Have you started using Github Pages to host your static site(s) for free? If not, embark on this journey to discover more about Github Pages which is truly a hidden gem among the plethora of website hosts.
Now let’s start on the reasons of why you should be using Github Pages.
1. FREE static site hosting
Github Pages provides absolutely free hosting for static sites, with an abundance of disk space of 1Gb for each repository, which is basically much more than what you would usually require.
You are able to create one user/organization pages and almost unlimited (at least it is not stated) project pages, which translates to practically an unlimited number of sites. Now this is pretty amazing.
2. FREE custom domain pointing
Not many free static site or blog hosts allow you to use your own custom domain for free.
In terms of blog hosts, Google’s Blogger is one such host that provides custom domain pointing for free, but apparently there is not much flexibility when it comes to modifying your blog.
Github Pages allows you to use your custom domain absolutely for free. Just create a
CNAME file in the root directory with your custom domain written inside the file. It’s just that simple.
And you can even create your own custom blog with your custom domain on Github Pages, just read on.
3. Enterprise-grade speed/performance
Github powers the world’s largest open-source repository, and for this, you could definitely imagine the prowess of Github’s servers. I would personally think this is the biggest factor as to why I have migrated so many of my sites to Github Pages.
In fact, Github Pages servers are surprisingly fast. Its speed of serving files and loading sites is comparable to similar paid file serving services provided by the big guys like Amazon and Microsoft, but all at no cost.
It might not even be worth mentioning that most shared hosting providers are really slow.
Github Pages may just blow you off.
4. Easily deploy site with basic theme
Github Pages even provides clear and detailed instructions on how to roll out a vanilla project site using an amazing pre-built theme. Just head to Github Pages, select “Project site”, and you will see the instructions.
Just a few steps and you are rewarded with a spanking new project site set up for you in seconds. How easy can that be?
As the generated site is meant to be a project site, you may need to edit the code to customize your static site. For project pages, you need to switch to the
gh-pages branch and you will find your static assets there. Github Pages allows you to directly create/edit/delete your files.
Or even better, check out Prose.io for an amazing content editor for Github Pages. Simply authorize it to access your Github account and you get a wonderful interface to manage your Github Pages content.
5. Supports Jekyll-based blogs
If you thought that Github Pages can only allow you to host static sites, here’s another big discovery.
Github Pages uses the Jekyll engine, which supports a simple templating language and a blogging system. This knowledge might be more suitable for techies, but what it means is that you can actually create blazing fast blogs on Github Pages, again for free.
And for front-end developers, it would be very useful to know about the Jekyll system because it provides a really simple templating language that can add some logic to your pages without requiring the use of dynamic languages like PHP. And while playing with Jekyll’s blog-aware features, I found out that it has never been easier to simply customize a blog, as compared to customizing a blog in Wordpress. However, this is more of Jekyll rather than Github Pages, so maybe we will just leave this discussion for another day.
If you are a front-end developer creating static sites for your clients, now you have a more than excellent choice to host your client’s static site, or even your own static site or blog.