In the beginning, there were static HTML pages, TABLE-tags, and FTP; later came dynamic sites, Wordpress and other Content Management Systems; but now we are back to static pages again, albeit templated. So goes Quinn Supplee's narrative of the move to Jekyll, Markdown and Liquid based static sites. Add in GitHub for free hosting, and it makes a very compelling offering for a small site run by tech savvy people. It's not your web sites for dummies solution.
Enabling web page hosting from a Github repository is quick, as explained here. And setting a custom domain is a single setting on Github, and additional setting up your domain DNS. The Github Settings panel have a default example site template generator, so with that you'll have some pages to look at in few clicks. Now you can download the generated files, modify and upload with standard git commands. (Replace username/repository with your own names).
git clone http://github.com/username/repository
Github uses Jekell to statically generate the site, and this requires a special file and directory structure. It is of course possible to experiment with the files directly on Github, however it might be easier to edit and compile locally. For that, a local install of Jekyll and relevant dependencies and tools is required.
sudo apt-get install ruby ruby-dev rubygems-integration nodejs gcc make
sudo gem install jekyll jekyll-docs jekyll-feed jekyll-paginate bundler minima iconv
On older Debian (7 - Wheezy) or Ubuntu (14.04) distributions, the ruby packages where versioned incorrectly, so the 2.0 version is required for the ruby package and gem binary.
sudo apt-get install ruby2.0 ruby2.0-dev rubygems-integration nodejs ruby-mkrf gcc make
sudo gem2.0 install jekyll jekyll-docs jekyll-feed jekyll-paginate bundler minima iconv
With that in place, you can generate a new blank site, and make Jekyll serve it locally on http://127.0.0.1:4000/ . Of course, the final destination would be the Github repository.
jekyll new test --skip-bundle
For more advanced options and functions, the Jekyll documentation is good. There are some Jekeyll based example sites here. In particular, Patrick Mckinley's pagination example with source looks interesting.