The main website for Write the Docs.
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Latest commit af900db Jan 19, 2018 @plaindocs plaindocs Merge pull request #406 from writethedocs/sw-titles
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Write the Docs website

This is the code that powers It contains information about the Write the Docs group, as well as information about writing documentation.

The repo is still in its early stages; feel free to contribute information that you might want to share with the community. To contribute to the Write the Docs website, famililarize yourself with the Sphinx site generator.

Prerequisites for previewing the docs locally

You'll probably need root privileges to install the prerequisites.

  1. Install python 2.7.x using your package manager.

  2. If your version of Python as shown by python -V is <= 2.7.9:

    1. download and install pip.
    2. install virtualenv using your package manager.

Installing the project requirements

  1. In the repository root directory (www by default), create a virtual environment for the project requirements by running virtualenv venv. More info on virtualenv.

  2. On Linux-based systems, activate the virtual environment by running source venv/bin/activate. On Windows using the Command Prompt, run venv\Scripts\activate.bat. On Windows using PowerShell, run . venv\Scripts\activate.ps1. On Windows using Git Bash, run source venv\Scripts\activate. You'll need to do this every time you come back to the project.

  3. In the repository root directory (www by default), run pip install -r requirements.txt to install sphinx and other requirements.

Previewing the docs locally

Remember to activate the virtual environment using the appropriate command for your OS and Shell before running the following commands.

  1. In the docs directory, run make livehtml to view the docs on

If you're not seeing new content in the local preview, run make clean to delete the generated files, then make livehtml to regenerate them.

The Write the Docs website is hosted on Read the Docs.

Viewing changes on staging

If you you can't run make livehtml locally, or don't want to, you can preview changes by merging them into the staging branch and pushing that to GitHub.

If your feature branch is changes-to-test you would do something like:

git checkout staging
git pull
git merge changes-to-test
git push

Unless there are merge conflicts you need to resolve, when you push those changes a build is triggered on Read the Docs and when it is finished you can preview your changes on:

Updating the theme or css

If you need to update the theme, the original source is in

and instructions on how to update it are in the

Updating CSS for the 2018 Theme

The website for 2018 uses sass to compile all the assets it has, in order to modify the theme first you must install the dependencies of gulp, you can do that by running in the main directory:

npm install

With that you will install all the requirements to minify your css, after that you only need to run:


This has to be used alongside the sphinx server and it will automatically minify all the content in your .scss files to the main.min.css file. Also gulp will be running browserify allowing you to see the css changes inmediatelly in the browser.