I’ve already talked about this site and it’s blog being run on GitHub Pages and that I use Jekyll. I’m only human and whilst I can build a site as awesome and as fantastic as this, I’m only human. That means that I make mistakes, just like everyone does. Testing the code that you write means that those mistakes get found and rectified, hopefully before end users/readers/customers (whatever the context) see them in production.

I’m a big fan of unit testing and integration testing my code, but I didn’t know just how easy it was to test my Jekyll based site until I read this article. I couldn’t resist having a go at this myself and I’ve been able to get some testing in place for my site and blog. It’s by no means the kind of test coverage I’d like, but some tests are better than no tests, right?

I’ve come up with the following Rakefile that I can use to test my site, pre-release:

require 'html-proofer'

task :test => [:build] do
                                 :check_favicon => true,
                                 :check_html => true

task :build => [:clean] do
  system 'bundle exec jekyll build'

task :clean do
  system 'bundle exec jekyll clean'

As we’re using HTMLProofer, you’ll need to make sure that you’ve installed the HTMLProofer gem manually, or preferably in your Gemfile, like so:

group :test do
  gem 'html-proofer', '~> 3'

…and then run bundle to install the gem and it’s dependencies.

I’m also running Travis CI on my site’s GitHub repo too. Whenever I push to my site’s repo on GitHub, a build is triggered on Travis automatically. That means that if I miss any issues in local testing before deploying any changes, I get an email pinged across to me from Travis. Kind of like another set of eyes on the tests, if you will. Overkill? Maybe, but it’s not doing any harm and I learnt a bit about Travis CI in the process and I plan to use it in all my major projects moving forward.

It also means I get a nice badge to show off in the README :sunglasses::

Screenshot of README.md

Now, I’ll be the first to throw my hands up and say that this is by no means perfect. I really don’t like the fact that I have to call jekyll build as a command from within a Rake task. Instead, I should be able to start a build of the site directly from within the Rake task, but I’ve yet to work out how to do this. To that end, I’ve posted a question on StackOverflow, hoping that some clever soul will be able to help work it out. For now, the above is achieving the purpose as I’ve corrected a few issues with broken links on my site already and also corrected some HTML validation issues too.

If you’re using Jekyll for your sites or blogs and you’re not already running some sort of tests, then I recommend you give this a go!

Update 12/03/2016

I’ve updated the Rake tasks in the code snippet above to work with HTMLProofer 3 which was recently released. The old code no longer worked with the latest versions of that gem.