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11ty Aliases the Right Way


Redirects are something so simple that no one has actually bothered to write a solution for. Cool URIs don’t change, thank you very much w3, and yet, that URL was soooo 2012.

You just can’t help but need a new URL, so what to do?

Well, people had some ideas, but I was not a big fan. I have been defining aliases in frontmatter for years, and I was not in the mood to switch to an objectively worse solution.

May I present, a two part solution to all your alias needs:

Part One: .eleventy.js

Add the following to your 11ty configuration

eleventyConfig.addCollection("redirects", function (collectionApi) {
	// lets make a variable to hold our redirects
	let redirects = [];
	// We need to get each post in our posts folder. In my case this is /node
	const nodes = collectionApi.getFilteredByGlob("pages/garden/node/*.md");
	// next lets iterate over all the nodes
	nodes.forEach(node =>
		// for each alias
		(node.data.aliases || []).forEach(alias =>
			// push the target url and the old url
			redirects.push([node.data.page.url,node.data.page.url.replace(/\/[^\/]*?(\..+)?$/, `/${alias}$1`)])
	return redirects

Part Two: Make a template page to make use of it

I called it redirects.njk

  data: collections.redirects
  size: 1
  alias: redirect
permalink: "{{redirect[1]}}"
layout: ""
<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
  <meta charset="UTF-8">
  <meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0">
  <meta http-equiv="refresh" content="1; URL='{{ redirect[0] }}'" />
  <title>Redirecting to: {{ redirect[0] }}</title>
  	you should be redirecting to <a href="{{ redirect[0] }}">{{ redirect[0] }}</a>


This post was much more simple than my last post on 11ty Taxonomies, but just as useful, if not more!

You can see this in use by going to bad url, and watching in awe as you get sent away!

Next Steps

This solution works great for most use cases, but you might still want to

  1. Convert your template to only generate one file for use by your static host like Netlify. Most people prefer a 301 redirect for SEO reasons, but I really like the old style.
  2. If you are serving multiple MIME types from your web server, you might want to adjust the regex to be more specific, something like
    - /\/[^\/]*?(\..+)?$/
    + /\/[^\/]*?(\.html)?$/

All code on this page (text within <code> html tags) is hereby released under the unlicense. Consider sending a small tip via liberapay!

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