free hosting on github! fork this to get a repo with only a gh-pages branch that is easy to edit
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CNAME add template files Dec 5, 2012
index.html add instructions Dec 5, 2012 Update Apr 24, 2014
style.css add instructions Dec 5, 2012

gh-pages template

Use Github to host web sites without having to download an app or use the command line

this repository is just a simple set of instructions on how to use the free github functionality to host static websites. an example of a github hosted static site is my own personal internet web blog as well as


Traditionally git has been for computer programmers, but recently github added some new features to their website which make it possible for non-technical people to set up repos on github! All the things mentioned here can be done with just a web browser.

What it is

  • static file host
  • entirely managed from the web UI
  • free
  • able to use custom domains (so that points to your files on github)
  • very simple

What it isn't

a dynamic host -- so it can't do PHP/Rails/Node etc. The only ways to do dynamic content are JavaScript with an externally hosted backend (e.g. Parse) or set up a jekyll blog. The easiest way to do this is with Jekyll Bootstrap - this is not really dynamic, it just generates static HTML from Markdown, but appears like a more dynamic blog.

How to set up a site

this repo is setup to only have the special gh-pages branch that github requires to use static file hosting. when you create and view repos on github they usually show you the default master branch which doesn't work with static file hosting

  1. login to github and fork this repo
  2. you will need to edit a file in your forked repo so that github knows to deploy your static site! try going to index.html and clicking the edit button, making a small change, and then commiting your change
  3. now you can go to and you should see the hello world page! it might take a few minutes for github to generate
  4. using the github web UI you can create new files or edit existing files
  5. the admin button at the top of the repo page will let you rename the repository
  6. to point a custom domain at github edit the file called CNAME and make sure its contents are only and then proceed to set up your DNS

thats it!


The content in this repo is BSD licensed