How I deploy to GitHub Pages

How does Github pages work? (skip if you know this)

Many static pages generators will generate a single public as output. This folders contains the entire generated site. On GitHub you can create a repository with the special name <your GitHub username>, in my case Doing so will create a webpage at the address

The problem with static page generators and GitHub pages

The tricky part is that the master branch of that repository should contain the site (the content of the aforementioned public folder), while on the other hand you probably want to keep the source files of that page (in my case of collection of markdown files) in the same repository.

The solution

My repository has two branches: master and source. master contains the generated HTML, which is copied over on each deployment from the source branches’ public folder. How do I go about copying the HTML files from one branch to another? I found that the easiest solution is to have the project cloned locally two times. One clone contains only the master branch, another one only the source branch. When creating a post I add the markdown file in the source clone. After commiting the new post I run the static page generator to create the public directory. Subsequently I copy the contents of the public directory to the master clone. A new commit in the master checkout is created which contains the site. This commit is then pushed to the remote repository to have the new content online.

In reality I automated most of this. After I created the commit containing the new post in the source checkout I run this bash script:


The key is two have two branches in the repository: master and source. Locally the repository is cloned twice: once with the master and again with the source branch.