The primary method that Read the Docs uses to detect changes to your documentation is through the use of webhooks. Webhooks are configured with your repository provider, such as GitHub, Bitbucket or GitLab, and with each commit, merge, or other change to your repository, Read the Docs is notified. When we receive a webhook notification, we determine if the change is related to an active version for your project, and if it is, a build is triggered for that version.

Webhook Integrations

You’ll find a list of configured webhook integrations on your project’s admin dashboard, under Integrations. You can select any of these integrations to see the integration detail page. This page has additional configuration details and a list of HTTP exchanges that have taken place for the integration.

You need this information for the URL, webhook, or Payload URL needed by the repository provider such as GitHub, GitLab, or Bitbucket.

Webhook Creation

If you have connected your Read the Docs account to GitHub, Bitbucket, or GitLab, a webhook will be set up automatically for your repository. However, if your project was not imported through a connected account, you may need to manually configure a webhook for your project.

To manually set up a webhook, click Add integration on your project’s Integrations Admin dashboard page and select the integration type you’d like to add. After you have added the integration, you’ll see a link to information about the integration.

As an example, the URL pattern looks like this: readthedocs.org/api/v2/webhook/<project-name>/<id>/.

Use this URL when setting up a new webhook with your provider – these steps vary depending on the provider:


  • Go to the Settings page for your project
  • Click Webhooks and then Add webhook
  • For Payload URL, use the URL of the integration on Read the Docs, found on the the project’s Integrations Admin dashboard page
  • For Content type, both application/json and application/x-www-form-urlencoded work
  • Select Just the push event
  • Finish by clicking Add webhook

You can verify if the webhook is working at the bottom of the GitHub page under Recent Deliveries. If you see a Response 200, then the webhook is correctly configured. For a 403 error, it’s likely that the Payload URL is incorrect.


The webhook token, intended for the GitHub Secret field, is not yet implemented.


  • Go to the Settings page for your project
  • Click Webhooks and then Add webhook
  • For URL, use the URL of the integration on Read the Docs, found on the Dashboard > Admin > Integrations page
  • Under Triggers, Repository push should be selected
  • Finish by clicking Save


  • Go to the Settings page for your project
  • Click Integrations
  • For URL, use the URL of the integration on Read the Docs, found on the Dashboard > Admin > Integrations page
  • Leave the default Push events selected and mark Tag push events also
  • Finish by clicking Add Webhook

Using the generic API integration

For repositories that are not hosted with a supported provider, we also offer a generic API endpoint for triggering project builds. Similar to webhook integrations, this integration has a specific URL, found on the project’s Integrations Admin dashboard page on readthedocs.org.

Token authentication is required to use the generic endpoint, you will find this token on the integration details page. The token should be passed in as a request parameter, either as form data or as part of JSON data input.


This endpoint accepts the following arguments during an HTTP POST:


The names of the branches to trigger builds for. This can either be an array of branch name strings, or just a single branch name string.

Default: latest

The integration token. You’ll find this value on the project’s Integrations Admin dashboard page.

For example, the cURL command to build the dev branch, using the token 1234, would be:

curl -X POST -d "branches=dev" -d "token=1234" https://readthedocs.org/api/v2/webhook/example-project/1/

A command like the one above could be called from a cron job or from a hook inside Git, Subversion, Mercurial, or Bazaar.


This endpoint requires authentication. If authenticating with an integration token, a check will determine if the token is valid and matches the given project. If instead an authenticated user is used to make this request, a check will be performed to ensure the authenticated user is an owner of the project.

Debugging webhooks

If you are experiencing problems with an existing webhook, you may be able to use the integration detail page to help debug the issue. Each project integration, such as a webhook or the generic API endpoint, stores the HTTP exchange that takes place between Read the Docs and the external source. You’ll find a list of these exchanges in any of the integration detail pages.

Resyncing webhooks

It might be necessary to re-establish a webhook if you are noticing problems. To resync a webhook from Read the Docs, visit the integration detail page and follow the directions for re-syncing your repository webhook.