Migrating from GitHub Pages to Netlify: how and why?

Sorry GitHub Pages, but we need to break up. I’ve found a new web hosting service.

Rebecca Barter


June 29, 2017

Goodbye GitHub Pages, I hope you’re not too upset!

After finding myself increasingly frustrated with GitHub Pages inability to cooperate with my website engine of choice, Hugo, I’ve decided to make a move. Here are the reasons why:

  1. Having all of my project pages being subpages of my personal page felt weird.

  2. Dealing with git subtrees, merge conflicts on the master branch, and having to do all kinds of work-arounds to get Hugo to play nice with GitHub Pages was driving me crazy.

  3. I found a much easier way!

Hello Netlify!

I’ve moved to Netlify. It’s amazing, almost too easy. There must be a catch; nothing in life is ever this easy…

The new workflow to get the website set up is pretty basic: simply make a GitHub repository containing your website, tell Netlify what the repository is called and push. Bam! Your website is now ready!

If you’re looking for some more explicit details, here they are:

  1. Start a new github repository for your website and call it anything you like. By that I mean that it doesn’t have to be username.github.io. I called mine personal-webpage. So creative, I know.

  2. Use the R package blogdown to design your page with Hugo. There are lots of cool themes available. Choose a good one.

  3. Push your website, content and all, to your new repo.

  4. Head on over to netlify, create and account/log in and hit “New site from Git”.

  • Step 1: Set the Continuous Deployment Git provider to GitHub (or whichever provider you use).

  • Step 2: Choose the repository containing your website.

  • Step 3: Set the Build command to hugo_0.19 (or whichever version you want), and the Publish directory to “public” (this is the folder in which Hugo by default puts the actual webpage files when it’s built).

  1. Hit “Deploy site”.

  2. If you like you can choose to “Change site name”.

  3. Your site can now be found at sitename.netlify.com!

  4. Everytime you push new content to the GitHub repo, Netlify will automatically rebuild and deploy your site. You can just sit back and relax :).

It’s probably a good idea to buy a domain name from somewhere like Google Domains for like $10/year and point that domain name towards your netlify site, but otherwise you’re good to go!