I’ve put together a quick ‘getting started with Quarto and Netlify and GitHub (optional) workshop’.

The instructions can be found in the blog post below, or at this website which also includes short screencasts: https://quarto-workshop.netlify.app

What is Quarto?

  • Quarto® is an open-source scientific and technical publishing system built on Pandoc

  • https://quarto.org/

  • Colloquially known as the ‘new R Markdown’


Workshop versions: R 4.2.1, RStudio 2022.07.1.

Note: Quarto can be used without R or RStudio, e.g., with VS Code. But this workshop demonstrates the use of RStudio and includes some R code.

1. Create a new Quarto website project

  • RStudio - New Project - New Directory - Quarto Website

  • Click on Render to have a look at the template.


  • Error: “C:/Program is not recognised as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file.”
    • Make sure the project name and parent folders have no spaces in them (only an issue on some Windows computers).
  • “Quarto Website” is not listed as an option.
    • Make sure your RStudio is version 2022.07.1 or greater.

2. Edit your Quarto website

  • Change the theme in _quarto.yml to anything other than the default.
  • Edit the template content in index.qmd and about.qmd.

3. Add a page to your website

  • Take a copy of an existing page, e.g., about.qmd. Call it penguins.qmd.
  • Edit the title and content of penguins.qmd.
  • Add it to _quarto.yml.

4. Add R code to your website

  • Insert a code chunk.
    • Use the green +C button or Ctrl+Alt+I/Cmd+Opt+I.
  • Add in R code, for example:
#| eval: false

penguins %>% 
  ggplot(aes(species, flipper_length_mm, fill = sex, size = body_mass_g)) +
  geom_jitter(shape = 21, colour = "grey", alpha = 0.8) +
  scale_fill_viridis_d() +
  • Hide the R code and its warnings.
    • Search online for ‘quarto output options’ to copy the relevant YAML options.

    • Displaying code is referred to as ‘echo’.

5. Serve your website using Netlify

  • Find the project and its _site directory on your computer.
    • The Files tab within RStudio shows you the project path. Locate this folder in File Explorer (Windows) or Finder (macOS).
  • Search online for ‘netlify drop’
  • Drag and drop the _site folder there.

Optional: If want to keep the site for longer than 1h

  • Create a Netlify account (GitHub authentication is convenient). Claim the site.

  • Give it a better URL, e.g., yourname.netlify.app.

    • Site settings - General - Change site name.

    • FYI, custom domains, so getting rid of the trailing netlify.app cost around £20-30 per year.

6. Update your website

  • Edit your website in RStudio. Click Render.
  • In Netlify - Deploys - Drag and drop _site folder to the update area:

Optional advanced: automatic deploys via GitHub

  • If this is the first time you’re using git on your computer, do these things:

    • Install git: https://git-scm.com/downloads

    • Create a GitHub account if you don’t have one already: https://github.com/

    • RStudio, Tools, Global Options, Git/SVN, Create SSH Key.

    • Copy the key over to your GitHub account Settings.

    • Back in RStudio, run these lines in the Shell/Terminal (also under Tools):

git config --global user.email "your@email.com"

git config --global user.name "username"

  • Push your Quarto website project from RStudio to GitHub. Hint: Create a new repository on GitHub first.

  • Make your Netlify automatically update your website when you push to GitHub.

    • Netlify, Site settings, Build & deploy, Link repository.

    • Publish directory: `_site`.

  • Test that it works by editing your website in RStudio, render, commit, push. Tip: for committing multiple files, `git add .` in the Terminal is convenient. It does the same thing as manually ticking everything in the Git tab.