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Deploy a MadCap Flare webhelp to Netlify

Sample repo

Why Netlify?

  • A generous free hosting tier.
  • You don't have to think about server configuration and maintenance.
  • All the benefits of their global CDN, designed for performance and scale.
  • Automatic deploy previews on pull requests. This means you (and reviewers) can view a preview of the site before merging and deploying your changes.
  • Super-simple redirects.

Prerequisites

  • An existing Flare project with an HTML5 target that you want to deploy. We won't walk through creating and editing a project here.
  • Your Flare project should be under git version control and stored in GitHub, GitLab or Bitbucket. The following instructions assume you are using the cloud versions. If you are using self-hosted version control, it should still be possible to set up a Netlify integration, but there'll be a few more steps. Talk to your devops team.
  • The quickstart assumes you are comfortable using git.

Quickstart

  1. In your Flare project, create a folder to store the built output. In the example project in the sample repo, it's called _site.
  2. Log in to Netlify and go through the steps to create a new site from git. There's a video here in the Netlify docs. Unfortunately, the material is only available as video, but it's less than two minutes and has closed captions. Make sure to set the Publish directory to the name of the directory you created in step one.
  3. In your Flare project, modify the HTML5 target so that the Output File is index.htm.
  4. Build the HTML5 target.
  5. Copy the files from Output to _site. If you're going to do this often, you should automate this step with a post-build script. Flare's help has more info.
  6. Push the changes to your remote repo, including the contents of _site. If you push directly to master, Netlify will automatically start a build. If you are working on a branch, submit a pull request. Netlify will create a preview build and add a link to the pull request.

By default, Netlify serves the site at a randomly generated URL so you can view it immediately. Netlify displays this URL on the Deploys tab, and on the Settings tab under Domain management. For information on adding your own custom domain, refer to the Netlify documentation.