The Simple Magic of Prefixed URLs
If you go to
https://swyx.io, you get my blog.
If you go to
https://is-this.netlify.app/https://swyx.io, you get this:
This is a little utility I made that solved the very specific pain point of figuring out whether or not a potential customer was a Netlify user or not (or had configured another CDN atop Netlify).
I originally did this as a browser extension, but the benefit of doing this as a microsite is I can now access it on my phone.
This is a little behavior that I call Prefixed URLs, after GitPod’s name for it.
It’s a really nice way to enhance the open web - by creating a route that specifically accepts either any URL or some specific set of URLs, and then does something with that info to give you even more. To use this microsite, you just prepend the URL to whatever you’re interested in.
I was recently reminded of this when the Github1s project went viral on HN recently. It lets you swap out any
github.com repo for
github1s.com and it opens up a VS Code file explorer for easier navigation (GitHub’s default file navigation is slow and clunky).
I’ve also seen this behavior in website ranking tools: https://www.similarweb.com/website/dev.to/ shows you the traffic of Dev.to:
Pomber has a little Github history suffix for codesurfing:
I think this is a wonderful little user experience and encourage more people to think of creative ways to consume URLs and extend the Open Web.