Skip to content

Publishing your site

The great thing about hosting project documentation in a git repository is the ability to deploy it automatically when new changes are pushed. MkDocs makes this ridiculously simple.

GitHub Pages

If you're already hosting your code on GitHub, GitHub Pages is certainly the most convenient way to publish your project documentation. It's free of charge and pretty easy to set up.

with GitHub Actions

Using GitHub Actions you can automate the deployment of your project documentation. At the root of your repository, create a new GitHub Actions workflow, e.g. .github/workflows/ci.yml, and copy and paste the following contents:

name: ci # (1)
on:
  push:
    branches: # (2)
      - master
      - main
jobs:
  deploy:
    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
    steps:
      - uses: actions/checkout@v2
      - uses: actions/setup-python@v2
        with:
          python-version: 3.x
      - run: pip install mkdocs-material # (3)
      - run: mkdocs gh-deploy --force
  1. You can change the name to your liking.

  2. At some point, GitHub renamed master to main. If your default branch is named master, you can safely remove main, vice versa.

  3. This is the place to install further MkDocs plugins or Markdown extensions with pip to be used during the build:

    pip install \
      mkdocs-material \
      mkdocs-awesome-pages-plugin \
      ...
    
name: ci
on:
  push:
    branches:
      - master
      - main
jobs:
  deploy:
    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
    if: github.event.repository.fork == false
    steps:
      - uses: actions/checkout@v2
      - uses: actions/setup-python@v2
        with:
          python-version: 3.x
      - run: pip install git+https://${GH_TOKEN}@github.com/squidfunk/mkdocs-material-insiders.git
      - run: mkdocs gh-deploy --force
env:
  GH_TOKEN: ${{ secrets.GH_TOKEN }}

Now, when a new commit is pushed to either the master or main branches, the static site is automatically built and deployed. Push your changes to see the workflow in action.

Your documentation should shortly appear at <username>.github.io/<repository>.

Remember to set the GH_TOKEN environment variable to the value of your personal access token when deploying Insiders, which can be done using secrets.

with MkDocs

If you prefer to deploy your project documentation manually, you can just invoke the following command from the directory containing the mkdocs.yml file:

mkdocs gh-deploy --force

GitLab Pages

If you're hosting your code on GitLab, deploying to GitLab Pages can be done by using the GitLab CI task runner. At the root of your repository, create a task definition named .gitlab-ci.yml and copy and paste the following contents:

image: python:latest
pages:
  stage: deploy
  only:
    - master
  script:
    - pip install mkdocs-material
    - mkdocs build --site-dir public
  artifacts:
    paths:
      - public
image: python:latest
pages:
  stage: deploy
  only:
    - master
  script:
    - pip install git+https://${GH_TOKEN}@github.com/squidfunk/mkdocs-material-insiders.git
    - mkdocs build --site-dir public
  artifacts:
    paths:
      - public

Now, when a new commit is pushed to master, the static site is automatically built and deployed. Commit and push the file to your repository to see the workflow in action.

Your documentation should shortly appear at <username>.gitlab.io/<repository>.

Remember to set the GH_TOKEN environment variable to the value of your personal access token when deploying Insiders, which can be done using masked custom variables.