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Adding Redirects with Netlify

While sharing out my twitch stream link on Twitter, I ended up initially sharing the wrong user (I was off by one letter). This made me realize I never want to type this out myself ever again. I went to Netlify to solve this for me!

Netlify offers two ways to configure your redirects:

  1. In your netlify.toml file
  2. In a _redirects file

I decided to choose the latter option (#2). In there, we can tell the browser if we see a request from the left column that it should go to the one on the right:

Never Share The Wrong Social Link Again

# in static/_redirects
# If we see change it to

This way I can share out and that will take you to my Twitch stream!

Changing The Site Around and Keeping Links Updated

If you've come to my site before, I used to post all my topics under /blog/<blog-slug>. However, I've decided that everything should just live at the top-level so it is just the slug. While making the content on my site do this is as easy as changing one line of code, I want to be also sure that any links to my blog posts aren't broken. This is where we can also use a redirect:

# in static/_redirects
/blog/* /:splat

This uses a splat operator(*) that will match to anything following the /blog/ pattern. That gets saved into the :splat placeholder and then we can just tell our site that it should take us to the top-level verison like we want.

If any user clicks on a link on any other site that maybe were to take us to it will go to instead. Which is what we want!

What's Next For You?

There are a ton of options that you can look into on Netlify's site as well if you want to learn more about redirects. I know that Kent C. Dodds also loves using Netlify and built a tool to support sharing more content with their own URL shortener.

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