Evan Sosenko

Automatic publishing to GitHub Pages with Travis CI

by Evan Sosenko

30 Dec 2013

19 Jan 2015 Jakub Jirutka has adapted this into a Ruby gem: rake-jekyll.

I've been working on improving my site and moving it over to GitHub pages over the holiday. This involved a lot of work on Jekyll & ZURB, the Jekyll scaffold I created. It has a lot of (optional) features and modern optimizations, while still being a clean starting point for any static site.

Eventually, the example site will function as the primary source of documentation and feature demos, but for my first post here I wanted to talk about the coolest feature I added: getting Travis CI to build and publish the site to GitHub Pages on new commits. I got the idea from the { :awestruct } docs.

This method should work with any static site generator, or really anything as I only make the following assumptions:

That's it!

I'll step through the code a few lines at a time, but if you want to skip to the answer, there is a link to a Gist at the end. These instructions assume you will use the gh-pages branch, but the case where you need to use master is not that different.

GitHub Pages branch

First, setup a gh-pages branch (if you don't have one already). We use an orphan branch since the history is separate.

$ git checkout --orphan gh-pages

Next, you will need to remove all files and folders except the .git directory. Then, make an initial commit with only index.html, push it, and make sure it goes live online.

$ git add --all
$ echo "GitHub Pages placeholder" > index.html
$ git add index.html
$ git commit -m "GitHub Pages placeholder"
$ git push -u origin gh-pages
$ git checkout master


Now, you need to set up credentials that will let Travis CI login and push to GitHub.

Install the travis gem,

$ gem install travis

Create a GitHub Personal Access Token, and add your name, email, and token to travis as encrypted data (fill in your values in the command below). Be sure to run this inside the git repo for your site.

$ travis encrypt 'GIT_NAME="Your Name" [email protected] GH_TOKEN=token'

This will give you a value you need to add to your .travis.yml, e.g.,

# .travis.yml

script: bundle exec rake travis

  - secure: "big long encrypted string"

    - master

Note we also specify what branch to build the site from, and that rake travis should be run for the build.

Rake task

The last step is adding the rake task that Travis CI will run to build and publish your site.

Most of the steps configure git settings so Travis CI can pull and push to the gh-pages branch.

Grab the rake task below.

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