Deploying on GitHub Pages

GitHub offers free hosting for static websites through its GitHub Pages feature. It also has builtin support for Jekyll website. Once properly configured, every time you push your Jekyll website to GitHub, it will be deployed on a url.

But GitHub will only build your website (jekyll build), it will not run other commands (like jekyll algolia), so if you want to update your search results on each push, you’ll have to find another way.

We recommend using Netlify, but if you want to stay hosted on GitHub pages, this page will explain how to keep your search records in sync with your deployed website.

Enabling Travis

Travis CI is an hosted continuous integration service, and it’s free for open-source projects. It can listen to any changes in your GitHub repository and run a specific command in response.

We will use it to automatically run jekyll algolia every time a new push to your GitHub Pages is done.

Here are the steps to follow to setup your Travis account for your project:

  • Go to and open an account
  • Click on your avatar and “Profile”
  • Find your GitHub repository in the list and activate it

You should also uncheck the “Build pull request updates” in the options. This will avoid re-indexing your data every time you receive a pull request.

Travis configuration

Configuring Travis

Now that Travis is enabled, we have to configure it to tell it what to do on every new push to your repo. This can be done through the Travis UI, but we recommend doing it through a .travis.yml file in your repository. It makes keeping track of the configuration easier.

# .travis.yml # This file should be at the root of your project language: ruby cache: bundler before_install: - gem install bundler script: - bundle exec jekyll algolia branches: only: # Change this to gh-pages if you're deploying using the gh-pages branch - master rvm: - 2.4

This file will be read by Travis and instruct it to fetch all the dependencies defined in the Gemfile through Bundler. It will then run bundle exec jekyll algolia which will actually index your data.

You might have to edit the branches.only value to either master or gh-pages, depending on which branch is configured to be deployed in your GitHub Pages configuration.

Ignoring vendors

Travis bundles all gems in the vendor directory on its servers, which Jekyll will mistakenly read. This will likely make the process fail. To avoid this, add vendor to the exclude list in your _config.yml file.

exclude: [vendor]

Adding the API Key

The plugin will need your Admin API key to push data. Because you don’t want to expose this key in your repository, you’ll have to add ALGOLIA_API_KEY as an environment variable to Travis. You can do that through the UI, in your Travis Settings page.

Travis environment variables


Commit all the changes you made, and then push your repository. Travis will catch the event and trigger your indexing for you. You can follow the Travis job execution directly on your Travis dashboard, with a full log.