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---
title: "Introduction to pkgdown"
description: >
Learn how to get started with the basics of pkgdown.
output: rmarkdown::html_vignette
vignette: >
%\VignetteIndexEntry{Introduction to pkgdown}
%\VignetteEngine{knitr::rmarkdown}
%\VignetteEncoding{UTF-8}
---
The goal of pkgdown is to make it easy to make an elegant and useful package website with a minimum of work. You can get a basic website up and running in just a couple of minutes:
```{r, eval = FALSE}
# Run once to configure package to use pkgdown
usethis::use_pkgdown()
# Run to build the website
pkgdown::build_site()
```
While you'll get a decent website without any additional work, if you want a website that really pops, you'll need to read the rest of this vignette. It works through the main components of a pkgdown website:
1. Metadata
1. Home page
1. Function reference
1. Articles
1. News
## Metadata
You can override pkgdown's defaults with a YAML file called `_pkgdown.yml`[^other-locations]. Options that affect the entire site are documented in `build_site()` and include:
* A [`bootswatch`](https://bootswatch.com) theme that affects the overall
appearance of the whole site.
```yaml
template:
params:
bootswatch: cerulean
```
* A Google analytics user ID if you want to track the people who are using your
site
```yaml
template:
params:
ganalytics: UA-000000-01
```
* A Google site verification code to be added to page headers
```yaml
template:
params:
google_site_verification: _nn6ile-a6x6lctOW
```
* Customize metadata used for social media cards, as described in
`vignette("metadata")`.
* Package search, as described in `vignette("search")`.
[^other-locations]: You can also put it in `pkgdown/_pkgdown.yml` if you want to keep the package root clutter free, or in `inst/_pkgdown.yml` if you want to make it available when your package is installed.
## Home page
The contents of home page is automatically generated from `index.md` or `README.md`. pkgdown tries them in order, so if you want a different display for GitHub and pkgdown, you can provide both files. The homepage also includes a sidebar full of useful links; see `?build_home` for how these are generated and how you can customise them.
## Reference
pkgdown creates a function reference in `reference/` that includes one page for each `.Rd` help topic in `man/`. The translation of individual help topics from Rd to HTML is generally straightforward, but there are a couple of things you should bear in mind:
* pkgdown does its best to autolink all references to help topics and
articles described in `vignette("linking")`.
* pkgdown executes all examples, inserting the rendered results in the
generated HTML files.
By default, pkgdown generates a reference index that is just an alphabetically-ordered list of functions. The index is much more useful with human curation because functions can be grouped and described in categories. To override the default, provide a `reference` field in `_pkgdown.yml`. The `reference` should be an array of three types objects:
* A title, defined by `title` and optional `desc` (description) fields.
* A subtitle, defined by `subtitle` and optional `desc` (description) fields.
* A list of topics defined by a `contents` field.
```yaml
reference:
- title: "Connecting to Spark"
desc: >
Functions for installing Spark components and managing
connections to Spark
- contents:
- spark_config
- spark_connect
- spark_disconnect
- spark_install
- spark_log
- title: "Reading and Writing Data"
desc: "Functions for reading and writing Spark DataFrames."
- contents:
- starts_with("spark_read")
- starts_with("spark_write")
- matches("saveload")
```
Note the use of `starts_with()` to select all functions with a common prefix. You can also use `ends_with()` and `matches()`. See complete details in `?build_reference`.
While working on the reference index you might want to run `build_reference_index()` instead of `build_site()`; that will considerably reduce your iteration time.
## Articles
pkgdown will automatically build all vignettes found in `vignettes`, translating them to HTML files in `articles/`. Due to the way that pkgdown has to integrate RMarkdown generated HTML with its own HTML, relatively little control is available over the output format.
If you want to include an article on the website but not in the package (e.g., because it's large), you can either place it in a subdirectory of `vignettes/` or add it to `.Rbuildignore` (and make sure that there's no `vignettes:` section in the yaml header). In the extreme case where you want to produce only articles but not vignettes, you should add the complete `vignettes/` directory to `.Rbuildignore` and ensure that DESCRIPTION does not have a `VignetteBuilder` field.
More details can be found in `?build_articles`.
## News
If `NEWS.md` is present, it will be rendered into a single-page Changelog based on markdown level headings. pkgdown assumes your `NEWS.md` is formatted using level one headings (`#`) to specify package name and version number, and level two headings (`##`) to provide topical organization for each release.
```markdown
# pkgdown 1.1.0
## Bug Fixes
* Lots of them
# pkgdown 1.0.0
* This is the first release of pkgdown.
```
See more suggestions for writing news bullets in the [tidyverse style guide](https://style.tidyverse.org/news.html).
See `?build_news` for more customisation options including how to:
* Create one page for each major version and related minor versions.
* Add release announcements to the news navbar drop-down.
## Publishing
The easiest way to publish your website is to use GitHub [`docs/` directory][docs] support. If you want to build and publish your package automatically with GitHub actions, try `usethis::use_github_action("pkgdown")`.
## Promoting
Once your finalized site is built and published on the web, you should publicize its URL in a few places:
1. The `URL` field of your package `DESCRIPTION`, alongside a link to
its source:
```
URL: https://pkgdown.r-lib.org, https://github.com/r-lib/pkgdown
```
1. Your repository description on GitHub.
1. On Twitter (make sure to include `#rstats`).
[docs]: https://help.github.com/articles/configuring-a-publishing-source-for-github-pages/#publishing-your-github-pages-site-from-a-docs-folder-on-your-master-branch
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