10.1 Get started

You can install blogdown from CRAN. If you want to test the development version, you may also install it from GitHub:

# from CRAN

# or the development version from GitHub

The easiest way to get started with a blogdown-based website is to create a website project from RStudio: File -> New Project. If you do not use RStudio, you may call the function blogdown::new_site().

The first time when you create a new website, blogdown will do a series of things behind the scenes: it downloads Hugo (the default static site generator), creates a website skeleton, installs a theme, adds some example posts, builds the site, and serves it so that you can see the website in your browser (or RStudio Viewer if you are in RStudio). It will not go through all these steps again the next time when you work on this website. All you need in the future is blogdown::serve_site(), or equivalently, the RStudio addin “Serve Site”.

Every time you open a website project, you only need to serve the site once, and blogdown will keep running in the background, listening to changes in your source files, and rebuilding the website automatically. All you have to do is create new posts, or edit existing posts, and save them. You will see the automatic live preview as you save the changes (unless you have errors in a source document).

There are a few RStudio addins to help you author your posts: you can use the “New Post” addin to create a new post, the “Update Metadata” addin to update the YAML metadata of a post, and the “Insert Image” addin to insert an image in a post.