Creating Webhooks

Now that we understand the basics of webhooks, let's go through the process of building out our own webhook powered integration. In this tutorial, we'll create a repository webhook that will be responsible for listing out how popular our repository is, based on the number of Issues it receives per day.

Creating a webhook is a two-step process. You'll first need to set up how you want your webhook to behave through GitHub--what events should it listen to. After that, you'll set up your server to receive and manage the payload.

Setting up a Webhook

You can install webhooks on an organization or on a specific repository.

To set up a webhook, go to the settings page of your repository or organization. From there, click Webhooks, then Add webhook.

Alternatively, you can choose to build and manage a webhook through the Webhooks API.

Webhooks require a few configuration options before you can make use of them. We'll go through each of these settings below.

Payload URL

This is the URL of the server endpoint that will receive the webhook POST requests.

Since we're developing locally for our tutorial, let's set it to http://localhost:4567/payload. We'll explain why in the Configuring Your Server docs.

Content Type

Webhooks can be delivered using different content types:

  • The application/json content type will deliver the JSON payload directly as the body of the POST.
  • The application/x-www-form-urlencoded content type will send the JSON payload as a form parameter called "payload".

Choose the one that best fits your needs. For this tutorial, the default content type of application/json is fine.

Secret

Setting a secret allows you to ensure that POST requests sent to the payload URL are from GitHub. When you set a secret you'll receive the X-Hub-Signature header in the webhook POST request. For more details on how to use the secret and the X-Hub-Signature header to secure your webhook payloads see "Securing your webhooks."

Events

Events are at the core of webhooks. These webhooks fire whenever a certain action is taken on the repository, which your server's payload URL intercepts and acts upon.

A full list of webhook events, and when they execute, can be found in the webhooks API reference.

Since our webhook is dealing with Issues in a repository, we'll click Let me select individual events and then Issues. Make sure you select Active to to receive issue events for triggered webhooks.

When you're finished, click Add webhook. Phew! Now that you created the webhook, it's time to set up our local server to test the webhook. Head on over to Configuring Your Server to learn how to do that.