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Hosting an API with GitHub Pages

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Hosting an API with GitHub Pages

Hosting with GitHub Pages is an easy way to build a public JSON API

Sean Coughlin's photo
Sean Coughlin
·Jan 14, 2022·

2 min read

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Background

GitHub Pages is a free website hosting tool provided by GitHub. I previously wrote about GitHub pages being an excellent place to host a personal website or project page. Additionally, it is a great choice to host a JSON API.

An API is a connection between computers. An example API would be the Spotify API which provides music data.

Tutorial

First, you will need to create a special [username].github.io repository. This repository will be home to your GitHub Pages website. The repository name must exactly match the format [username].github.io, otherwise GitHub will not generate a live website.

Create a new GitHubPages Repo

I have already made a GitHub Pages repository so the name is taken for me. Your custom [username].github.io will be available.

After creating [username].github.io open the terminal, clone the repository, and cd into the directory.

git clone https://github.com/Scc33/Scc33.github.io.git
cd Scc33.github.io

Inside the repository you can create a .json file. That .json file will become your publicly accessible JSON API.

Example json file

After adding a .json file add, commit, and push your changes to GitHub.

git add .
git commit -m "Create JSON API"
git push -u origin master

Once you commit and push your changes to the codebase, GitHub will automatically build your changes and publish the code to the internet. It should only take a few minutes for the changes to become visible.

That's all it takes! You now have a JSON API for the world to see. Your new JSON API will be located at the URL [username].github.io/[file-name].json. Your API can be seen using any web browser or an API testing tool like Postman.

Conclusion

GitHub Pages is a great tool for quickly creating a JSON API. In just a few minutes it's up and running!

Pros

  • The entire build process is automated and site changes are published to the internet within minutes.
  • GitHub Pages supports HTTPS to protect your site and users from malicious tampering.
  • Best of all, it's free!

Cons

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