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Activates or reconfigures a GitHub Pages site for a project hosted on GitHub. This function anticipates two specific usage modes:

  • Publish from the root directory of a gh-pages branch, which is assumed to be only (or at least primarily) a remote branch. Typically the gh-pages branch is managed by an automatic "build and deploy" job, such as the one configured by use_github_action("pkgdown").

  • Publish from the "/docs" directory of a "regular" branch, probably the repo's default branch. The user is assumed to have a plan for how they will manage the content below "/docs".


use_github_pages(branch = "gh-pages", path = "/", cname = NA)


branch, path

Branch and path for the site source. The default of branch = "gh-pages" and path = "/" reflects strong GitHub support for this configuration: when a gh-pages branch is first created, it is automatically published to Pages, using the source found in "/". If a gh-pages branch does not yet exist on the host, use_github_pages() creates an empty, orphan remote branch.

The most common alternative is to use the repo's default branch, coupled with path = "/docs". It is the user's responsibility to ensure that this branch pre-exists on the host.

Note that GitHub does not support an arbitrary path and, at the time of writing, only "/" or "/docs" are accepted.


Optional, custom domain name. The NA default means "don't set or change this", whereas a value of NULL removes any previously configured custom domain.

Note that this can add or modify a CNAME file in your repository. If you are using Pages to host a pkgdown site, it is better to specify its URL in the pkgdown config file and let pkgdown manage CNAME.


Site metadata returned by the GitHub API, invisibly

See also


if (FALSE) {
use_github_pages(branch = git_default_branch(), path = "/docs")