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Rizèl Scarlett for GitHub

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How to host your first site for free on GitHub Pages

GitHub Pages now uses customizable GitHub Action workflows to build and deploy your code so that developers can control their authoring framework and deployment. GitHub Pages is a powerful option for storing static content for the following reasons:

  • It’s free.
  • It makes collaboration easy. Anyone can open a pull request to update the site.
  • Your repository syncs with any changes you made to your site.
  • While GitHub Pages comes with a default domain name like, https://YOUR_USER_NAME.github.io/ , it supports custom domains.
  • It uses customizable GitHub Action workflows for builds and deployments.

Let’s learn how to host static sites built with HTML on GitHub Pages!

After you create and store HTML in a repository, navigate to the settings tab for that repository.

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Click Pages on the left sidebar

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Under build and deployment, choose GitHub Actions

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This will suggest a few workflows for you based on the code in your repository. You can choose Static HTML.

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Clicking configure will lead you to a pre-made workflow. Feel free to review the YAML, tweak it to your preference, and commit the code.

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Within a few seconds, your Action will start running. It will generate a URL and deploy your static site to GitHub Pages if successful.

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Head over to your URL named yourusername.github.io/your_repo_name to check out your live website!

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Gotchas: handling asset paths

When I first published my site on GitHub Pages, I was confused and surprised that I couldn’t see any images or PDFs even though they were present when I locally hosted the site. This happened because GitHub Pages handles paths differently.

For example, if I have PDF living in this relative path: assets/pdfs/menu-food.pdf, then once hosted on GitHub Pages, update the new path to {β€œREPOSITORY NAME”}/assets/pdfs/menu-food.pdf

Example

Here's an example repository I built using this method

GitHub logo blackgirlbytes / blackgyalbites

no touch restaurant menu template hosted on GitHub Pages

blackgyalbites

Template for No-touch Menus and Host Static Pages Built with Any Framework on GitHub Pages

screenshot of website with 3 buttons that read: food menu, drinks menu, and catering menu. on the right of it is a screenshot of the drinks menu

Website built with HTML & CSS to display restaurant menus when users scan a QR code.

Powered By GitHub Pages

This is a demonstration to show developers that they can build and host static websites using any framework. See more example frameworks hosted on GitHub Pages:

Live site: https://blackgirlbytes.github.io/blackgyalbites

Design and Development

All designs and elements are open source, available for free for anyone to use.

Owned by Rizel Scarlett (@blackgirlbytes)

Designed by The Holistic Technologist

Illustrations by Cuoc Doi Prints

Feel free to fork, copy, tweak, and use for any purpose. This project is completely open source, and under MIT license.

Menu Design Template: Canva

Download Assets & Design Elements: Google Drive

blackgirlbytes logo




Learn more


Watch this awesome YouTube short by Kedasha demonstrating how to use a customized workflow to deploy a static site generator to GitHub Pages!

I'd love your thoughts on the new customized workflows to deploy to GitHub Pages. Comment below! For more content like this, follow GitHub and me on DEV!

Top comments (2)

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irishgeoff9 profile image
irishgeoff9

If you wish to add a contact form to your static website on github pages. This is a handy tutorial.

create a static website with contact form on github pages

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cicirello profile image
Vincent A. Cicirello

If I'm currently using what appears to now be called the "classic" which deploys from a branch, what is the advantage to switching a non-jekyll site to the new GitHub Actions? What kind of customizations does the new way support?

🌚 Turn on dark mode

πŸ”  Change your default font

πŸ“š Adjust your experience level to see more relevant content

Β 

Head to your account's Settings to do all this and more.