Deploying your website

Set it up once then don't think about it.

Deploying the website is trivial on Gitlab and services like Netlify. On GitHub there are a few extra steps especially if you want a user/org website.

Deploying on GitHub

Warning: the setup to synchronise your local folder and the remote repository is different based on whether you want a user/org website:

  • a user website has a base URL looking like username.github.io.

  • a project website has a base URL looking like username.github.io/project/.

Make sure to follow the appropriate instructions!

Creating a repo on GitHub

Start by creating an empty GitHub repository

  • for a personal (or org) website the repository must be named username.github.io (or orgname.github.io) see also the github pages docs,

  • for a project website the repo can be named anything you want, let's say myWebsite.

Adding access tokens

In order for the deployment action to work on GitHub, you need to set up an access token on GitHub. The steps are explained below but you can read more on the topic here.

STEP 1:

  • Make a public/private key pair on your local machine with ssh-keygen -N "" -f franklin (see also here for more information about generating ssh keys).

  • This creates 2 files, the private key: franklin, and the public key franklin.pub.

STEP 2:

  • Go to the repository and select Settings > Secrets then click on Add new secret,

  • Name the secret FRANKLIN_PRIV and copy the contents of the private key (franklin) from the previous step.

STEP 3:

  • Go to the repository and select Settings > Deploy keys then click on Add deploy key,

  • Name the deploy key FRANKLIN_PUB and copy the contents of the public key (franklin.pub) from step 1.

  • Give the key write access.

STEP 4:

Remove both files (franklin, franklin.pub) from your local folder.

Synchronise your local folder [User/Org website]

This assumes that you're working on a user folder with base URL looking like username.github.io. See this example for instance.

You need to synchronise your repository and your local website folder; to do so, go to your terminal, cd to the website folder and follow the steps below:

  • git init && git remote add origin URL_TO_YOUR_REPO

  • git checkout -b dev

  • git add -A && git commit -am "initial files"

It is crucial to change the branch to dev (or any other name that you like that is not master). This is because a user/org site must be deployed from the master branch on GitHub.

Now, in an editor, open the file .github/workflows/deploy.yml and change the on section to

on:
  push:
    branches:
      - dev

change also the BRANCH line at the end to BRANCH: master:

BRANCH: master
FOLDER: __site

With all this, if you push changes to dev with

git push -u origin dev

the GitHub action will be triggered and deploy the content of the __site folder to the master branch. GitHub pages will then deploy the website from the master branch.

⚠ Note
It takes a couple of minutes for the whole process to complete and your site to be available online.
⚠ Note
It is recommended to change your default branch on the repository to dev (GitHub may have done that automatically for you). To do this, click on Settings > Branches and select the default branch.

Synchronise your local folder [Project website]

This assumes that you're working on a user folder with base URL looking like username.github.io/myWebsite. See this example for instance.

Now you need to synchronise your repository and your local website folder; to do so, go to your terminal, cd to the website folder and follow the steps below:

  • git init && git remote add origin URL_TO_YOUR_REPO

  • git add -A && git commit -am "initial files"

That's it! when you push your updates to the master branch, the GitHub action will deploy the __site folder to a gh-pages branch that GitHub Pages will then use to deploy your website.

⚠ Note
It takes a couple of minutes for the whole process to complete and your site to be available online.

Troubleshooting

  • Make sure you have set the access tokens properly,

  • Make sure GitHub Pages is pointing at the right branch (see screenshot below),

  • Open an issue on Franklin's GitHub or ask on the #franklin juliaslack channel.

Deploying on GitLab

Creating a repo on GitLab

Start by creating an empty GitLab repository

  • for a personal website the repository must be named username.gitlab.io see also the gitlab pages docs,

  • for a project website the repo can be named anything you want.

Synchronise your local folder

Now you need to synchronise your repository and your local website folder; to do so, go to your terminal, cd to the website folder and follow the steps below:

  • git init && git remote add origin URL_TO_YOUR_REPO

  • git add -A && git commit -am "initial files"

That's it! when you push your updates to the master branch, the GitLab CI will copy the __site folder to a virtual public folder and deploy its content.

⚠ Note
It takes a couple of minutes for the whole process to complete and your site to be available online.

Deploying on Netlify

Synchronise your local website folder with a repository (e.g. a GitHub or GitLab repository) then select that repository on Netlify and indicate you want to deploy the __site folder.

That's it!