Disclaimer: this is definitely not the best way of doing things. I really don’t know what I’m doing. But I hope it’s still helpful to you in some way.

I used Eleventy to rebuild my personal website, and had a bit a headache getting it deployed to GitHub Pages.

There’s not much guidance online. The best seems to be the article that Jonathan Snook has written about deploying an 11ty site to GitHub Pages. But rightly or wrongly I felt a little daunted about using Travis CI for the build, and I believe I’d have to pay for it after a while. So I thought I’d try and cobble together something different.

I’m very new to all of this so I’m not sure what’s best, but here’s how I ended up doing it. Hopefully it’s helpful for anyone hoping to use Eleventy and GitHub pages. I’d be interested to know if I could have done it better.

1 - Build locally and get everything on GitHub

Unlike Jonathan Snook’s method, I built the site locally and published it to GitHub.

By default, Eleventy won’t publish the local build to GitHub.

So I found .gitignore and removed this line:


That means the content of the local site (in the _site folder) gets pushed to GitHub.

2 - Set up GitHub Pages and set the build directory to /docs/

I set up GitHub Pages for the respository as described here.

For the ‘Source’, I picked the ‘docs’ folder in the master branch.

GitHub Pages settings

3 - Tell GitHub Pages I’m not using Jekyll

GitHub Pages seemed to be getting confused that I wasn’t using Jekyll (I was getting build error emails). So as described here I added a blank file called .nojekyll.

Adding .nojekyll fileI added a file called .nojekyll in the root folder

4 - Change the 11ty output directory to /docs/

Nothing was working yet because Eleventy builds sites to the _site folder by default, whereas GitHub pages was looking for the /docs folder (see #2).

So I followed the instructions here to change Eleventy’s output folder. This is the relevant bit in eleventy.js:

dir: {
      input: ".", // was . //
      includes: "_includes",
      data: "_data",
      output: "docs" // was _site, I changed for github

5 - Change the site prefix

Note - I undid this later! See #7

Once I’d pushed everything to GitHub, the site appeared on GitHub Pages! But it looked like this:

Adding .nojekyll file

Links to my CSS, my .js file and images were broken.

So as described here, I headed back to eleventy.js and changed my site’s path prefix to match my respository name. This is the relevant bit:

    pathPrefix: "/personal-site-11ty/",  
    // I un-commented this and updated it to try and make github pages work

6 - Change the path for images

Note - I undid this later! See #7

That fixed a lot, but not my .js file or images.

So I headed to base.njk and found the reference to the .js file. I added the URL prefix manually.

I.e. I changed this:

    <script src="/css/script.js" defer="defer"></script>

to this:

    <script src="/personal-site-11ty/css/script.js" defer="defer"></script>

For the images, I did a find and replace.

I found all instances of this:


and replaced them with this:


7 - Create a custom domain and UNDO #5 and #6

I pointed my domain (tomhiskey.co.uk) to my GitHub Page following instructions here.

Once it was live (which only took a few seconds), all the CSS and images were broken again. So I ended up undoing everthing I’d done at #5 and #6.

So if you’re using a custom domain, they seem to be unnecessary steps.

All this took a lot of time and Googling to figure out. I’m not sure if it’s a sensible method but it worked for me.

Too Long Didn’t Read

If you’re trying to deploy an Eleventy site to GitHub Pages, one option is to build it locally and fiddle about with settings.