Github Pages: Deploying a subfolder to GitHub Pages

Sometimes you want to have a subdirectory on the master branch be the root directory of a repository’s gh-pages branch. This is useful for things like sites developed with Yeoman, or if you have a Jekyll site contained in the master branch alongside the rest of your code. Also, a lot of static site generators create a build folder called ‘dist’ or ‘static’. I was recently using foundation CLI at this website and I came across this problem that I wanted to show all the changes quickly to the client I was building this form. So I used the following process.

For the sake of this example, let’s pretend the subfolder containing your site is named dist.

Step 1

Remove the dist directory from the project’s .gitignore file (it’s ignored by default by Yeoman).

Step 2

Make sure git knows about your subtree (the subfolder with your site).

git add dist && git commit -m "Initial dist subtree commit"

Step 3

Use subtree push to send it to the gh-pages branch on GitHub.

git subtree push --prefix dist origin gh-pages

Boom. If your folder isn’t called dist, then you’ll need to change that in each of the commands above.


If you do this on a regular basis, you could also create a script containing the following somewhere in your path:

!/bin/sh
if [ -z "$1" ]
then
echo "Which folder do you want to deploy to GitHub Pages?"
exit 1
fi
git subtree push --prefix $1 origin gh-pages

Which lets you type commands like:

git gh-deploy path/to/your/site
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