Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Here are some frequently asked questions about Pelican.

What’s the best way to communicate a problem, question, or suggestion?

If you have a problem, question, or suggestion, please start by striking up a conversation on #pelican on Freenode. Those who don’t have an IRC client handy can jump in immediately via IRC webchat. Because of differing time zones, you may not get an immediate response to your question, but please be patient and stay logged into IRC — someone will almost always respond.

If you are unable to resolve your issue or if you have a feature request, please refer to the issue tracker.

How can I help?

There are several ways to help out. First, you can use Pelican and report any suggestions or problems you might have via IRC or the issue tracker.

If you want to contribute, please fork the git repository, create a new feature branch, make your changes, and issue a pull request. Someone will review your changes as soon as possible. Please refer to the How to Contribute section for more details.

You can also contribute by creating themes and improving the documentation.

Is it mandatory to have a configuration file?

No, it’s not. Configuration files are just an easy way to configure Pelican. For basic operations, it’s possible to specify options while invoking Pelican via the command line. See pelican --help for more information.

I’m creating my own theme. How do I use Pygments for syntax highlighting?

Pygments adds some classes to the generated content. These classes are used by themes to style code syntax highlighting via CSS. Specifically, you can customize the appearance of your syntax highlighting via the .codehilite pre class in your theme’s CSS file. To see how various styles can be used to render Django code, for example, you can use the demo on the project website.

How do I create my own theme?

Please refer to How to create themes for Pelican.

I want to use Markdown, but I got an error.

Markdown is not a hard dependency for Pelican, so you will need to explicitly install it. You can do so by typing the following, including sudo if required:

(sudo) pip install markdown

If you don’t have pip installed, consider installing the pip installer via:

(sudo) easy_install pip

Can I use arbitrary meta-data in my templates?

Yes. For example, to include a modified date in a Markdown post, one could include the following at the top of the article:

Modified: 2012-08-08

That meta-data can then be accessed in the template:

{% if article.modified %}
Last modified: {{ article.modified }}
{% endif %}

How do I assign custom templates on a per-page basis?

It’s as simple as adding an extra line of metadata to any pages or articles you want to have its own template.


Then just make sure your theme contains the relevant template file (e.g. template_name.html).

What if I want to disable feed generation?

To disable all feed generation, all feed settings should be set to None. All but two feed settings already default to None, so if you want to disable all feed generation, you only need to specify the following settings:


Please note that None and '' are not the same thing. The word None should not be surrounded by quotes.

I’m getting a warning about feeds generated without SITEURL being set properly

RSS and Atom feeds require all URLs and links in them to be absolute. In order to properly generate all URLs properly in Pelican you will need to set SITEURL to the full path of your blog. When using make html and the default Makefile provided by the pelican-quickstart bootstrap script to test build your site, it’s normal to see this warning since SITEURL is deliberately left undefined. If configured properly no other make commands should result in this warning.

Feeds are still generated when this warning is displayed but may not validate.

My feeds are broken since I upgraded to Pelican 3.x

Starting in 3.0, some of the FEED setting names were changed to more explicitly refer to the Atom feeds they inherently represent (much like the FEED_RSS setting names). Here is an exact list of the renamed setting names:


Starting in 3.1, the new feed FEED_ALL_ATOM has been introduced: this feed will aggregate all posts regardless of their language. This setting generates 'feeds/all.atom.xml' by default and FEED_ATOM now defaults to None. The following feed setting has also been renamed:


Older themes that referenced the old setting names may not link properly. In order to rectify this, please update your theme for compatibility by changing the relevant values in your template files. For an example of complete feed headers and usage please check out the simple theme.

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