A month ago I decided to rebuild my website using Jekyll for a couple of reasons: it’s the official tool used by Github Pages and it supports blogging. Considering also that Github Pages is free, this is pretty much one of the best ways to build a personal website nowadays and I’m very happy with the result.

If you plan to deploy a Jekyll website on Github Pages the process is straightforward: you push your website source on the correct branch ( master for a personal website or gh-pages for a project website ) and then the site gets compiled automatically by the Github Servers.

While this works almost always correctly, sometimes the servers don’t compile the source, and the website gets stuck on the old version.

Force a Rebuild

Luckily for us, we can force a website rebuild using the Github API v3.

We will use curl to make the request. If you’re using Linux or Mac OS, it comes preinstalled with the system. If you’re using Windows, you can download curl here or use Postman to make the request.

Open a Terminal and paste the following code, replacing USER with your Github username and REPOSITORY with your repository name.

curl -X POST \
    --header 'Accept: application/vnd.github.mister-fantastic-preview+json' \
    -u "USER" \
    'https://api.github.com/repos/USER/REPOSITORY/pages/builds'

The command will prompt for your Github password, type it and press enter. If everything was correct, you should see a response like:

{
  "url": "https://api.github.com/repos/github/developer.github.com/pages/builds/latest",
  "status": "queued"
}

Example

Let’s suppose my Github username is “bob” and therefore my personal website has a repository called “bob.github.io”. We use the command:

curl -X POST \
    --header 'Accept: application/vnd.github.mister-fantastic-preview+json' \
    -u "bob" \
    'https://api.github.com/repos/bob/bob.github.io/pages/builds'

And then type the password.

If you encounter a 404 error, double-check the URL and the credentials that you inserted, as they are probably incorrect.