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A Deep Dive into SvelteKit Routing with Our GitHub Showcase Example


SvelteKit is an excellent framework for building web applications of all sizes, with a beautiful development experience and flexible filesystem-based routing. At the heart of SvelteKit is a filesystem-based router. The routes of your app — i.e. the URL paths that users can access — are defined by the directories in your codebase.

In this tutorial, we are going to discuss SvelteKit routing with an awesome SvelteKit GitHub showcase built by This Dot Labs. The showcase is built with the SvelteKit starter kit on

We are going to tackle:

  • Filesystem-based router
    • +page.svelte
    • +page.server
    • +layout.svelte
    • +layout.server
    • +error.svelte
  • Advanced Routing
    • Rest Parameters
    • (group) layouts
    • Matching

Below is the current routes folder.

Project Structure Sveltekit Showcase


You will need a development environment running Node.js; this tutorial was tested on Node.js version 16.18.0, and npm version 8.19.2.

Filesystem-based router

The src/routes is the root route. You can change src/routes to a different directory by editing the project config.

// svelte.config.js

/** @type {import('@sveltejs/kit').Config} */
const config = {
  kit: {
    routes: "src/routes", // 👈 you can change it here to anything you want

Each route directory contains one or more route files, which can be identified by their + prefix.


A +page.svelte component defines a page of your app. By default, pages are rendered both on the server (SSR) for the initial request, and in the browser (CSR) for subsequent navigation.

In the below example, we see how to render a simple login page component:

// src/routes/signin/(auth)/+page.svelte

  import Auth from '$lib/components/auth/Auth.svelte';

<Auth />


Often, a page will need to load some data before it can be rendered. For this, we add a +page.js (or +page.ts, if you're TypeScript-inclined) module that exports a load function.


If your load function can only run on the server— ie, if it needs to fetch data from a database or you need to access private environment variables like API key— then you can rename +page.js to +page.server.js, and change the PageLoad type to PageServerLoad.

To pass top user repository data, and user’s gists to the client-rendered page, we do the following:

// src/routes/(authenticated)/(home)/+page.server.ts

import type { PageServerLoad } from "./$types";
import { mapUserReposToTopRepos, mapGistsToHomeGists } from "$lib/helpers";
import type {
} from "$lib/interfaces";
import { ENV } from "$lib/constants/env";

export const load: PageServerLoad = async ({ fetch, parent }) => {
  const repoURL = new URL("/user/repos", ENV.GITHUB_URL);
  repoURL.searchParams.append("sort", "updated");
  repoURL.searchParams.append("per_page", "20");

  const { userInfo } = await parent();

  const gistsURL = new URL(

  try {
    const reposPromise = await fetch(repoURL);

    const gistsPromise = await fetch(gistsURL);

    const [repoRes, gistsRes] = await Promise.all([reposPromise, gistsPromise]);

    const gists = (await gistsRes.json()) as UserGistsApiResponse;

    const repos = (await repoRes.json()) as UserReposApiResponse;

    return {
      topRepos: mapUserReposToTopRepos(repos),
      gists: mapGistsToHomeGists(gists),
      username: userInfo?.username,
  } catch (err) {

The page.svelte gets access to the data by using the data variable which is of type PageServerData.

    <!-- src/routes/(authenticated)/(home)/+page.svelte -->

    <script lang="ts">
    import TopRepositories from '$lib/components/TopRepositories/TopRepositories.svelte';
    import Gists from '$lib/components/Gists/Gists.svelte';
    import type { PageServerData } from './$types';
    export let data: PageServerData;

    <div class="container">
      <div class="page-container">
        {#if data?.gists}
            <Gists gists={data.gists} />
        {#if data?.topRepos}
        <TopRepositories repos={data.topRepos} username={data?.username} />

    <style lang="scss">
    @use 'src/lib/styles/variables.scss';

    .page-container {
        display: grid;
        grid-template-columns: 1fr;
        background: variables.$gray100;
        @media (min-width: variables.$md) {
          grid-template-columns: 24rem 1fr;

    aside {
        background: variables.$white;
        padding: 2rem;
        @media (max-width: variables.$md) {
          order: 2;


As there are elements that should be visible on every page, such as top-level navigation or a footer. Instead of repeating them in every +page.svelte, we can put them in layouts.

