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Documentation Publishing Your Site

Deploy to Production

Bridgetown generates your site and saves it to the output directory by default. You can transfer the contents of this directory to almost any hosting provider to make your site go live.

Bridgetown’s included site template automatically provides a Rake task you can run to build both your frontend bundle and your static website. Simply run

bin/bridgetown deploy

as part of your deployment process, which will kick off both the frontend:build Rake task and the bridgetown build commands in that order.

You must set the BRIDGETOWN_ENV environment variable to production on the machine or service that’s building the site for deployment. Read more about environments here.

This will also help you if you wish to utilize additional logic within your site templates or plugins to determine what’s a “development” build vs. “production” build.

Automatic Deployment #

We recommend setting up an automatic deployment solution at the earliest opportunity. This way every time you push a commit up to your Git repository on a service such as GitHub, your site is automatically rebuilt and deployed quickly.

Some popular services include:

Render #

Render provides the easiest cloud for all your static sites, APIs, databases, and containers. Render is a unified platform which can build and run apps and websites with free SSL, a global CDN, private networks, and auto deploys from Git. Use Render’s simple admin dashboard or write an “infrastructure as code” YAML file to configure all your services at once. The choice is yours.

Vercel #

Vercel combines a great developer experience with an obsessive focus on end-user performance. Changes instantly go live on their global edge network along with SSL encryption and cache invalidation. Vercel is the platform for developers and designers…and those who aspire to become one.

Netlify #

Netlify is a web developer platform which focuses on productivity and global scale without requiring costly infrastructure. Get set up with continuous deployment, lead gen forms, one click HTTPS, and so much more. # is a platform that focuses on container based deployment. Their service transforms containers into micro-VMs that run on hardware all across the globe. The section below on Docker has some examples that can be used with Fly.

Manual Deployment #

For a simple method of deployment, you can simply transfer the contents of your output folder to any web server. You can use something like scp to securely copy the folder, or you can use a more advanced tool:

rsync #

Rsync is similar to scp except it can be faster as it will only send changed parts of files as opposed to the entire file. You can learn more about using rsync in the Digital Ocean tutorial.

Docker #

Many modern hosting solutions support deploying with a Dockerfile. Building a Bridgetown site for one of these services is as easy as creating a Dockerfile in the root directory of your project. See the examples below.

Static Site

If you’re simply looking to deploy a static version of your site.

# Build frontend JS and CSS assets using ESbuild
FROM node:alpine as asset_builder
WORKDIR /assets
COPY . .
RUN npm install
RUN npm run esbuild

# Generate your site content as HTML
FROM ruby:alpine as bridgetown_builder
RUN apk add --no-cache build-base
RUN gem install bundler -N
RUN gem install bridgetown -N
COPY . .
RUN bundle install
COPY --from=asset_builder /assets/output output/
COPY --from=asset_builder /assets/.bridgetown-cache .bridgetown-cache/
RUN ./bin/bridgetown build

# Serve your site in a tiny production container, which serves on port 8043.
FROM pierrezemb/gostatic
COPY --from=bridgetown_builder /app/output /srv/http/

Dynamic Site

If you’re looking to use things like Dynamic Routes & SSR.

FROM ruby:$RUBY_VERSION-slim as base

ENV VOLTA_HOME=/usr/local

RUN apt-get update &&\
    apt-get install --yes build-essential git curl

RUN curl | bash &&\
    volta install node@lts


FROM base as gems
COPY Gemfile* .
RUN bundle install

FROM base
COPY . .
COPY --from=base $VOLTA_HOME/bin $VOLTA_HOME/bin
COPY --from=base $VOLTA_HOME/tools $VOLTA_HOME/tools
COPY --from=base /app /app
COPY --from=gems /usr/local/bundle /usr/local/bundle

