Deploy to Netlify button results in empty repo

Hi! I’m trying to use Ghost’s Eleventy (11ty) starter. In the repo’s README, there’s a Deploy to Netlify button. When I click it, I’m taken to Netlify to create a new site using the starter. Netlify creates the repo for me, gets to work building the site, and says the build was successful. When I go to the site, it appears to be working fine. But when I go to the repo that was created for it, the repo is completely empty.

Is there something else I have to do, or is there a step I’m missing? I’ve used other Jamstack starters that worked fine and had fully populated repos, but I’m still kind of new with this stuff. I tried using the Deploy to Netlify button twice, and got the same behavior the second time as well. I posted on the Ghost forum about it, and they suggested I try here.

Here are the details:

It kind of sounds like you are deploying their repo - and skipping over the repo clone step.

Did you try running a clone first?

Hi, Edward! I didn’t try cloning first. I thought that the Deploy to Netlify button creates a repo and can’t be used with an existing repo. Is that wrong?

hi @spacey-j ,

I am seeing what you are seeing as well - your site loads fine, but the repo is indeed empty. I am going to ask for some clarification on this!

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Thank you, Perry! I appreciate you looking into it.

I think the starter is actually set up to load and has to be edited to load the actual site (which in this case would be That explains why the site appears to load fine despite the repo being empty, but there’s still the mystery of why an empty repo is generated in the first place.

Seems like a bug on our side, that the repo is not populated. I believe it only affects GitHub so if you use both, using GitLab will create the appropriate repo.

All we intended to do was push the contents of the old repo into the new one after the successful build, so you could do that yourself (git clone the template repo, remove .git directory w/history, then git push to the new repo) to repair it (before we get the bug fixed.)

Hey folks! We got a fix live for this yesterday. Let me know if you still have trouble using the button on that repo (and other repos with GitHub workflows enabled, which turned out to be the blocker)

Hi @fool I’m experiencing the same issue trying to deploy JKAN, an open data catalogue that runs on Jekyll.

It creates a repository (not technically a fork), and initiates a deploy, but the repository is empty (And the deploy fails, but that may be for an unrelated reason). I do have a GitHub Actions workflow in there. Any suggestions on resolving the issue?

Repo is populated with content at the end of the deploy. If the deploy fails, the repo would not be pushed to.