RPubs versus GitHub pages


Is there any advantage or disadvantage to using RPubs compared to GitHub Pages? If I knit R Markdown to HTML, it seems both accomplish the same thing, which is a place to host a static HTML page.

RPubs is integrated into RStudio IDE, so you save a few clicks there, but that seems to be the only real difference (besides the RPubs header). GitHub Pages allows other content besides R Markdown in the same repo. Neither service provides any kind of advanced features like analytics (not sure what other features I would even want). I don’t have much experience with either option. Is there anything I am missing?


For a static site (that can be pulled directly from GitHub), @yihui persuasively recommends Netlify on his blog:

They make it straightforward to inject any analytics/other code you want across your site. I’m not sure what they have available for publishing one page at a time, but the ability to easily use your own custom domain (and their other features) shouldn’t be ignored.


I’m on GitHub Pages and Jekyll for my personal site, and I’ll say that getting HTTPS with a custom domain going was fiddly as hell. Also, I think if I start doing freelancing again, I’m going to have to move to Netlify anyway (as GitHub Pages has a no-commerical-use rule, and I’m not sure whether noting that you do freelance work on your personal site counts). EDIT: looks like GitHub Pages is fine for sole trader and company pages :slightly_smiling_face:

On the other hand, having a custom domain attached to GitHub Pages means that your project pages point to example.com/repo, not example.github.io/repo, which is nice (although, in hindsight, difficult to move away from).


Yes, that post is great about describing non-obvious differences and their implications between GitHub Pages and Netlify. It would be nice to have a similar one for RPubs. Obviously you can’t do a blog on RPubs, but how does it compare in terms of just hosting individual markdown-derived HTML pages?


I don’t think RPubs is meant to compete with any of that— it’s not really searchable or browsable. I use it occassionally if I just want to publish a toy doc (especially R notebooks for some reason), but– like so many things on the internet– there are differences, but what’s better totally depends on your use-case. RPubs predates blogdown, etc. I don’t really know the history of GitHub pages. I see a lot of homework assignments in RPubs.