Getting Started

Get started with Chirpy basics in this comprehensive overview. You will learn how to install, configure, and use your first Chirpy-based website, as well as deploy it to a web server.


Follow the instructions in the Jekyll Docs to complete the installation of the basic environment. Git also needs to be installed.


Creating a New Site

There are two ways to create a new repository for this theme:

  • Using the Chirpy Starter — Easy to upgrade, isolates irrelevant project files so you can focus on writing.
  • GitHub Fork — Convenient for custom development, but difficult to upgrade. Unless you are familiar with Jekyll and are determined to tweak or contribute to this project, this approach is not recommended.

Option 1. Using the Chirpy Starter

Sign in to GitHub and browse to Chirpy Starter, click the button Use this template > Create a new repository, and name the new repository, where USERNAME represents your GitHub username.

Option 2. GitHub Fork

Sign in to GitHub to fork Chirpy, and then rename it to (USERNAME means your username).

Next, clone the repository to your local machine, make sure it has Node.js installed, then go to the root directory of the repo and run the following command:

$ bash tools/

If you don’t want to deploy your site on GitHub Pages, append option --no-gh at the end of the above command.

The above command will:

  1. Check out the code to the latest tag (to ensure the stability of your site: as the code for the default branch is under development).
  2. Remove non-essential sample files and take care of GitHub-related files.
  3. Build CSS/JS assets files and then make them tracked by Git.
  4. Automatically create a new commit to save the changes above.

Installing Dependencies

Before running local server for the first time, go to the root directory of your site and run:

$ bundle



Update the variables in _config.yml as needed. Some typical options include:

  • url
  • avatar
  • timezone
  • lang

Social Contact Options

Social contact options are displayed at the bottom of the sidebar. You can enable or disable specific contacts in the _data/contact.yml file.

Customizing the Stylesheet

To customize the stylesheet, copy the theme’s assets/css/jekyll-theme-chirpy.scss file to the same path in your Jekyll site, and add your custom styles at the end of the file.

Starting with version 6.2.0, if you want to overwrite the SASS variables defined in _sass/addon/variables.scss, copy the main SASS file _sass/main.scss to the _sass directory in your site’s source, then create a new file _sass/variables-hook.scss and assign your new values there.

Customizing Static Assets

Static assets configuration was introduced in version 5.1.0. The CDN of the static assets is defined in _data/origin/cors.yml. You can replace some of them based on to the network conditions in the region where your website is published.

Also, if you’d like to self-host the static assets, please refer to the chirpy-static-assets.

Running Local Server

You may want to preview the site contents before publishing, so just run it by:

$ bundle exec jekyll s

After a few seconds, the local service will be published at


Before deploying, check the _config.yml file and ensure the url is configured correctly. If you prefer a project site and don’t use a custom domain, or if you want to visit your website with a base URL on a web server other than GitHub Pages, remember to set the baseurl to your project name, starting with a slash, e.g., /project-name.

Now you can choose ONE of the following methods to deploy your Jekyll site.

Deploy Using GitHub Actions

Prepare the following:

  • If you’re on the GitHub Free plan, keep your site repository public.
  • If you have committed Gemfile.lock to the repository, and your local machine is not running Linux, update the platform list of the lock file:

    $ bundle lock --add-platform x86_64-linux

Next, configure the Pages service:

  1. Go to your repository on GitHub. Select the Settings tab, then click Pages in the left navigation bar. In the Source section (under Build and deployment), select GitHub Actions from the dropdown menu.
    Build source Build source

  2. Push any commits to GitHub to trigger the Actions workflow. In the Actions tab of your repository, you should see the workflow Build and Deploy running. Once the build is complete and successful, the site will be deployed automatically.

You can now visit the URL provided by GitHub to access your site.

Manual Build and Deployment

For self-hosted servers, you will need to build the site on your local machine and then upload the site files to the server.

Navigate to the root of the source project, and build your site with the following command:

$ JEKYLL_ENV=production bundle exec jekyll b

Unless you specified the output path, the generated site files will be placed in the _site folder of the project’s root directory. Upload these files to your target server.

This post is licensed under CC BY 4.0 by the author.