Skip to contents

This document outlines how to propose a change to pkgdown. For more detailed info about contributing to this and other tidyverse packages, please see the tidyverse contribution guide.

pkgdown and Pandoc versions

The versions of pkgdown and Pandoc used to build a website are stored in the public facing pkgdown.yml file, e.g.

Package reprexes

If you encounter unexpected errors after running pkgdown::build_site(), try to build a minimal package that recreates the error. An ideal minimal package has no dependencies, making it easy to install and quickly reproduce the error. An example of a minimal package was this issue, where a minimal package containing a single .R file with two lines could reproduce the error.

The quickest way to set up minimal example package is with usethis::create_package():

# ... edit files ...
pkgdown::build_site(tmp, new_process = FALSE, preview = FALSE)

Once you have built a minimal package that recreates the error, create a GitHub repository from the package (e.g. with usethis::use_git() + usethis::use_github()), and file an issue with a link to the repository.

Rd translation

If you encounter problems with Rd tags, please use rd2html() to create a reprexes:


rd2html("a & b")

Pull request process

  • We recommend that you create a Git branch for each pull request (PR).
  • Look at the Travis and AppVeyor build status before and after making changes. The README should contain badges for any continuous integration services used by the package.
  • New code should follow the tidyverse style guide. You can use the styler package to apply these styles, but please don’t restyle code that has nothing to do with your PR.
  • We use roxygen2, with Markdown syntax, for documentation.
  • We use testthat. Contributions with test cases included are easier to accept.
  • For user-facing changes, add a bullet to the top of below the current development version header describing the changes made followed by your GitHub username, and links to relevant issue(s)/PR(s).


We might ask you for a Netlify preview of your changes i.e. how do your local changes affect the pkgdown website?

  1. Build and install the amended package, then re-build the website (clean_site() and then build_site()) which will update the docs/ folder.
  2. Log into Netlify at, and scroll to the bottom. You’ll see a box with dashed outline that says “Want to deploy a new site without connecting to Git?”.
  3. Open up a file browser, navigate to docs/, and drag the docs/ folder to the dashed box, which will copy all the files into a temporary netlify site.
  4. After the file transfer completes, netlify will generate a temporary URL on a new page that you can copy/paste in the PR discussion.

Fixing typos

Small typos or grammatical errors in documentation may be edited directly using the GitHub web interface, so long as the changes are made in the source file.

  • YES: you edit a roxygen comment in a .R file below R/.
  • NO: you edit an .Rd file below man/.


Before you make a substantial pull request, you should always file an issue and make sure someone from the team agrees that it’s a problem. If you’ve found a bug, create an associated issue and illustrate the bug with a minimal reprex.

Code of Conduct

Please note that the pkgdown project is released with a Contributor Code of Conduct. By contributing to this project you agree to abide by its terms.