Whitespaces and Liquid template

Whitespaces are common blank spaces that you would see in the HTML document when rendered, it can be horizontal or vertical. You may not have noticed whitespaces when using Jekyll unless you view source, it by default uses Liquid templating language to process document like this blog which runs in minimial-mistakes for Jekyll. Liquid version 4 tags eliminate this behavior.

For example, In _layouts > home.html, we run simple {{ content }} tag to output whitespaces in HTML.


  {{ content }}
  <h3 class="archive__subtitle">{{ site.data.ui-text[site.locale].recent_posts | default: "Recent Posts" }}</h3>
  {% for post in paginator.posts %}
    {% include archive-single.html %}
  {% endfor %}
  {% include paginator.html %}


<h3 class="archive__subtitle">Recent posts</h3>

What causes this issue?

The liquid version 3 generates white spaces between {{ content }} tag even when any conditional statements are true or false. There are lots of such statements in _layouts, _includes folder which results in occasional white spaces between any tags used.

The Fix?

Liquid 4 has whitespace control to fix this error by updating tags. You are in luck if you already host Jekyll blog in GitHub Pages, its dependency already use liquid version 4.

To fix this issue, Simply update all older liquid 3 tags {% content %} to {%- content -%} which is liquid tags version 4 inside _layouts, _includes folder. You can use, find in folder option and replace all old tags with new one if your are using Visual Studio Code referring whitespace control docs.

Push your blog to GitHub pages to see changes or run update bundler, if your use Jekyll with bundler.


The above simple method upgrades your Liquid templating in Jekyll. Your HTML file size decreases by slightly and you would expect to increase performance although the noticeable difference is smaller.

If you are using Minimal Mistakes theme like this blog; according to Michael, it is better to get rid of whitespaces through minifying/third-party plugin. This simple hack won’t get incluced in the master branch anytime soon!

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