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Deploy a static site to production using git-hooks

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First of all, this post will not teach you how to setup a server nor how to setup SSH-access to a server.

  1. A server with SSH-access.
  2. Some prior knowledge about git.
  3. Nginx, Apache or something equivalent to serve you static site.


1. Initial setup

On our server we need to create a bare-repository which will contain our project and its hook. It doesn't matter where this repository is located, only that we have access to it. For this example, we can locate our bare-repositories in a directory called repos in our home-directory; /home/<username>/repos.

To create a bare-repository we run;

git init --bare <name-of-our-project>.git

Now that we have created a bare-repository we can go ahead and create a "deployment"-directory that will contain our built project. Again, it doesn't matter where it's located, only that we have access to it. For this example we will deploy a static website, we can locate our "deployment"-directory in sites; /home/<username>/sites. Inside of our folder we need to create the directory that will hold the "built" version of our project.

2. Setting up the production remote

In order for this automatic deployment to work, we need to add a new remote to our working copy of the project. For this example we can do it like this;

git remote add production <username>@<server>:<path-to-bare-repository>.git

In this case the <username> will be the username of the user where we've located our bare-repository.

3. Creating a git-hook

Back on our server we need to create a post-receive-hook in our bare-repository, <path-to-bare-repository>.git/hooks/post-receive.

Adding the deployment script

In our post-receive-hook we write the following;



git --git-dir=$BARE_PATH --work-tree=$REPO_PATH checkout -f main

# Add your build scripts/commands below this line

Make hook executable

Now we need to make this post-receive-hook executable;

chmod +x <path-to-bare-repository>.git/hooks/post-receive

4. Symlinking our built site

In order for our site to actually be served online we need to symlink our built static site from within our sites-directory to our "serve"-directory (usually /var/www/<site-name>);

Adding symlink

ln -s <path-to-built-site> <path-to-serve-dir>

<path-to-built-site> will be within our sites-directory, usually in a directory called public.

And now <path-to-built-site> will mirror its contents to the "serve"-directory.

5. Pushing to our production remote

Because we now have a post-receive-hook on our production server, we can now just push our local working copy to production;

git push production

And if everything is configured correctly, we shouldn't have any errors. And voila, we have setup a way to easily deploy to production without any scary scripts.


  1. Create a bare-repository within your home-directory.
  2. Setup a new remote for production.
  3. Create a "sites"-directory to hold the static site.
  4. Create a post-receive file within the bare-repository.
  5. Add the following to the post-receive file.
  6. Make post-receive executable.
  7. Symlink the built site to the path that is actually serving it online.
  8. git push production.

More Git-tricks.

UPDATE: 2022-01-19

I recently created a shell-script to create a post-receive git-hook for you, check it out