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2.1.1 • Public • Published


Uses netlify's redirect functionality to make a personal URL shortener. Works beautifully :)

Build Status Code Coverage version downloads MIT License

All Contributors PRs Welcome Code of Conduct

The problem

You want a URL shortener for your custom domain and you want an easy way to create and update URLs but you don't want to pay hundreds of dollars a year.

This solution

This relies on Netlify's _redirects file for building a super simple URL shortener where the URLs are managed on GitHub and Netlify handles the redirecting for you.

Table of Contents


This module is distributed via npm which is bundled with node and should be installed as one of your project's devDependencies:

npm install --save-dev netlify-shortener


Your project should have a _redirects file that looks like this:


# fallback

This module exposes a binary that you should use in your package.json scripts. You also need to add a baseUrl to your package.json:

  "baseUrl": "",
  "scripts": {
    "shorten": "netlify-shortener"

Then you can run:

npm run shorten # simply formats your _redirects file
npm run shorten # generates a short code and adds it for you
npm run shorten gh # adds gh as a short URL for you

The netlify-shortener does a few things:

  1. generates a short code if one is not provided
  2. validates your URL is a real URL
  3. adds the URL to the top of _redirects
  4. runs a git commit and push (this will trigger netlify to deploy your new redirect)
  5. Copies the short URL to your clipboard

Netlify's deploys are normally fast enough that the new URL should be deployed by the time you've shared it to someone.

Shell Function

If you want to be able to run this anywhere in the terminal, you can try making a custom function for your shell.

Shell Agnostic

  1. Add the following executable definition to your package.json:
    {"bin": {"shorten": "cli.js"}}
  2. Create the cli.js file:
    #!/usr/bin/env node
  3. From your project directory, run the following to register the command globally:
    npm link


Place this in your ~/.bash_profile file:

shorten() { node {path-to-local-repo}/node_modules/.bin/netlify-shortener "$1" "$2"; }


Place this in ~/.config/fish/functions/

function shorten --description "Shorten a URL"
  node {path-to-local-repo}/node_modules/.bin/netlify-shortener $argv

(Alternatively, run funced -s shorten and Fish will open your editor. Paste this code into the opened file.)

Windows (cmd)

Using Cmder, add this to your user-alias.cmd file.

shorten=cmd /c "cd /d {path-to-local-repo} && npm run shorten $1 $2"


What about analytics?

I don't think Netlify will give you analytics, but you should be able to set up CloudFlare in front of your domain and I think they'll give you analytics.

Can I keep my links private?

Netlify doesn't charge for linking up private repositories (HOW COOL IS THAT!?) so you can make your GitHub repo private and that should keep your links private.


URL shorteners for custom domains and custom short codes are insanely expensive. was the best price-wise, but the price went up and it's super expensive as well.

So I tried writing a custom netlify function and it worked pretty well, but then I was tipped off by smart people that using Netlify's built-in _redirects functionality would work well and it does!

So I built this tool to make it easier to do this for the two domains I need this for and now you can use it too!

Other Solutions

If you know more alternatives, please make a pull request and add it here!


Thanks goes to these people (emoji key):

Kent C. Dodds

💻 📖 🚇 ⚠️

Carl Rosell


Phil Hawksworth


Matt Ferderer


Jed Fox


Eric McCormick


Preston Lamb


Daniel D. Beck


Justin Dorfman


Jake Jarvis


This project follows the all-contributors specification. Contributions of any kind welcome!






npm i netlify-shortener

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