A simple static blog generator

0.6.0 2017-06-18 14:44 UTC

This package is not auto-updated.

Last update: 2020-09-19 06:12:34 UTC


Scribing is a simple static blog generator, or static site generator designed for generating a blog, written in PHP.


Use Composer.

composer require elazar/scribing


If you'd like to see a working example of a site that uses Scribing, check out this repository.


Content for Scribing is written in Common Markdown.

Scribing supports two document types: posts and pages.


Posts include a top level heading containing a title followed by a date formatted with emphasis.

# Post Title

*September 28, 2017*

Content goes here

Scribing both builds an individual file for each post and also includes a link to it on an archive page. Its path is derived from the date and title included in the Markdown content file.


Pages include a top level heading, but unlike posts, they are not date-specific. Often, their content rarely changes.

# Page Title

Content goes here

Scribing builds a file for each page at a path based on the name of the Markdown content file.


Scribing uses the Plates template engine.

When it is run, Scribing requires a template path to be specified. This path must reference a directory containing two Plates template files: the layout template and the archive page template.

Layout Template

layout.php is used as the layout template for both posts and pages.

HTML generated from Markdown content is passed into the $content variable.

The top level heading is passed into the $title variable. It can be used in the document's <title> tag.

Archive Template

archive.php is used to generate the content for the archive page. Unlike the content for other pages, archive page content is generated from data contained in post content files rather than being created manually in Markdown.

An associative array of posts keyed by year is passed into $posts, where the value referenced by each year is an enumerated array of posts for that year. Each post is represented by an associative array containing 'date', 'url', and 'title' keys.

Common Data

For any common data that needs to be shared between templates, such as for navigation, create a PHP file that returns an array of data.

return [
    'nav' => [
        '/' => 'Home',
        '/archive' => 'Archive',
        // ...

Generating the Site

To generate the static files for a blog based on the post and page content files and Plates template files you've created, you use the scribing console command.

Posts and Pages

scribing supports multiple subcommands, two of which are: build:posts and build:pages. Both use the same parameters.

build:posts [--templateData=path/to/data.php] <sourcePath> <destinationPath> <templatePath>

--templateData is optional and used to specify a path to a common data file, if one is needed.

<sourcePath> is a directory that contains the source files for posts or pages.

<destinationPath> is a directory into which scribing will store the files it generates.

<templatePath> is a directory containing the template files.

To build pages instead of posts, simply substitute build:pages for build:posts in the example above.


To build a feed from posts, scribing supports a build:feed subcommand.

build:feed --feedTitle="Feed Title" --feedLink="https://example.com/feed.xml" <sourcePath> <destinationPath>

--feedTitle is a title for the feed required by the Atom format

--feedLink is an absolute URL to the feed required by the Atom format

<sourcePath> is a directory that contains the source files for posts to include in the feed

<destinationPath> is a directory into which scribing will store the feed file

Using GitHub Pages

If you are using Scribing to generate a site to be hosted on GitHub Pages, set up a repository to store your content, templates, stylesheets, images, etc. that is separate from the repository that GitHub uses to display the site.

Here's a recommended directory structure:

├── content
│   ├── pages
│   └── posts
├── images
├── scripts
├── styles
└── templates

The purpose of most of the directories above should be self-explanatory.

The scripts directory is intended to house build and utility scripts used to tweak or deploy the files generated by Scribing.

For example, Scribing doesn't handle stylesheet or content license files, so these have to be manually copied to the build directory.

If you want to create a custom 404 page, you can author the content as a normal page and then move the generated file to an appropriate location in your build script like so:

mv build/404/index.html build/404.html ; rm -fR build/404

If you'd like to locate the latest post and use that as the landing page for the site, you can do it like so:

LATEST=`find build/ -type f | grep -E '[0-9]+' | grep -v '404' | sort -nr | head -n 1`
cp "$LATEST" build/index.html

Here are some related resources for further reading:


The source code for Scribing is licensed under the MIT License.