How to prepare ahead of time.

By Alison Hill

January 23, 2021

Welcome to the Introducing Yourself Online workshop! We look forward to meeting you on Monday, January 25, 2021. Before attending the workshop, please complete the following prework.

Set up RStudio Cloud

Sign up for a free RStudio Cloud account at before the workshop. I recommend logging in with an existing Google or GitHub account, if you have one (rather than creating a new account with another password you have to remember). I want you to be able to work from your own laptop in this workshop, but Cloud is an important back-up plan should you run into troubles.

Set up GitHub

We will be using GitHub in this workshop for version control and publishing. Sign up for a free account at if you don’t already have one. Also:

Sign up for Netlify

Netlify is a platform that offers cloud hosting and serverless backend services for static websites. Lucky for us, that is what we need- we’ll be making static websites together! Netlify has a free plan, which we will use in this workshop. Please go ahead and sign up:

  1. Go online to

  2. Click on the “Sign Up” button.

  3. I recommend signing up using your existing GitHub account (no need to create another account), so select “GitHub” (you may need to sign in), and click to “Authorize Netlify.”


On the days of the workshop, please plan to work from a laptop that has the following installed:

  • A recent version of R (>=3.6.0), which is available for free at

  • The most recent version of the RStudio Desktop Integrated Development Environment (IDE version 1.4), available for free ( RStudio Desktop Open Source License). Read up on the latest version here.

  • The R packages we will use, which you can install by connecting to the internet, opening RStudio, and running at the command line:

    > install.packages(c("usethis", "remotes", "distill", 
                         "postcards", "blogdown"))

    You’ll also need to install the development version of the rmarkdown package:

    > remotes::install_github("rstudio/rmarkdown")
  • Restart your R session before using any newly installed packages 😄

Install Hugo

On day 02, we’ll use the blogdown package to make a Hugo website. Please go ahead and install Hugo:

> blogdown::install_hugo()

And ensure your current version is at least as high as:

> blogdown::hugo_version()
[1] ‘0.79.0

Markdown review

Please complete this 10-minute interactive tutorial on Markdown.

Check pandoc

The RStudio IDE bundles an updated version of pandoc- if you did install v1.4 of the IDE, you should be all set with version 2.11.2. If not, go back to finish up the installations steps.

> rmarkdown::pandoc_version()
[1] ‘2.11.2

Extra credit

We’ll start on day 01 with the distill package. Take a peek at the resources here.