Publish to Cloudflare Pages with Ruby Nanoc

2022-08-06 ☼ ruby

The Ruby Nanoc gem is a fantastic gem for generating static websites. You get the benefits of partials, layouts, SCSS, helpers and other features without having to deploy an entire Ruby web framework. It all compiles down to plain ole’ HTML and CSS.

For years, my Nanoc workflow looked like this:

  1. Make changes locally
  2. Run nanoc to generate the HTML and CSS
  3. Upload the contents of output/ to an S3 bucket using Transmit
  4. Use Cloudflare to point a domain to the S3 bucket

This workflow served me pretty well, but it required a lot of manual steps. A few months ago I was able to replace steps 2 and 3 with a GitHub Action. The GitHub Action utilized a script for uploading content to an S3 bucket. It looked like this:

name: Build and Upload to S3

      - master

    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
      - uses: actions/checkout@master
      - uses: ruby/setup-ruby@v1
          ruby-version: 3.1.1
          bundler-cache: true

      - name: Build nanoc site
        run: bundle exec nanoc

      - uses: shallwefootball/s3-upload-action@master
        name: Upload to S3
          aws_key_id: $
          aws_secret_access_key: $
          aws_bucket: $
          source_dir: 'output'
          destination_dir: ''

The main downside to this approach is that each file is re-uploaded to S3 — regardless of whether or not the file was modified.

Cloudflare Pages

Yesterday Cloudflare announced a generous free-tier for the Cloudflare Pages product. I was able to migrate a few static sites from S3 in just a few minutes. Cloudflare Pages connects to a GitHub or GitLab repository and automatically deploys your default branch to Cloudflare Pages. The flow is very similar to Heroku GitHub Deploys.

After migrating my static sites, I really wanted to replace my Nanoc + GitHub Actions + S3 workflow. At the time of this writing, the build configuration documentation didn’t include an example for Nanoc. Fortunately, it was simple!

  1. If your project already contains a .ruby-version file, Cloudflare will use that. Otherwise, you can set an environment variable called RUBY_VERSION to a version between 2.6.2 and 2.7.5 (these will likely change over time).
  2. Ensure you project has a Gemfile.lock. This isn’t mentioned anywhere, but Cloudflare will bundle install during the build.
  3. Set the Build command” to nanoc
  4. Set the Build output directory” to /output unless you’ve customized this in Nanoc.

That’s it! As you make changes to your Nanoc site and merge those changes into your repository’s default branch in GitHub or GitLab, Cloudflare Pages will build your site and deploy it to its global CDN.