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The Least You Need to Know About GitHub Pages

What this guide is for: This guide is laser-focused on one thing: showing how to get a working informational website up and running as fast
as possible using GitHub Pages, using only the GitHub website. Informational website is an informal term meaning that the emphasis is on
function (structured text with simple formatting, links, images) and not form (intricate page design). It goes step by step from the very beginning
and assumes very little knowledge on your part.

You don’t need to learn command-line programs like Git, or install anything
on your own computer. Everything taught here does apply to advanced use patterns when you get more experienced.

GitHub Pages is free if your repository (file storage area) is public.

Ways to view this site

If you were pointed here by an employer or well-meaning friend and aren’t quite sure why,
you can find plenty of reasons in Why Use GitHub Pages?

What you can get out of this guide: If you follow through the steps in this guide you’ll have a small website demonstrating everything you need to put up an attractive, easy to maintain site using words, links, and images.
Not covered are advanced topics such as using Git on the command line, custom themes, SEO, version control,
and advanced features of GitHub-flavored Markdown.

If you find problems

If there’s something missing, or you detect an error, please feel free to file an issue
or just email at

Table of contents

This short GitHub Pages tutorial discusses:

Intended audience

GitHub Pages uses Jekyll, a publishing system based on the Ruby programming language. The Jekyll documentation is excellent, especially if you already know Jekyll, program in Ruby, and have both Ruby and Jekyll installed on your local computer. The GitHub Pages documentation is comprehensive and excellent–if you’re already a Jekyll expert.

The Least You Need to Know About GitHub Pages is designed for people who don’t happen to know Jekyll already but who need to get up to speed in GitHub Pages quickly to get a job done now. It tells you not only what to do step by step,
but also briefly explains why you’re doing it.

You probably don’t want to use GitHub Pages on sites that require complex, individual formatting on a per-page basis.
GitHub Pages uses Markdown, which has some limited formatting information but not a lot.
GitHub Pages then uses Jekyll to turn that Markdown into HTML, based on the Jekyll theme you’ve chosen. Generally speaking this approach is
absolutely ideal for blogs, technical documents and instructional materials that require versioning and collaboration, where the
main work product is words and pictures. It is not a good fit for things like boutique pages, restaurant menu sites, consumer product sites, and so on where
custom formatting is the norm.

Advantages to using GitHub Pages

Still wondering whether to use GitHub Pages? See Advantages to using GitHub Pages to generate static sites

Disadvantages to using GitHub Pages

If you want to understand why GitHub pages may not suit your project, see When to avoid GitHub pages.


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