How to Get the Page Path in JavaScript

This tutorial will show you how to get the current page path in JavaScript (and more).

Published Categorized as JavaScript, Web Dev

Suppose you’re building a website or web application and, for some reason, you need to get the value of the page path of the current page.

What’s the best way to do that?

To get the value of the current page path in JavaScript, reference the pathname property of the window.location object.

Window.location.pathname, as explained at MDN Web Docs, is a read-only property that returns a Location object with the path of the current page.

In this tutorial, I’ll show you exactly how to get the value of this property—and go over some real-world scenarios for its use.

How It Works

If you fired up your browser’s developer tools, opened the console, and referenced the following property of the window object:

// Reference pathname property of window.location object
window.location.pathname

You’d see that the value of the pathname property for this page is '/blog/get-page-path-javascript/'.

The property, as you can see, contains only the value of the page path, not that of the domain name or of any URL parameters.

This property comes in particularly handy when you’re working on a multi-page website or your application and part of your business logic is determined by the page path.

Ways to Use It

Store It in a Constant or Variable

The simplest, most straightforward way to use the window.location.pathname property is to store its value in a constant or variable so that you can reference it later in your code:

// Store value of pathname in constant
const pagePath = window.location.pathname;

// Store value of pathname in a variable
var pagePath = window.location.pathname;

The key difference between constants and variables in JavaScript is that constants cannot be redeclared, whereas variables declared with var can.

Instead of var, you could also declare your variable with the let statement. Variables declared with let cannot be redeclared (only reassigned), and their scope is limited to the block between curly brackets (and all of its sub-blocks).

Combine It With the Domain Name

I recently wrote about getting the value of the domain name in JavaScript by referencing the hostname property of the window.location object.

If you need to get a value of the domain name with the page path, you could concatenate the values of the hostname and pathname:

// Concatenate hostname and pathname
const pageLocation = window.location.hostname + window.location.pathname;

If you did is in the console on this page, your constant would get a value of 'makersaid.com/blog/get-page-path-in-javascript/' with the domain name and the page path combined.

Combine It With URL Parameters

Suppose you need to combine the page path with the URL parameters. You can do so by concatenating the values of the window.location object’s pathname and search properties:

// Concatenate hostname and pathname
const pageLocation = window.location.pathname + window.location.search;

If you have stricter requirements, you could even concatenate the page path only with specific parameters from the URL.

Split It Into an Array

If you need to turn the page path into structured data, you can use the Array.split() method to split it into an array:

const pageLocation = window.location.pathname.split('/');

When you do this, you will notice that the data element at index 0 is always an empty string. That’s because the page path starts with “/” and the Array.split() method treats the beginning of the page path as an empty string.

In Conclusion

Thank you for reading this far and I hope this tutorial helped you get the job done.

The window object in JavaScript has a number of useful read-only properties that can be useful in your daily work. I recommend you experiment with them and learn them, as using them can make your code faster and leaner.

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