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An alternative to sticking that lovely web app you just built into an <iframe> on a corp website
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Imagine the scenario: you've built a lovely web app for a business, who later insists it goes live within an iframe of their corp website. You resist, but you're ultimatley forced to bastardize your app to make it work.

node-iframe-replacement is the compromise. A small node server that grabs the source code of an external website and injects your content - thus allowing you to host your app on a subdomain and without an iframe. Changes to the external site (navigation etc) are automatically picked up every 5 minutes and reflected in your app.

You can now argue that your web app can remain synced with the corperate website look/feel without an iframe.


$ npm install --save node-iframe-replacement


Example server

The example below will request the BBC News home page and replace the contents of div[data-entityid="container-top-stories#1"] with the contents of our fake-news view:

express logic excluded to improve readability, you can view the full example implementation here

var iframeReplacement = require('node-iframe-replacement');

// add iframe replacement to express as middleware (adds res.merge method)

// create a regular express route
app.get('/', function(req, res){

    // respond to this request with our fake-news content embedded within the BBC News home page
    res.merge('fake-news', {
        // external url to fetch
       sourceUrl: '',
       // css selector to inject our content into
       sourcePlaceholder: 'div[data-entityid="container-top-stories#1"]',
       // pass a function here to intercept the source html prior to merging
       transform: null

If you pass a function as the transform property transform: function($, model) {} - the function will be called prior to rendering, allowing you to inject title tags, html attributes etc. The $ passed to your transform method is a JQuery like object using cheerio, removing the need to parse strings.

Example fake-news html

<div style="margin: 0 0 0 20px; overflow: auto;">
    <div style="width: 210px; float: left;">
        <a href="" target="_blank">
            <h3 style="color: #222; font-size: 32px; font-weight: bold; margin: 0 0 10px 0;">iframe replacement Node.js module lanuched</h3>
        <p style="padding: 0; font-size: 14px;line-height: 22px">
            Open source project not only has the potential to replace iframes, but also brings a whole new meaning to the concept of fake news.
    <img src="" alt="Node js logo" style="width: 500px; float: right;"/>

Example input

alt text

Example output

alt text

Run the example

You can try the example for yourself using the following commands:

git clone
cd node-iframe-replacement
npm install
npm start

Then visit http://localhost:8080 in your browser.

Auto base tag injection

To ensure the source scripts, styles and images load within your site a base tag is automatically injected <base href="" />.

Because of this, you need to ensure all the links within your conent are absolute.


Everyone is welcome to contribute to this project. You can contribute just by submitting bugs or suggest improvements by opening an issue on GitHub.


This project is a rethought, rebranded, relaunched version of my badly named express-render-template module released in Arpil 2016.


Licensed under ISC License © John Doherty

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