The only requirement is that the component includes a <slot> for the page content. For example, let's add a nav bar:

    <!-- src/routes/(authenticated)/+layout.svelte -->

    <script lang="ts">
    import NavBar from '$lib/components/NavBar/NavBar.svelte';
    import type { LayoutServerData } from './$types';

    export let data: LayoutServerData;

    <div class="page">
    <header class="nav">
        <NavBar username={data?.userInfo.username} userAvatar={data?.userInfo.avatar} />
    <main class="main">
        <slot />  // 👈  child routes of the layout page


Just like +page.server.ts, your +layout.svelte component can get data from a load function in +layout.server.js, and change the type from PageServerLoad type to LayoutServerLoad.

// src/routes/(authenticated)/+layout.server.ts

import { ENV } from "$lib/constants/env";
import { remapContextUserAsync } from "$lib/helpers/context-user";
import type { LayoutServerLoad } from "./$types";
import { mapUserInfoResponseToUserInfo } from "$lib/helpers/user";

export const load: LayoutServerLoad = async ({ locals, fetch }) => {
  const getContextUserUrl = new URL("/user", ENV.GITHUB_URL);
  const response = await fetch(getContextUserUrl.toString());
  const contextUser = await remapContextUserAsync(response);
  locals.user = contextUser;
  return {
    userInfo: mapUserInfoResponseToUserInfo(locals.user),


If an error occurs during load, SvelteKit will render a default error page. You can customize this error page on a per-route basis by adding an +error.svelte file.

File Structure (authenticated) Github Showcase SvelteKit

In the showcase, an error.svelte page has been added for authenticated view in case of an error.

        import { page } from '$app/stores';
        import ErrorMain from '$lib/components/ErrorPage/ErrorMain.svelte';
        import ErrorFlash from '$lib/components/ErrorPage/ErrorFlash.svelte';

    <ErrorFlash message={$page.error?.message} />
    <ErrorMain status={$page.status} />

Advanced Routing

Rest Parameters

If the number of route segments is unknown, you can use spread operator syntax. This is done to implement Github’s file viewer.

/[org]/[repo]/tree/[branch]/[...file] would result in the following parameters being available to the page:

  org: ‘thisdot’,
  repo: '',
  branch: 'main',

(group) layouts

By default, the layout hierarchy mirrors the route hierarchy. In some cases, that might not be what you want.

In the GitHub showcase, we would like an authenticated user to be able to have access to the navigation bar, error page, and user information. This is done by grouping all the relevant pages which an authenticated user can access.

File Structure (authenticated) Github Showcase SvelteKit

Grouping can also be used to tidy your file tree and ‘group’ similar pages together for easy navigation, and understanding of the project.

Blob File Structure Github Showcase SvelteKit


In the Github showcase, we needed to have a page to show issues and pull requests for a single repo. The route src/routes/(authenticated)/[username]/[repo]/[issues] would match /thisdot/ or /thisdot/ but also /thisdot/ and we don't want that. You can ensure that route parameters are well-formed by adding a matcher— which takes only issues or pull-requests, and returns true if it is valid– to your params directory.

// src/params/issue_search_type.ts

import { IssueSearchPageTypeFiltersMap } from "$lib/constants/matchers";
import type { ParamMatcher } from "@sveltejs/kit";

export const match: ParamMatcher = (param: string): boolean => {
  return Object.keys(IssueSearchPageTypeFiltersMap).includes(
	// src/lib/constants/matchers.ts

    import { IssueSearchQueryType } from './issues-search-query-filters';

    export const IssueSearchPageTypeFiltersMap = {
        issues: ‘issues’,
        pulls: ’pull-requests’,

    export type IssueSearchTypePage = keyof typeof IssueSearchPageTypeFiltersMap;

...and augmenting your routes:

Matching Routing Github Showcase SvelteKit

If the pathname doesn't match, SvelteKit will try to match other routes (using the sort order specified below), before eventually returning a 404.

Note: Matchers run both on the server and in the browser.


In this article, we learned about basic and advanced routing in SvelteKit by using the SvelteKit showcase example. We looked at how to work with SvelteKit's Filesystem-based router, rest parameters, and (group) layouts.

If you want to learn more about SvelteKit, please check out the SvelteKit and SCSS starter kit and the SvelteKit and SCSS GitHub showcase. All the code for our showcase project is open source. If you want to collaborate with us or have suggestions, we're always welcome to new contributions.

Thanks for reading!

If you have any questions, or run into any trouble, feel free to reach out on Twitter.

This Dot Labs is a development consultancy that is trusted by top industry companies, including Stripe, Xero, Wikimedia, Docusign, and Twilio. This Dot takes a hands-on approach by providing tailored development strategies to help you approach your most pressing challenges with clarity and confidence. Whether it's bridging the gap between business and technology or modernizing legacy systems, you’ll find a breadth of experience and knowledge you need. Check out how This Dot Labs can empower your tech journey.

