

It generates an Atom (RSS-like) feed of your posts, useful for Atom and RSS readers. The feed is reachable simply by typing after your homepage /feed.xml. E.g. assuming your website mountpoint is the main folder, you can type yourusername.github.io/feed.xml

By default, there will be a related posts section on the bottom of the blog posts. These are generated by selecting the max_related most recent posts that share at least min_common_tags tags with the current post. If you do not want to display related posts on a specific post, simply add related_posts: false to the front matter of the post. If you want to disable it for all posts, simply set enabled to false in the related_blog_posts section in _config.yml.


Contributions to al-folio are very welcome! Before you get started, please take a look at the guidelines.

If you would like to improve documentation, add your webpage to the list below, or fix a minor inconsistency or bug, please feel free to send a PR directly to master. For more complex issues/bugs or feature requests, please open an issue using the appropriate template.


Our most active contributors are welcome to join the maintainers team. If you are interested, please reach out!


Rohan Deb Sarkar

Amir Pourmand



The theme is available as open source under the terms of the MIT License.

Originally, al-folio was based on the *folio theme (published by Lia Bogoev and under the MIT license). Since then, it got a full re-write of the styles and many additional cool features.