Simple Material

Getting Started with Simple Material

Table of Contents

Google’s Material Design is a design language that uses simple geometric shapes to create an interface that is both attractive and easy to use. Simple Material is a Jekyll theme that follows these guidelines, making it the perfect choice for your next website or blog project

The Simple Material theme has a clean, minimalist design that will make your content stand out. It provides a a beautiful, clean and mobile-first fully-responsive interface for building your next website with minimal code.

This is a plug-and-play Jekyll theme best suited to use on GitHub Pages without even setting up a local environment. It’s the perfect choice for any website or blog project!

Key Features


Gem Version

In a Jekyll site

Step 1: Create a new Jekyll site

jekyll new my-awesome-site
cd ./my-awesome-site

Replace my-awesome-site with the name of your site.

Step 2: Add the following lines in the Gemfile

source ""

gem "jekyll", "~> 4.2.0"
gem "simple-material", "~> 0.0.1"

And run bundle install to install the theme.

Use the latest version of the theme (see top of this page) instead of 0.0.1.

Step 3: Set theme in the site’s _config.yml

theme: simple-material

Now, you can build and run your website with bundle exec jekyll serve --watch.

On GitHub Pages

Simple Material can be used with GitHub Pages without any need to set up a local environment. To do this, simply add the following line in your site’s _config.yml.

remote_theme: saifkhichi96/simple-material

You can also fork the saifkhichi96/simple-material-demo repository as a starting point if you are unable to set it up on your own.

Customizing the Theme

Create a manifest.json file inside the _data/ directory in your project root, and provide the following details:

Property Description Required Default
name The name of the site as displayed to the user. -
icons List of one or more app icons. -
description Short description of the site. ? -
short_name Used in app launchers -
tagline Your site’s tagline. -
categories List of website categories. -
lang ISO code of primary language of your site. en-US
theme_color Hex value of your site’s primary color. #854fee

You must provide the name of your site, and at least one icon in the icons list, preferably at least 192x192 pixel in size. The description tag is not required but recommended because it is used in your site’s metadata description, and in case of PWAs, in store fronts and install dialogs.

You can see a full example of a manifest.json here.

Setting up an Installable Web App

If you also provide values for the background_color and start_url fields, your site can be installed as a Progressive Web App. For a list of all supported fields, see this page. A service worker and install buttons are automatically added to your site.

Next, create a file called pwabuilder-sw.js in your site’s root and copy the following code there:

const CACHE = "pwabuilder-offline";


self.addEventListener("message", (event) => {
  if ( && === "SKIP_WAITING") {

  new RegExp('/*'),
  new workbox.strategies.StaleWhileRevalidate({
    cacheName: CACHE

You can now install your website as a PWA on any device.

Using Categories

You can categorize your content based on categories. For this, you just need to add categories in front matter like below:

For adding single category: categories: JavaScript

For adding multiple categories: categories: [PHP, Laravel]