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Exploring the Boilerplate of Threlte Upon scaffolding a new project using npm create threlte`, a few essential boilerplate files are generated. In this chapter, we'll examine the code snippets from three of these files: `lib/components/scene.svelte`, `routes/+page.svelte`, and `lib/components/app.svelte`. 1. lib/components/scene.svelte`: This file lays the foundation for our 3D scene. Here's a brief breakdown of its main elements: - Perspective Camera**: Sets up the camera view with a specific field of view and position, and integrates `OrbitControls` for auto-rotation and zoom management. - Directional and Ambient Lights**: Defines the lighting conditions to illuminate the scene. - Grid**: A grid structure to represent the ground. - ContactShadows**: Adds shadow effects to enhance realism. - Float**: Wraps around 3D mesh objects and defines floating properties, including intensity and range. Various geometrical shapes like BoxGeometry, TorusKnotGeometry, and IcosahedronGeometry are included here. 2. routes/+page.svelte`: This file handles the ui of the index page and imports all necessary components we need to bring our vibrant design to life. 3. lib/components/app.svelte`: This file is where you would typically define the main application layout, including styling and embedding other components. Heading to the Fun Stuff With the boilerplate components explained, we're now ready to dive into the exciting part of building our interactive 3D web experience. In the next section, we'll begin crafting our auto-rotating sphere, and explore how Threlte's robust features will help us bring it to life. Creating a Rotating Sphere Scene In this chapter, we'll walk you through creating an interactive 3D sphere scene using Threlte. We'll cover setting up the scene, the sphere, the camera and lights, and finally the interactivity that includes a scaling effect and color changes. 1. Setting Up the Scene First, we need to import the required components and utilities from Threlte. `typescript import { T } from '@threlte/core'; import { OrbitControls } from '@threlte/extras'; ` 2. Setting Up the Sphere We'll create the 3D sphere using Threlte's ` and `` components. `svelte ` 1. `: This is a component from Threlte that represents a 3D object, which in this case is a sphere. It's the container that holds the geometry and material of the sphere. 2. `: This is the geometry of the sphere. It defines the shape and characteristics of the sphere. The `args` attribute specifies the parameters for the sphere's creation: - The first argument (1`) is the radius of the sphere. - The second argument (32`) represents the number of width segments. - The third argument (32`) represents the number of height segments. 3. `: This is the material applied to the sphere. It determines how the surface of the sphere interacts with light. The `color` attribute specifies the color of the material. In this case, the color is dynamic and defined by the `sphereColor` variable, which updates based on user interaction. The `roughness` attribute controls the surface roughness of the sphere, affecting how it reflects light. 3. Setting Up the Camera and Lights Next, we'll position the camera and add lights to create a visually appealing scene. `svelte ` 1. `: This component represents the camera in the scene. It provides the viewpoint through which the user sees the 3D objects. The `position` attribute defines the camera's position in 3D space. In this case, the camera is positioned at `(-10, 20, 10)`. The `fov` attribute specifies the field of view, which affects how wide the camera's view is. - makeDefault`: This attribute makes this camera the default camera for rendering the scene. 2. `: This component provides controls for easy navigation and interaction with the scene. It allows the user to pan, zoom, and orbit around the objects in the scene. The attributes within the `` component configure its behavior: - enableZoom`: Disables zooming using the mouse scroll wheel. - enablePan`: Disables panning the scene. - enableDamping`: Enables a damping effect that smoothens the camera's movement. - autoRotate`: Enables automatic rotation of the camera around the scene. - autoRotateSpeed`: Defines the speed of the auto-rotation. 3. `: This component represents a directional light source in the scene. It simulates light coming from a specific direction. The attributes within the `` component configure the light's behavior: - intensity`: Specifies the intensity of the light. - position.x` and `position.y`: Define the position of the light source in the scene. 4. `: This component represents an ambient light source in the scene. It provides even lighting across all objects in the scene. The `intensity` attribute controls the strength of the ambient light. 4. Interactivity: Scaling and Color Changes Now we'll add interactivity to the sphere, allowing it to scale and change color in response to user input. First, we'll import the required utilities for animation and set up a spring object to manage the scale. `typescript import { spring } from 'svelte/motion'; import { onMount } from 'svelte'; import { interactivity } from '@threlte/extras'; interactivity(); const scale = spring(0, { stiffness: 0.1 }); onMount(() => { scale.set(1); }); ` We'll update the sphere definition to include scaling: `svelte scale.set(1.1)} on:pointerleave={() => scale.set(1)}> ` Lastly, we'll add code to update the color of the sphere based on the mouse's position within the window. `typescript let mousedown = false; let rgb: number[] = []; function updateSphereColor(e: MouseEvent) { if (mousedown) { rgb = [ Math.floor((e.pageX / window.innerWidth) 255), Math.floor((e.pageY / window.innerHeight) 255), 150 ]; } } window.addEventListener('mousedown', () => (mousedown = true)); window.addEventListener('mouseup', () => (mousedown = false)); window.addEventListener('mousemove', updateSphereColor); $: sphereColor = rgb.join(','); ` We have successfully created a rotating sphere scene with scaling and color-changing interactivity. By leveraging Threlte's capabilities, we have built a visually engaging 3D experience that responds to user input, providing a dynamic and immersive interface. Adding Navigation and Scroll Prompt in `app.svelte` In this chapter, we'll add a navigation bar and a scroll prompt to our scene. The navigation bar provides links for user navigation, while the scroll prompt encourages the user to interact with the content. Here's a step-by-step breakdown of the code: 1. Importing the Canvas and Scene The Canvas` component from Threlte serves as the container for our 3D scene. We import our custom `Scene` component to render within the canvas. `typescript import { Canvas } from '@threlte/core'; import Scene from './Scene.svelte'; ` 2. Embedding the 3D Scene The Canvas` component wraps the `Scene` component to render the 3D content. It is positioned absolutely to cover the full viewport, and the `z-index` property ensures that it's layered behind the navigation elements. `svelte ` 3. Adding the Navigation Bar We use a ` element to create a horizontal navigation bar at the top of the page. It contains a home link and two navigation list items. The styling properties ensure that the navigation bar is visually appealing and positioned correctly. `svelte Home Explore Learn ` 4. Adding the Scroll Prompt We include a "Give a scroll" prompt with an ` element to encourage user interaction. It's positioned near the bottom of the viewport and styled for readability against the background. `svelte Give a scroll ` 5. Styling the Components Finally, the provided CSS styles control the positioning and appearance of the canvas, navigation bar, and scroll prompt. The CSS classes apply appropriate color, font, and layout properties to create a cohesive and attractive design. `css .sphere-canvas { width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; z-index: 1; } nav { display: flex; color: white; z-index: 2; position: relative; padding: 4rem 8rem; justify-content: space-between; align-items: center; } nav a { text-decoration: none; color: white; font-weight: bold; } nav ul { display: flex; list-style: none; gap: 4rem; } h1 { color: white; z-index: 2; position: absolute; font-size: 3rem; left: 50%; top: 75%; transform: translate(-50%, -75%); } ` Head to the github repo to view the full code.** Check out the result:** Conclusion We've successfully added navigation and a scroll prompt to our Threlte project in the app.svelte` file. By layering 2D HTML content with a 3D scene, we've created an interactive user interface that combines traditional web design elements with immersive 3D visuals....

