Converting Nikola from a Blog to a Site

These are my notes on converting this site to be a web-site first (with a blog on the side). There is an official page on creating a site instead of a blog, but I had a little bit of a hard time figuring out what was going on so these are the main points in case I need to do it again.

In a nutshell:

  1. Get rid of the sub-folder argument in the PAGES variable in
  2. Set INDEX_PATH to point to the posts sub-folder
  3. Create an index page for the site.

The main things to do are to edit the file so that the pages you create get copied over as the root of the output folder (instead of in a sub-folder called stories) and moving the blog-index down into a sub-folder.

Making 'pages' the Site

To make the pages you create the root of the site you need to change the PAGES variable to not have a sub-folder as the target (this is the second-entry in the tuple). So if it originally was:

    ("pages/*.rst", "pagse", "story.tmpl"),

You would change the second value in the tuple to an empty string:

    ("pages/*.rst", "", "story.tmpl"),

Now when you build the site (nikola build) the output folder will have your 'stories' at the top-level. This means that when you refer to pages (e.g. in the navigation configuration) you don't add 'pages/' as a prefix anymore.

Moving the Blog-index

Since Nikola assumes that the blog is your main-page you need to tell it to create the index in a sub-folder by setting the INDEX_PATH to the name of the sub-folder. If, for example, the blog-posts are being put into posts, the setting would be:

INDEX_PATH = "posts"


This was commented out by default so uncomment it and make the change.

Creating the Home Page

At this point if you build the site and navigate to it you'll find that your home-page is now a directory of your output folder. You can navigate to a page by going through the folders, but this is probably not the intended way to get around. The easiest way (that I found) to create the home-page is to create a new-page (nikola new_page) and when prompted for a title, call it index. This will create pages/index.rst which you can edit to become your home page (make sure to change the title if you don't want the page headline to be 'index').


Some other things might need to be re-done in the as well, since the folder structure has changed. These are only the basic steps to switch. The NAVIGATION_LINKS in particular may need updating.