Using Distill in R Markdown to Start a Blog 🏗️

Quick steps to start a Blog in R

Sam Parmar
1 min readDec 17, 2020


I previously read this RStudio blog post on the Distill package earlier this month. The aesthetic and features were impressive to me (particularly site-wide search). Had some time to try it out today. Here are the short and simple steps I took to start a blog using Distill.

Note: this article assumes you have some prior experience with R Markdown. Skim over this book to learn more about R Markdown.

  1. Skimmed the official website for Distill and page on creating a blog.
  2. Installed the package: install.packages('distill')
  3. Opened a New Project in RStudio to start a new Distill Blog. See official page for screenshot.
  4. Knit the R markdown files to see how the default looked.
  5. Adjusted R markdown files as needed (added icons, added first post, and updated about tab). Knit files again.
  6. Pushed the _site sub-directory files produced after Knitting to my blog repo on Github. Repo should be setup to publish onto Github Pages in repo settings.
  7. Done! Blog updated.

Simple as that. Here is what it looks like right now. Hope this is helpful.