GitHub's GitHub Pages (gh-pages) feature is a static domain hosting where you can host your static sites. They offer pre-built web page templates, as well as the ability to build and host Jekyll websites.
- An advantage to using a GitHub based solution is that you can easily transfer it to another web host simply by deploying from GitHub to your web host.
The simplest way to get started with GitHub pages is:
- Go https://github.com/indieweb/blank-gh-site and follow the instructions there.
There are several more involved guides on how (and approaches) to use GitHub Pages to host your website:
- Jekyll, http://jekyllrb.com/, is enabled by default on GitHub Pages, but you can also build locally and push to GitHub.
- Example: BootStrap blog powered by Jekyll and GitHub pages
- Jekyll IndieWeb | IndieWeb ready Jekyll project Microformats 2 ready, support for h-card in config file, receive webmentions
Fork and go
Some websites provide ready-to-fork repositories that one can use to get started. These *don't* have to be used with GitHub, but they are configured to use GitHub pages by default.
- Octopress provides a rich website construction toolkit, based on top of Jekyll.
- pjf.id.au has his entire website under CC-BY, with a branch on github specifically for forking the design and build process. Like Octopress, it uses Jekyll underneath. See the github repo for details.
- coisas is a browser-based CMS that works only with GitHub Pages, it has a template that can be forked from the website UI, and then worked on without need of ever touching the command line.
Examples of IndieWeb sites hosted on Github Pages
No HTTP Status Code Control
gh-pages does not allow you to setup custom HTTP [status] return codes. -bret (in IRC 2013-176, unlogged).
If a page exists, GitHub Pages will return "200 OK"
If a page does not exist, or was deleted, GitHub Pages will return "404 Not Found"
For some as yet unknown reason, GitHub Pages will return a 301 redirect to the same URL on the first request to a page in a "while". On subsequent requests, it will return the actual page content.
There is ongoing discussion on using http-equiv codes to work around limitations like these. See: deleted#Brainstorming
Limited file types
GitHub isn't a very good host for large media files, especially if they change, although there is nothing stopping you from uploading media. Only serve files from gh-pages, as raw repository links have to come out of some application layer, and thus are slower to retrieve. Github enforces a soft repository size limit of about 1Gb.
Jekyll Safe Mode
If you wish for GitHub to build your Jekyll website for you on their server, you must conform to the restrictions associated with jekyll safe mode, which means no plugins. You can pre-process with as many plugins as you want and upload raw html files instead as a simple workaround (similar to how octopress works).
No SSL on your own domains
While GitHub Pages supports shared SSL for pages under the *.github.io domain, it does not support using your own SSL cert for your own domain.