A simple vanilla JavaScript router with a fallback for older browsers
Clone or download
krasimir Merge pull request #206 from fjorgemota/patch-1
Stop recommending hash parameter as suggested by Google
Latest commit e8674ba Jun 28, 2018



A simple minimalistic JavaScript router with a fallback for older browsers.

Travis npm downloads

(Demo source files)


Drop the following into your page:

<script src="//unpkg.com/navigo@6"></script>

or use via npm:

npm install navigo --save



var root = null;
var useHash = true; // Defaults to: false
var hash = '#!'; // Defaults to: '#'
var router = new Navigo(root, useHash, hash);

The constructor of the library accepts three argument - root, useHash and hash. The first one is the main URL of your application. If you call the constructor without parameters then Navigo figures out the root URL based on your routes. However, this proves to lead to bugs so I strongly recommend to set a root value.

If useHash set to true then the router uses an old routing approach with hash in the URL. Navigo anyways falls back to this mode if there is no History API supported. The hash parameter allows you to configure the hash character.

Adding a route

  .on('/products/list', function () {
    // display all the products

Adding a main/root handler

  .on(function () {
    // show home page here

Adding multiple routes

    'products/:id': function () {
    'products': function () {
    '*': function () {

Have in mind that the order of the added routes using this method does not matter anymore. However, if we add series of routes by calling on multiple times we should consider the order of the calls.

Parameterized URLs:

  .on('/user/:id/:action', function (params) {
    // If we have http://site.com/user/42/save as a url then
    // params.id = 42
    // params.action = save

Accessing GET parameters

Every handler receives the GET parameters passed to the page.

  .on('/user/:id/:action', function (params, query) {
    // If we have http://site.com/user/42/save?answer=42 as a url then
    // params.id = 42
    // params.action = save
    // query = answer=42

In the case of the default handler and notFound handler the function receives only query as parameter. For example:

router.notFound(function (query) {
  // ...

Using regular expression

  .on(/users\/(\d+)\/(\w+)\/?/, function (id, action) {
    // If we have http://site.com/user/42/save as a url then
    // id = 42
    // action = save

Wild card is also supported:

  .on('/user/*', function () {
    // This function will be called on every
    // URL that starts with /user

Have in mind that every call of on do not trigger a route check (anymore). You have to run resolve method manually to get the routing works.

Not-found handler

router.notFound(function () {
  // called when there is path specified but
  // there is no route matching

Changing the page

Use the navigate method:


You may also specify an absolute path. For example:

router.navigate('http://site.com/products/list', true);

If you want to bind page links to Navigo you have to add data-navigo attribute. For example:

<a href="about" data-navigo>About</a>

(Have in mind that you have to fire updatePageLinks every time when new links are placed on the page so Navigo does the binding for them.)

It's translated to:

// the html to: <a href="javascript:void(0);" data-navigo>About</a>
var location = link.getAttribute('href');
link.addEventListener('click', e => {

Named routes

Use the following API to give a name to your route and later generate URLs:

router = new Navigo('http://site.com/', true);
  '/trip/:tripId/edit': { as: 'trip.edit', uses: handler },
  '/trip/save': { as: 'trip.save', uses: handler },
  '/trip/:action/:tripId': { as: 'trip.action', uses: handler }
console.log(router.generate('trip.edit', { tripId: 42 })); // --> /trip/42/edit
console.log(router.generate('trip.action', { tripId: 42, action: 'save' })); // --> /trip/save/42
console.log(router.generate('trip.save')); // --> /trip/save

Resolving the routes

The resolving of the routes happen when resolve method is fired which happen:

  • if you manually run router.resolve()
  • every time when the page's URL changes
  • if you call navigate

Pausing the router

Sometimes you need to update the URL but you don't want to resolve your callbacks. In such cases you may call .pause() and do .navigate('new/url/here'). For example:

router.resume(); // or .pause(false)

The route will be changed to /en/products but if you have a handler for that path will not be executed.


There is an API that allows you to run functions before firing a route handler. The hooks object is in the format of:

  before: function (done, params) { ... done(); },
  after: function (params) { ... },
  leave: function (params) { ... },
  already: function (params) { ... }

You may specify only one of the hooks. The before hook accepts a function which you must invoke once you finish your job. Here is an examples:

  function () {
    // show user edit page
    before: function (done, params) {
      // doing some async operation
    after: function (params) {
      // after resolving
    leave: function (params) {
      // when you are going out of the that route

You may prevent the handler to be resolved in the before hook by invoking done(false):

  function () {
    // show user edit page
    before: function (done, params) {
      if(!user.loggedIn) {
      } else {

You may provide hooks in two other cases:

  • While specifying a main/root handler router.on(function() { ... }, hooks)
  • While specifying a not-found page handler router.notFound(function() { ... }, hooks)

Generic hooks

It is possible to set a before and/or after hooks for all the routes:

var router = new Navigo();
  before: function(done, params) { ... },
  after: function(params) { ... }

Also notice that both hooks receive params in case they are attached to a parameterized route.


  • router.on(function) - adding handler for root/main route
  • router.on(string, function) - adding a new route
  • router.on(object) - adding a new route
  • router.off(handler) - removes the routes associated with the given handler/function
  • router.navigate(path='', absolute=false) - if absolute is false then Navigo finds the root path of your app based on the provided routes.
  • router.resolve(currentURL=undefined) - if currentURL is provided then the method tries resolving the registered routes to that URL and not window.location.href.
  • router.destroy - removes all the registered routes and stops the URL change listening.
  • router.link(path) - it returns a full url of the given path
  • router.pause(boolean) - it gives you a chance to change the route without resolving. Make sure that you call router.pause(false) so you return to the previous working state.
  • router.disableIfAPINotAvailable() - well, it disables the route if History API is not supported
  • router.updatePageLinks() - it triggers the data-navigo links binding process
  • router.notFound(function) - adding a handler for not-found URL (404 page)
  • router.lastRouteResolved() - returns an object with the format of { url: <string>, query: <string> } matching the latest resolved route
  • router.getLinkPath - you may overwrite that function to provide a different mechanism for fetching paths from links which are currently on the page (with data-navigo attribute)
  • router.historyAPIUpdateMethod - by default Navigo uses History.pushState and changes that to History.replaceState if the router is paused. If you need to always use pushState even if the router is paused use this method like router.historyAPIUpdateMethod('pushState') after calling pause.

There are couple of static properties. You'll probably never need to touch them but here're they:

Navigo.PARAMETER_REGEXP = /([:*])(\w+)/g;
Navigo.WILDCARD_REGEXP = /\*/g;
Navigo.REPLACE_VARIABLE_REGEXP = '([^\/]+)';
Navigo.REPLACE_WILDCARD = '(?:.*)';
Navigo.FOLLOWED_BY_SLASH_REGEXP = '(?:\/$|$)';

Navigo.MATCH_REGEXP_FLAGS could be useful when you want a case insensitive route matching. Simple use Navigo.MATCH_REGEXP_FLAGS = 'i'.


npm i
npm test
// or npm run test-chrome
// or npm run test-firefox



  • A general handler for when Navigo matches some of the rules