Steps to set up a website with a custom domain
- Purchase a domain name from your favourite domain name registrar (Google Domains, NameSilo, GoDaddy etc.)
- Sign up for GitHub and create a repository on GitHub by clicking the “New repository button” and completing the required details.
- Add your website files to the repository you created (see my Git cheat guide if you’re new to Git). In the repository directory containing the website files type:
git checkout -- orphan gh-pages
git add *
git commit -m "Added website pages"
git push origin gh-pages
- To set up the custom domain on GitHub you must:
- add a file named CNAME to your repository. This file should only contain one line which is your domain. For example, the line http://www.example.com
- In the settings tab on your repository in GitHub, type your custom domain (e.g. example.com) and click the “Save” button.
- Let your domain registrar know about the GitHub custom domain by setting up a custom DNS.
- Log into your registrar’s settings page and set up a custom DNS pointing to GitHub. The custom IP addresses used by GitHub Pages are 126.96.36.199 or 188.8.131.52 as shown here. Some domain name registrars have a GitHub template you can use instead of manually setting everything up.
- Optional: set up an alias email using email forwarding with your registrar. This will allow you to receive
Now you can type http://www.example.com in your web browser and this will navigate to the website you uploaded to GitHub!
- My website works fine for URLs of the form “example.com” but not for “www.example.com” A workaround for this is to configure forwarding with your domain name registrar. Simply forward http://www.example.com to example.com. This is dangerous because it leads to too many redirects which are restricted on most browsers.
- I get an error about my CNAME file Check out the official troubleshooting guide for a range of CNAME errors and solutions.