How to use Firebase Hosting as your personal HTTP 301 redirector

Oct 15, 2017 using tags firebase

Firebase Hosting from Google comes bundled with a very generous free tier for all your website/single-page-app hosting needs. Among its features are custom domains, managed TLS certificates, and advanced configuration options.

This is perfect for a low-maintenance domain you need parked or redirected as Firebase provisions and manages your TLS certificates for you. Which translates to not needing to worry about or manage certificate renewals! Another cool side-effect is that Firebase by default redirects all http requests to https. Using it as a redirector means that both your http and https requests get redirected to your new domain without any extra effort on your part!

I’ll give you a brief walkthrough of how to set this up along with a few examples - 301-redirect to


Create a new project in your Firebase Console. I called my project irc-hooky. After the creation process is finished head over to the Hosting section (on the left). Click the Get Started button and keep clicking Continue to follow the on-screen prompts. You don’t actually have to do anything on your local machine just yet.

You should now see an option to Connect Domain. Click on the connect button and fill out the domain you wish to redirect from. After you click Continue, you will need to verify the ownership of this domain via a DNS TXT record. After DNS verification is finished and your TLS certificate has been provisioned, you will see a Connected message under Status.


While your TLS certificate is being provisioned you can get the other pieces ready to go. Create a firebase.json file with contents similar to the following:

  "hosting": {
    "public": "firebase",
    "ignore": [
    "redirects": [
        "source": "/",
        "destination": "",
        "type": 301
        "source": "/**",
        "destination": "",
        "type": 301

You will want to replace with your redirect destination.

If you don’t already have firebase-tools installed locally:

$ npm install -g firebase-tools

Login to firebase via the CLI. The --no-localhost option here allows you to copy/paste the resulting auth token back into your terminal session.

firebase login --no-localhost

Create a firebase directory with the following index.html file:

<!DOCTYPE html>

You are now ready to deploy your redirector!

$ firebase --project "irc-hooky" deploy

Replace irc-hooky there with your Firebase Hosting project name.


Assuming everything went off without a hitch, you should see your domain redirects working as you expect.

$ curl -v
* Rebuilt URL to:
* Hostname was NOT found in DNS cache
* Connected to ( port 443 (#0)
* successfully set certificate verify locations:
*   CAfile: none
  CApath: /etc/ssl/certs
* SSLv3, TLS handshake, Client hello (1):
* SSLv3, TLS handshake, Server hello (2):
* SSLv3, TLS handshake, CERT (11):
* SSLv3, TLS handshake, Server key exchange (12):
* SSLv3, TLS handshake, Server finished (14):
* SSLv3, TLS handshake, Client key exchange (16):
* SSLv3, TLS change cipher, Client hello (1):
* SSLv3, TLS handshake, Finished (20):
* SSLv3, TLS change cipher, Client hello (1):
* SSLv3, TLS handshake, Finished (20):
* SSL connection using ECDHE-RSA-AES128-GCM-SHA256
* Server certificate:
* 	 subject:
* 	 start date: 2017-10-15 18:03:44 GMT
* 	 expire date: 2018-01-13 18:03:44 GMT
* 	 subjectAltName: matched
* 	 issuer: C=US; O=Let's Encrypt; CN=Let's Encrypt Authority X3
* 	 SSL certificate verify ok.
> GET / HTTP/1.1
> User-Agent: curl/7.35.0
> Host:
> Accept: */*
< HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently
* Server nginx is not blacklisted
< Server: nginx
< Content-Type: text/html; charset=utf-8
< X-Powered-By: Express
< Cache-Control: max-age=3600
< Strict-Transport-Security: max-age=31556926
< Location:
< Content-Length: 53
< Accept-Ranges: bytes
< Date: Sun, 15 Oct 2017 21:33:45 GMT
< Via: 1.1 varnish
< Connection: keep-alive
< X-Served-By: cache-mdw17350-MDW
< X-Cache: HIT
< X-Cache-Hits: 1
< X-Timer: S1508103226.970407,VS0,VE0
* Connection #0 to host left intact
Redirecting to