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

To set up a repository webhook on GitHub, head over to the Settings page of your repository, and click on Webhooks & services. After that, click on 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 server endpoint that will receive the webhook payload.

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.

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 on Issues, and toggle the options there.

When you're finished, click on Add webhook. Phew! Now that the webhook is created, 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.