GitHub Guides logo

Getting Started with GitHub Pages

    GitHub Pages are public webpages hosted and easily published through GitHub. The quickest way to get up and running is by using the Jekyll Theme Chooser to load a pre-made theme. You can then modify your GitHub Pages’ content and style remotely via the web or locally on your computer.

    pages-home-page

    Create Your Website

    Once you’ve signed in, you’ll create a new repository to get started.

    new-repo-button

    On the new repository screen, you need to give this repository a special name to generate your website.

    new-repo-screen

    Your website’s files will live in a repository named username.github.io (where “username” is your actual GitHub user name). To begin setting up your site, you have to open the Settings tab

    settings-tab

    If you scroll down on the settings page, you’ll see the GitHub Pages section near the bottom. Click the Choose a theme button to start the process of creating your site.

    launch-theme-chooser

    Once you’ve clicked the button, you’ll be directed to the Theme Chooser. You’ll see several theme options in a carousel across the top of the page. Click on the images to preview the themes. Once you’ve selected one, click Select theme on the right to move on. It’s easy to change your theme later, so if you’re not sure, just choose one for now.

    theme-chooser

    Now, you’ll write your content. This part requires a bit more thought, but you can keep the default content for now, if you’d like.

    code-editor

    Once you’re finished editing, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click Commit changes.

    commit-edits

    GitHub does all the work to direct visitors to username.github.io to view your new website. This can take up to 10 minutes. After some time has passed, you can open a new tab in your browser to go to your site!

    Making Changes

    One of the first things you can do is remove the default title of your index page, and add a friendlier message to it. Since this is a very quick change – and your first one – you’re going to make it on the default branch: master.

    View the _config.yml file by navigating to it in the Code tab. You can edit the file by clicking on the pencil icon.

    edit-page

    Currently your site has no set title, so we’re falling back to the name of the repo. To change this, I’m going to add the line “title: Welcome to the Octocat’s homepage!” to this file. Feel free to do the same, except for your own username.

    Under this title, you can add a message about the purpose of the page and describe what you want people to do while they’re here. I’m going set mine to “Feel free to bookmark this to keep an eye on my project updates”

    change-title-description

    After you’re done making this small change, scroll to the bottom of the page to make your second commit. You have two places to write about this change: a subject and an extended description. The extended description is optional, so let’s leave a descriptive message in the subject.

    When you’re done, click Commit changes and your updates will go live in just a few seconds!

    be-descriptive

    Next Steps

    Just because you’ve made some changes into your project doesn’t mean you should stop! Check out these other guides to learn how to contribute to other projects or perfect the way you work on projects:

    Last updated Dec 1, 2013