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Jekyll URL Shortener

✂️ 🔗 This is a template repository for making URL Shorteners with Jekyll and GitHub Pages. Create short URLs that can be easily shared, tweeted, or emailed to friends. Fork this repo to get started.

View the URL Shortener in action:

Read a blog post about the URL Shortener:

Table of Contents:

Getting Started

Follow these steps to create your own URL Shortener:

  1. Get a domain name
  2. Configure the DNS for the domain
  3. Fork or clone this repo
  4. Edit the _config.yml file
  5. Host on GitHub Pages
  6. Create link pages


Get a (preferably short) domain name from your favorite registrar.

You probably want to use a apex domain for your URL Shortener.

Go to your DNS provider and setup the apex domain.

If you create DNS A records, point to the these GitHub IP addresses:


Fork or clone this repository.

I prefer to use the domain name as the name for the repository when I host a site on GitHub Pages.

Take the opportunity to edit the Description and Website of the repository. Also consider to add topics to categorize your repository.

You probably want to rewrite the content of this file.


Edit the _config.yml file:

title: Jekyll URL Shortener
description: This is a URL Shortener made with Jekyll and GitHub Pages. Create short URLs that can be easily shared, tweeted, or emailed to friends. ✂️🔗
logo: /assets/img/logo.png
show_downloads: true
theme: jekyll-theme-minimal

permalink: /:slug/

  - jekyll-redirect-from

#repository: hlaueriksson/jekyll-url-shortener

Change the title and description to something you like. Consider to make your own logo by replacing the /assets/img/logo.png image.

The show_downloads flag indicates whether to provide downloads links for the code in the repository on the site.

Set the google_analytics tracking code if you are interested in the website traffic.

Read more about the theme at

The global permalink for pages is set to /:slug/.

Permalinks are the output path for your pages, posts, or collections. They allow you to structure the directories of your source code different from the directories in your output.

Slugified title from the document’s filename (any character except numbers and letters is replaced as hyphen). May be overridden via the document’s slug front matter.

Read more about permalinks at

It is the jekyll-redirect-from plugin that does the redirecting from the short link to the target page.

Sometimes, you may want to redirect a site page to a totally different website.

Read more about the plugin at

You can find more useful plugins to add at

When running Jekyll locally, uncomment the repository line and point to your own GitHub repo.

GitHub Pages

Go to the repo /settings and scroll down to the GitHub Pages section.

Set the Source to master branch:

Point the Custom domain to your domain name:

This will create a CNAME file in the repo:

Custom domains are stored in a CNAME file in the root of your repository. You can add or update your custom domain through your repository settings. You can also edit the file directly to update your custom domain.

Read more about adding a custom domain at

Make sure the Enforce HTTPS checkbox is ticked:

HTTPS provides a layer of encryption that prevents others from snooping on or tampering with traffic to your site. When HTTPS is enforced, your site will only be served over HTTPS.

Read more about GitHub Pages at


Create a new short link by creating a page:

Create the file in the root of the repository.

This repository has one example,

title: Jekyll URL Shortener

This results in:

The title could be used to describe the target page. Consider to take the exact title of the target page.

The redirect_to is the URL to the target page. This is the only front matter that is mandatory to make the short link work.

The file can have a .md (Markdown) or .html extension.

By default, the file name will be the slug of the short link. This behavior is configured in _config.yml.

If you want to use a different slug, set the permalink variable:

permalink: /something/

Take the opportunity to get a real short slug by using emojis:

permalink: /😻/

Find appropriate emojis to copy from

Built With


Repo Site

Running Jekyll locally


Edit _config.yml and uncomment the repository line and point to your own GitHub repo.


bundle exec jekyll serve



Customizing the redirect template


The template in this repository, _layouts/redirect.html:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en-US">
  {% if site.google_analytics %}
  <!-- Global site tag (gtag.js) - Google Analytics -->
  <script async src="{{ site.google_analytics }}"></script>
    window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || [];
    function gtag(){dataLayer.push(arguments);}
    gtag('js', new Date());
    gtag('config', '{{ site.google_analytics }}');
  {% endif %}
  <meta charset="utf-8">
  <link rel="canonical" href="{{ }}">
  <script>location="{{ }}"</script>
  <meta http-equiv="refresh" content="0; url={{ }}">
  <meta name="robots" content="noindex">
  <a href="{{ }}">Click here if you are not redirected.</a>

The Google Analytics script is added at the top of the HTML.

If the google_analytics tracking code is specified in _config.yml, then the script is rendered in the redirect template.