GitHub Pages are public web pages for users,
organizations, and repositories, that are freely hosted on GitHub’s
github.io domain or on a custom domain name of your choice. GitHub Pages are
powered by Jekyll behind the scenes, so in addition to supporting regular HTML
content, they’re also a great way to host your Jekyll-powered website for free.
Never built a website with GitHub Pages before? See this marvelous guide by Jonathan McGlone to get you up and running. This guide will teach you what you need to know about Git, GitHub, and Jekyll to create your very own website on GitHub Pages.
Project Page URL Structure
Sometimes it’s nice to preview your Jekyll site before you push your
branch to GitHub. However, the subdirectory-like URL structure GitHub uses for
Project Pages complicates the proper resolution of URLs. In order to assure your
site builds properly, use
site.github.url in your URL’s.
This way you can preview your site locally from the site root on localhost, but when GitHub generates your pages from the gh-pages branch all the URLs will resolve properly.
Deploying Jekyll to GitHub Pages
GitHub Pages work by looking at certain branches of repositories on GitHub. There are two basic types available: user/organization pages and project pages. The way to deploy these two types of sites are nearly identical, except for a few minor details.
Our friends at GitHub have provided the
gem which is used to manage Jekyll and its dependencies on
GitHub Pages. Using it in your projects means that when you deploy
your site to GitHub Pages, you will not be caught by unexpected
differences between various versions of the gems. To use the
currently-deployed version of the gem in your project, add the
following to your
This will ensure that when you run
bundle install, you
have the correct version of the
If that fails, simplify it:
And be sure to run
bundle update often.
User and Organization Pages
User and organization pages live in a special GitHub repository dedicated to
only the GitHub Pages files. This repository must be named after the account
name. For example, @mojombo’s user page
repository has the name
Content from the
master branch of your repository will be used to build and
publish the GitHub Pages site, so make sure your Jekyll site is stored there.
Custom domains do not affect repository names
GitHub Pages are initially configured to live under the
username.github.io subdomain, which is why repositories must
be named this way even if a custom domain is being used.
Unlike user and organization Pages, Project Pages are kept in the same
repository as the project they are for, except that the website content is
stored in a specially named
gh-pages branch. The content of this branch will
be rendered using Jekyll, and the output will become available under a subpath
of your user pages subdomain, such as
username.github.io/project (unless a
custom domain is specified—see below).
The Jekyll project repository itself is a perfect example of this branch structure—the master branch contains the actual software project for Jekyll, however the Jekyll website (that you’re looking at right now) is contained in the gh-pages branch of the same repository.
Source Files Must be in the Root Directory
GitHub Pages Documentation, Help, and Support
For more information about what you can do with GitHub Pages, as well as for troubleshooting guides, you should check out GitHub’s Pages Help section. If all else fails, you should contact GitHub Support.