A starter template for building a static site to be hosted on Heroku using the Frank gem.
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Frank on Heroku is simply a Frank project template that makes it easy to host a Frank-based static site on Heroku.

Frank is useful Ruby gem that lets you build static sites using your favorite libs. Frank has a built in development server for previewing work as you develop, an "export" command for compiling and saving your work out to static html and css, and a publish command for copying your exported pages to a server.

Heroku's Cedar Stack makes it easy to host a Rack app by adding a config.ru file to the root of the project. Frank on Heroku includes a config.ru file that tells Heroku how to serve up files from the /exported folder in a Frank project.

Frank on Heroku features

  • Prebuilt config.ru file that includes Ryan Tomayko's TryStatic class which will try and match requests to a static file in the /exported folder (the default export folder for Frank).

        # => returns /exported/index.html
        # => returns /exported/about.html
        # => returns /exported/tour/request/request-a-demo.html
  • Includes /heartbeat request handler that serves a simple 200 response. Great for uptime monitoring.

  • 404 ("File not found") error handling automatically serves /exported/404.html to the user.


  1. Make sure frank gem is installed. Install the gem if not:

    $ gem install frank
  2. Clone frank-on-heroku files into ~/.frank_templates

    $ cd ~/.frank_templates/
    $ git clone git://github.com/rarestep/frank-on-heroku.git

Creating a new website

  1. cd to the directory where your website code will live (e.g. cd ~/Dev )
  2. Create the new Frank project using the frank-on-heroku template:

    $ frank new rarestep-www
    Frank is...
     - Creating your project 'rarestep-www'
    Which template would you like to use? 
     1. default
     2. frank-on-heroku
    > 2
     - Copying frank-on-heroku Frank template
     Congratulations, 'rarestep-www' is ready to go!
    $ cd rarestep-www/
  3. Install Gemfile gems using Bundler (it's a good idea to to create a new gemset using RVM for your site):

    $ rvm gemset create rarestep-www
    $ rvm gemset use rarestep-www
    $ bundle install
  4. Run the Frank server locally and make sure you can pull up the stie (open http://localhost:3601/ in a web browser to view):

    $ bundle exec frank server
     Frank's takin' care of business... 
    >> Thin web server (v1.3.1 codename Triple Espresso)
    >> Maximum connections set to 1024
    >> Listening on, CTRL+C to stop
  5. Create a new app on Heroku on the Cedar Stack:

    $ heroku create --stack cedar
    Creating severe-sky-5191... done, stack is cedar
    http://severe-sky-5191.herokuapp.com/ | git@heroku.com:severe-sky-5191.git
    Git remote heroku added
  6. Export your site using Frank's export command, commit to git and push to Heroku:

    $ bundle exec frank export
    A folder named `exported' already exists, overwrite it? [y/n] y
    Frank is...
     - Creating 'exported'
     - Creating 'exported/css/frank.css'
     - Creating 'exported/index.html'
     - Creating 'exported/css/frank.css'
     - Copying static content
     Congratulations, project dumped to 'exported' successfully!
    $ git commit -a -m "Exported site"
    $ git push heroku master
    $ heroku open

Updating a website

Super easy! Pushing updates is as simple as using Frank as normal to build out your site, then repeating Step #6 above when you're ready to push to Heroku.