How to slugify a string in JavaScript

A slug is a string that is used to uniquely identify a resource in a URL-friendly way. It is typically used in the URL to identify a specific page or post on a website. A slug consists of a set of characters that are easy to read and remember, and that accurately describe the content of the resource.

A string can be qualified as a slug if it meets the following criteria:

  • It consists of lowercase alphanumeric characters (a-z, 0-9) and hyphens (-).
  • It does not contain any spaces or other special characters.
  • It accurately and concisely describes the content of the resource it identifies.
  • It is unique within the context of the website or application.

For example, consider the following URL In this URL, my-awesome-blog-post is the slug that identifies the specific blog post.

A simple slugify

In JavaScript, you can slugify a string by converting it to a URL-friendly format where any special characters and spaces are replaced with hyphens or underscores. Here’s an example function that can accomplish this:

function slugify(str) {
  str = str.replace(/^\s+|\s+$/g, ''); // trim leading/trailing white space
  str = str.toLowerCase(); // convert string to lowercase
  str = str.replace(/[^a-z0-9 -]/g, '') // remove any non-alphanumeric characters
           .replace(/\s+/g, '-') // replace spaces with hyphens
           .replace(/-+/g, '-'); // remove consecutive hyphens
  return str;

const title = "The Quick Brown Fox Jumps Over The Lazy Dog!";
const slug = slugify(title);
console.log(slug); // "the-quick-brown-fox-jumps-over-the-lazy-dog"

Using a library

There are several libraries available in JavaScript that can be used to slugify a string easily without having to write custom code.

  1. lodash (56k ⭐) -> This library provides a wide range of utility functions for JavaScript, including a kebabCase function that can be used to convert a string to kebab case, which is similar to slug format. Kebab case format is a naming convention where words are separated by a hyphen (-) and all letters are in lower case.
const _ = require('lodash');

const myString = 'Hello World';
const kebabCaseString = _.kebabCase(myString);

console.log(kebabCaseString); // Output: hello-world
  1. slugify (1.2k ⭐) -> This library includes a simple slugify function in vanilla ES2015 JavaScript, has no dependencies, coerces foreign symbols to their English equivalent, works in the browser (window.slugify) and AMD/CommonJS-flavored module loaders.
var slugify = require('slugify')

slugify('some string') // some-string

// if you prefer something other than '-' as separator
slugify('some string', '_')  // some_string
  1. Voca (3.5k ⭐) -> The Voca library offers helpful functions to make string manipulations comfortable: change case, trim, pad, slugify, latinise, sprintf’y, truncate, escape and much more. In Voca, slugify is a function that converts a string to a URL-friendly slug format.
const { slugify } = require('voca');

const myString = 'Hello World!';
const slugifiedString = slugify(myString);

console.log(slugifiedString); // Output: hello-world