Diego Lavalle – Swift and Apple Platforms Development

Nov 15, 2021 • Server-Side Swift, Content Management

Automating Swift Site Generation on Netlify


Having used GitHub Pages and Jekyll for my hosting needs I eventually switched to Hugo and Netlify. I enjoy the advanced capabilities the latter has to offer such as branch deploys and branch subdomains both of which I have been taking advantage of extensively.

Recently I decided to move away from Hugo since I'm not truly well-versed in the Go language and so I created a static site generator based on Swift. In a nutshell SwiftySites consists of an SPM package that is added as dependency to an executable target which in turns outputs the website's files.

To produce a local version of the site you simply run the project on Xcode or instead issue swift run on the command line. The second alternative is also good for the open source version of the compiler which is also available on Linux systems.

If our goal is to generate a production-ready version we should then tweak that command to make sure it picks up the right configuration and also clears the output folder www before writing into it again.

swift run -c release swiftysites --clean

So to have Netlify automatically build and publish our site we must provide our custom command in netlify.toml at the root of our repository so that we don't get stuck with the default swift build. We can optionally specify a preferred version of the toolchain as well.

publish = "www"
command = "swift run -c release swiftysites --clean"

Check out this very site's source code to explore how everything we just discussed ties into the complete solution.