How I Host This Website

How I host this website, briefly explained.

The Code

This is a static website built using Jekyll, which I came to learn is a great tool for building static websites because development is fast and responsive. The site can be served locally for an immediate feedback loop:

bundle exec jekyll serve --livereload

The source code is stored in a public GitHub repository so feel free to take a look.

I’m using GitHub Actions for the CI/CD pipeline to automatically build and deploy this site to its hosting servers upon merge on main. The pipeline can also be examined in the source code.

Domain Name

The main idea of a name system is to provide a way to identify devices using names that make sense to humans. I for sure don’t want to remember the IP addresses hosting this website so let’s pick a registrar and register with DNS to let our machines do the work for us.

I’ve chosen Google Domains. We can see this by querying DNS:

whois | grep Registrar:
Registrar: Google LLC.

Great. Now we need some IP address(-es) we can use in our resource records.


They say Firebase is there to help both small and large enterprises to run their apps. I can’t say I’m the target audience… however given their Free Plan I won’t say no to at least trying it out – which I suppose is the point :).

I was pleasantly surprised how easy and seamless it was to onboard Firebase. I used their CLI to setup the project in a matter of minutes. You can follow the setup guide to try this out for yourself.

I have configured Firebase to deploy the contents of _site – the Jekyll build output directory. After doing a build locally we can emulate what Firebase thinks the website looks like according to the build artefacts:

firebase emulators:start

Upon initialisation Firebase helped generate the GitHub Actions file which I used as a basis to setup automated build & deploy, however I needed to tweak this – specifically the build stage – to make it work with Jekyll. It paid off quickly though as the automated pipeline builds and deploys to Firebase upon a merge on main. Sweet.

Firebase also makes it straightforward to integrate its Hosting with my domain by giving me two IPv4 addresses I can use. We can verify that by looking it up in DNS:

host has address has address

For now I’m only using Firebase Hosting and Firebase Analytics but I’m pleased with the experience and tooling so far.

GitHub Pages

This is a simple and straightforward one. As I was looking for ways to build Jekyll using GitHub Actions I came across Anyone on GitHub Free can host their public GitHub repositories on GitHub Pages.

Similarly to the setup with Firebase we can use GitHub Actions to build & deploy to GitHub Pages automatically.

By default the hosted site is accessible under though it would be nicer if it was under instead. GitHub Pages expects custom domains to have a CNAME definition in DNS; unfortunately we can’t add CNAME records, and keep Firebase IPs, for the root domain so I’ve defined a subdomain instead. We can verify this:

host is an alias for has address has address has address has address


Static website built using Jekyll. Source code and CI/CD pipeline in GitHub. Hosting done with Firebase and GitHub Pages.