RUN npm install
RUN bundle exec bridgetown frontend:build

CMD bundle exec bridgetown start

GitLab Pages #

GitLab pages can host static websites. Create a repository on GitLab, which we suppose is at Add the following .gitlab-ci.yml file to your project, which we shall suppose is called mysite following the documentation setup instructions. The .gitlab-ci.yml file should be in the mysite directory created using bridgetown new mysite and should contain

image: ruby:2.6

  - vendor

    - apt-get update -yqqq
    - curl -sL | bash -
    - apt update
    - apt-get install -y nodejs
    - export GEM_HOME=$PWD/gems
    - export PATH=$PWD/gems/bin:$PATH
    - gem install bundler
    - gem install bridgetown -N
    - bundle install
    - npm install

    - !reference [.setup, script]
    - bin/bridgetown deploy
    - bin/bridgetown clean
    - main

    - !reference [.setup, script]
    - bin/bridgetown deploy
    - mv output public
      - public
    - main

Once this file has been created, add it and the other files and folders to the repository, and then push them to GitLab:

git add .gitlab-ci.yml
git remote add origin
git add .
git commit -am "initial commit"
git push -u origin main

After the build the site should be live at

Enable GZip & Brotli compression for GitLab Pages

Most modern browsers support downloading files in a compressed format. This speeds up downloads by reducing the size of files.

Before serving an uncompressed file, Gitlab Pages checks if the same file exists with a .br or .gz extension. If it does, and the browser supports receiving compressed files, it serves that version instead of the uncompressed one.

This can be achieved by including a script: command like this in your .gitlab-ci.yml pages job:

  # Other directives
    # Add this ligne just after apt update
    - apt-get install -y brotli
    # Build the public/ directory first
    - find public -type f -regex '.*\.\(htm\|html\|txt\|text\|js\|css\)$' -exec gzip -f -k {} \;
    - find public -type f -regex '.*\.\(htm\|html\|txt\|text\|js\|css\)$' -exec brotli -f -k {} \;

For more details, see the documentation.

GitHub Pages #

Much like with GitLab, you can also deploy static sites to GitHub Pages. You can make use of GitHub Actions to automate building and deploying your site to GitHub Pages.

Bridgetown includes a bundled configuration to set up GitHub pages. You can apply it with the following command:

bin/bridgetown configure gh-pages

Make sure to update your repo’s GitHub Pages Settings at<your-account>/<your-site>/settings/pages to have the pages Source set to GitHub Actions. You’ll also likely need to set a base_path in your Bridgetown configuration unless you’re setting up a custom domain.

Dokku #

Dokku is great if you either want Heroku-style deployments on a budget or you want more control over your server stack. Deploying to Dokku is quite easy, but as always, there are a few settings required to make everything run smoothly.

This guide assumes you’ve got a fully-functioning Dokku server up and running and created an app we’ll conveniently call bridgetown.

First, add the following environment variables to your app on the server:

dokku config:set bridgetown BRIDGETOWN_ENV=production NGINX_ROOT=output

Next, create a file called .buildpacks at the root of your local project with the following contents to tell Dokku about the app’s requirements:

Also, create an empty file called .static in the same location. This file will tell dokku to run the app as a static website using Nginx.

Finally, add the following line to the scripts section in your package.json:

  // ...
  "scripts": {
    // ...
    "heroku-postbuild": "bin/bridgetown deploy",
    // ...
  // ...

The nodejs buildpack will automatically run npm run heroku-postbuild at the right time during the deployment process, so there is nothing left to do. You can now safely deploy your application:

git push dokku

… and watch your site being built on the server.


Just upload the output folder to somewhere accessible by NGINX and configure your server. Below is an example of conf file:

server {
  index index.html;
  root /var/www/bridgetown/output;

  location / {
    rewrite ^(.+)/+$ $1 permanent;
    try_files $uri $uri/index.html $uri.html /index.html;
    access_log /var/www/bridgetown/shared/log/nginx.access.log;
    error_log /var/www/bridgetown/shared/log/nginx.error.log;

  location ^~ /_bridgetown/ {
    gzip_static on;
    expires max;
    add_header Cache-Control public;

  listen 443 ssl;
  # You can get a free SSL in or using let's encrypt certbot
  ssl_certificate /etc/ssl/certs/;
  ssl_certificate_key /etc/ssl/private/;

server {
  if ($host = {
      return 301 https://$host$request_uri;

  listen 80;
  return 404;

Automated Testing