Distill for R Markdown

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Created using Distill

This website was created using Distill for R Markdown, a web publishing format optimised for scientific and technical communication.

Key advantages

  • R markdown to run R code (and all the possibility that brings)
  • Use markdown / html interchangeably
  • No dependency on Hugo or Jekyll, so no lock-in or need to maintain those stacks
  • Out-of-the-box support for mobile
  • Clean and attractive defaults
  • Mainly “just works”


Install release version of Distill from CRAN:


Distill blog hosted on Github Pages step-by-step instructions

  1. Create a new blog at /blog of your current working directory in R:
distill::create_blog(dir = "blog", title = "My New Blog", gh_pages = TRUE)
  1. Make some inital changes to _site.yml. Select the ‘build’ tab in RStudio and hit ‘Build Website’. This will generate the website.

    Note: building the website does not generate blog posts. Each time the website is re-built, only the .Rmd files in the base directory will be automatically re-generated.

  2. Modify the yaml front matter and content of the example blog post. Then hit ‘Knit’ in RStudio to generate the post.

    Note: after every change made to posts or after creating a new post, you must knit each post separately. The listings page is then automatically updated.

  3. Create README.md and CNAME in /blog for your Github repository.

  4. Create a new repository at Github.

  5. To set up git and add your new repository as a remote, bring up the command line, cd to your /blog directory and:

git init
git add .
git commit -m "initial commit"
git branch -M main
git remote add origin [email protected]:username/nameofnew.git
git push -u origin main
  1. At Github, under your new repository, go to Settings >> Pages, set your source branch to ‘main’, and folder to ‘docs’.
    Optionally tick ‘Enforce HTTPS’.
    Your custom domain name should be configured automatically if you have previously set up your DNS settings to point to Github’s servers.

Congratulations, your new website should now be online!


The Distill Reference: https://rstudio.github.io/distill/

The Definitive R Markdown Guide: https://bookdown.org/yihui/rmarkdown/

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