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Build Status Dev Dependency Status License Release

YOURLS API is a JavaScript library that provides bindings for YOURLS URL shortener servers.


Install using the package manager for your desired environment(s):

$ npm install --save yourls-api
# OR:
$ bower install --save yourls-api

You'll need to have at least Node.js installed and you'll only need Bower if you want to install that way instead of using npm. And, although this library can be installed via npm it is only intended for use in the browser. npm installations are supported for the many web bundlers out there now.

If you want to simply download the file to be used in the browser you can find them below:


The API has been designed to be as simple and human-friendly as possible and attempts to hide the majority of work when dealing with the YOURLS API from you.

All methods of the API return a reference to the API itself to enable a clean chaining of method calls, if desired.

All requests that are sent to YOURLS servers are asynchronous and callback methods are used to track these. Callback methods are passed the most is deemed (by this library) to be the most important information from the response as the first argument and the entire response as the second argument.

The following documentation contains some examples of the results that can be expected from YOURLS, however, it doesn't cover everything. It's recommended that you play around with making requests and inspecting/logging results and responses to see all of the data that is available.


yourls.connect(url[, credentials][, options])

This is the first step and is where you'll provide the url of the YOURLS API that you wish to connect to. It must point to the yourls-api.php file or its equivalent (e.g. if it's been renamed or using URL rewrites). You can only connect to a single YOURLS server at a time.

// Simple connection to public server

If you're going to be connecting to a private YOURLS server, you'll also need to provide credentials that can be used to authenticate with it. The recommended method is to specify the signature token and use the passwordless API requests as the signature token can be reset easily.

// Passwordless connection to private server
yourls.connect('', {
  signature: '3002a61584'

However, it's even better if you use a time-limited signature token as it's somewhat more secure. That said; this library leaves it up to you to provide the signature token as an md5 sum (which should be made from a concatenation of the timestamp passed in and the signature token, and in that order). It's also worth noting that the timestamp should be in seconds, not milliseconds, since Unix Epoch.

Although it is possible to create md5 sums in the browser with the use of a third-party JavaScript library, at that point you signature token has probably already been exposed. The best bet is for your server to calculate the md5 sum and then pass it and the timestamp on which it was based to your frontend to be consumed by this library.

// Time-limited passwordless connection to private server
yourls.connect('', {
  signature: md5(1477947900 + '3002a61584'),
  timestamp: 1477947900

This library does also support the more traditional username/password combination as well.

// Basic authentication connection to private server
yourls.connect('', {
  username: 'admin',
  password: 'qwerty'

IMPORTANT: When sending GET requests, by design, all information will be included in the URL of the request This includes data as well as any credentials used to authenticate with the API. You have been warned. This is unavoidable when sending requests in the JSONP format but, when using the JSON format, you can send POST requests, which means that your data is sent inside the body of the request. Combine this with HTTPS and your data and credentials cannot be sniffed over the network.

As you may have noticed; this method also accepts the following entirely optional options:

Option Description Default
format Format in which requests are sent "jsonp"
method HTTP method to be used for requests "GET"
// Does the same as specifying no options (i.e. using defaults)
yourls.connect('', null, {
  format: 'jsonp',
  method: 'GET'

// Best practice if you want to secure the data you're transmitting and you've setup CORS, if needed
yourls.connect('', {
  signature: '3002a61584'
}, {
  format: 'json',
  method: 'POST'

The following formats are supported with the corresponding HTTP methods:

Format HTTP Methods
json GET, POST
jsonp GET

IMPORTANT: The YOURLS server must be running version 1.5.1 or newer in order to send requests in the JSONP format.

Despite the name of this method, no connection or authentication is carried out at this point and this initial method simply stores these values to prevent you from having to specify them with every API call.



Calling this method simply clears any previously stored connection information and, despite the name of this method, no live connections are actually terminated.


yourls.shorten(url[, descriptor], callback(result, response))

This method shortens the url provided with a keyword/hash that is generated by the YOURLS server.

// Shorten a URL with a random keyword
yourls.shorten('', function(result, response) {
  //=> ""
  //=> ""
  //=> "abc123"

Optionally, this method can take a descriptor containing additional information including the keyword to be used for the short URL that is created and a title that is to be associated with it. As a shortcut, the keyword can be passed as the descriptor itself.

// Shorten a URL with a predefined keyword 
yourls.shorten('', 'yourls', function(result, response) {
  //=> ""
  //=> ""
  //=> "yourls"

// Shorten a URL with a predefined keyword and title 
yourls.shorten('', { keyword: 'yourls', title: 'YOURLS API' }, function(result, response) {
  //=> ""
  //=> "YOURLS API"
  //=> "yourls"


yourls.stats([criteria, ]callback(result, response))

This method fetches the statistics for all links.

// Get link statistics
yourls.stats(function(result, response) {
  //=> "98765"
  //=> "123"

Optionally, this method can take a criteria containing search criteria for a sub-set of links which can be included in the result. This includes the filter (either "top", "bottom", "rand", or "last"), which can be used to control sorting, as well as limit and start, which can be used for pagination lookups. As a shortcut, the limit can be passed as the criteria itself. The minimum required in order to do this is for a limit to be specified.

// Get top 10 links
yourls.stats(10, function(result, response) {
  //=> 10
  //=> ""
  //=> "123"

// Get second page of 5 newest links
yourls.stats({ filter: 'last', limit: 5, start: 5 }, function(result, response) {
  //=> 5
  //=> ""
  //=> "123"

yourls.db.stats(callback(result, response))

This method does exactly the same as yourls.stats except that it only returns the statistics for all links.

// Get link statistics
yourls.db.stats(function(result, response) {
  //=> "98765"
  //=> "123"

URL Information


Unlike other API calls, this method returns a wrapper for making API calls that specific to a given shortened url, which can be the keyword instead, if desired.

// Both do the same thing:
var yourls = yourls.url('')
var yourls = yourls.url('yourls')

Just like the top-level API methods, all of the URL-specific methods return a reference to the URL wrapper to enable a clean chaining of method calls, if desired.


yourls.url(url).expand(callback(result, response))

This method expands the shortened url into the original (long) URL.

// Get more details for link
yourls.url('').expand(function(result, response) {
  //=> "yourls"
  //=> ""
  //=> ""


yourls.url(url).stats(callback(result, response))

This method fetches the statistics for the shortened url.

// Get statistics only for this link
yourls.url('').stats(function(result, response) {
  //=> "123"
  //=> "neocotic/yourls-api: JavaScript bindings for the YOURLS API"
  //=> ""


yourls.version([db, ]callback(result, response))

This methods fetches the version of YOURLS running on the connected server.

// Get YOURLS version
yourls.version(function(result, response) {
  //=> "1.7"

Optionally, a db flag can be enabled for the YOURLS database version to also be included in the result.

// Get YOURLS database version as well
yourls.version(true, function(result, response) {
  //=> "1.7"
  //=> "482"

// Get version of this library
//=> "2.1.0"

The current version of this library.

Migrating from v1

If you've been using v1 then you can find details about what's changed and a guide on how to migrate to v2 below:

You can also find the code and documentation for the v1 below:


If you have any problems with this library or would like to see changes currently in development you can do so here.

However, if you believe that your issue is with YOURLS itself, please take a look a their issues instead.


If you want to contribute, you're a legend! Information on how you can do so can be found in We want your suggestions and pull requests!

A list of YOURLS API contributors can be found in


Copyright © 2017 Alasdair Mercer

See for more information on our MIT license.