Skip to content
Switch branches/tags

Latest commit


Git stats


Failed to load latest commit information.
Latest commit message
Commit time


NPM version js-standard-style

build a minimalist site for your documentation

This module generates a documentation site from two simple components:

  1. A collection of markdown documents
  2. A hierarchical object specifying your table of contents

This module is intentionally simpler and more opinionated than something like Jekyll or Sphinx. Depending on what you're looking for, that might be good, because it's easier to reason about, or bad, because it's less flexible! It'll probably be most useful if your documentation already consists entirely of markdown files, and it composes well with any tools that generate markdown, for example ecosystem-docs, which pulls README files from a collection of GitHub repositories.

Sites can be built using a command-line tool, or using the library as a module with browserify. There are options for specifying a project logo, custom css, and other basic formatting. Support for themes coming soon! PRs welcome!

Here is a simple example site built with minidocs



Install as a command-line tool

npm install -g minidocs


Add to your project with

npm install --save minidocs


using minidocs on the command-line

Just specify the location of your markdown files, the table of contents, the output location, and build the site

minidocs docs/ --contents contents.json --output site/

The folder site will now contain the html, js, and css for your site.

Have a images or other files you'd like to include? You can copy a directory into the build of your site with the --assets option:

minidocs docs/ --contents contents.json --output site/ --assets images

Want to change the styles? Use the --css option to include a custom stylesheet.

minidocs docs/ --contents contents.json --output site/ --css style.css

See all other cli options.

using minidocs as a JS module

Create a table of contents in a file named contents.json:

  "overview": {
    "about": ""
  "animals": {
    "furry": {
      "sheep": ""
    "pink": {
      "pig": ""

Then build the site and add it to the page with

var minidocs = require('minidocs')

var app = minidocs({
  contents: './contents.json',
  markdown: './markdown',,
  logo: './logo.svg'

var tree = app.start()

This assumes you have the files,, and inside a local folder markdown.

To run this in the browser you'll need to use the minidocs transform with browserify or budo:

browserify example:

browserify index.js -t minidocs/transform > bundle.js

budo example:

budo index.js:bundle.js -P -- -t minidocs/transform

You can also add transforms to your project by adding a browserify field to the package.json file with a transform array:

"browserify": {
  "transform": [

about the minidocs transform

Packaged with minidocs is a transform that takes care of reading the contents file, the markdown files, highlighting code in the markdown, and bundling the JS and CSS.

The minidocs transform is only necessary when using minidocs as a JS module, not when using the minidocs cli tool.

run the example

To run a full example, clone this repository, go into the folder example then call

npm install
npm start



  minidocs {sourceDir} -c {contents.json} -o {buildDir}

  * --contents, -c     JSON file that defines the table of contents
  * --output, -o       Directory for built site [site]
  * --title, -t        Project name [name of current directory]
  * --logo, -l         Project logo
  * --css, -s          Optional stylesheet
  * --assets, -a       Directory of assets to be copied to the built site
  * --initial, -i      Page to use for root url
  * --pushstate, -p    Create a 200.html file for hosting services like
  * --basedir, -b      Base directory of the site
  * --full-html, -f    Create HTML files for all routes. Useful for GitHub Pages. [false]
  * --help, -h         Show this help message


var minidocs = require('minidocs')

var app = minidocs(opts)

Where opts is an object that can specify the following options

  • contents the path to a JSON file or JS module with the table of contents, required
  • markdown the path to the directory of markdown files
  • styles a stylesheet, if not required will only use base styles
  • logo relative file path to a logo file, if unspecified will not include a logo
  • initial which document to show on load, if unspecified will load the first document
  • root a DOM node to append to, if unspecified will append to document.body
  • basedir the base route of the minidocs app (useful if published as a project on github pages)

var tree = app.start(rootId?, opts)

The start method accepts the same options as choo's start method.

This generates the html tree of the application that can be added to the DOM like this:

var tree = app.start()

var html = app.toString(route, state)

The toString method accepts the same options as choo's toString method

We use this in the command-line tool to generate the static files of the site.

deploying minidocs supports HTML5 pushstate if you have a 200.html file in your built site. You can either create that file yourself when using minidocs as a JS module, or you can build the site with the minidocs cli tool and the --pushstate option:

minidocs docs/ -c contents.json --pushstate -o site/
Deploy with the surge command

You can use the surge module to push the built site to the service.

Install surge:

npm install --save-dev surge

Create a deploy npm script:

"scripts": {
  "deploy": "surge dist"

Publish your site:

npm run deploy

github pages

GitHub Pages doesn't support HTML5 pushstate, so you have two options:

1. Generate the site with the minidocs cli

Build a minidocs site with the cli and the --full-html option:

minidocs path/to/docs/dir -c contents.json -o site --full-html

This creates an HTML file for each route of the site, so that on initial page load all content is sent from the server, and once the JS is loaded the minidocs app takes over all routing.

2. Use hash routing with the JS module

To use hash routing, start the app with the { hash: true } option in the minidocs.start method:

var tree = app.start({ hash: true })
Deploy with the gh-pages command

You can use the gh-pages module to push the built site to the gh-pages branch of your repo.

Note: if you're deploying a project at a basedir like, you'll want to use the --basedir /project-name option

Install gh-pages:

npm install --save-dev gh-pages

Create a deploy npm script:

"scripts": {
  "deploy": "gh-pages -d dist"

Publish your site:

npm run deploy




build a minimalist site for your documentation




No packages published