I Broke My Hand So You Don't Have To (First-Hand Accessibility Insights) cover image

I Broke My Hand So You Don't Have To (First-Hand Accessibility Insights)

We take accessibility quite seriously here at This Dot because we know it's important. Still, throughout my career, I've seen many projects where accessibility was brushed aside for reasons like "our users don't really use keyboard shortcuts" or "we need to ship fast; we can add accessibility later." The truth is, that "later" often means "never." And it turns out, anyone could break their hand, like I did. I broke my dominant hand and spent four weeks in a cast, effectively rendering it useless and forcing me to work left-handed. I must thus apologize for the misleading title; this post should more accurately be dubbed "second-hand" accessibility insights. The Perspective of a Developer Firstly, it's not the end of the world. I adapted quickly to my temporary disability, which was, for the most part, a minor inconvenience. I had to type with one hand, obviously slower than my usual pace, but isn't a significant part of a software engineer's work focused on thinking? Here's what I did and learned: - I moved my mouse to the left and started using it with my left hand. I adapted quickly, but the experience wasn't as smooth as using my right hand. I could perform most tasks, but I needed to be more careful and precise. - Many actions require holding a key while pressing a mouse button (e.g., visiting links from the IDE), which is hard to do with one hand. - This led me to explore trackpad options. Apart from the Apple Magic Trackpad, choices were limited. As a Windows user (I know, sorry), that wasn't an option for me. I settled for a cheap trackpad from Amazon. A lot of tasks became easier; however, the trackpad eventually malfunctioned, sending me back to the mouse. - I don't know a lot of IDE shortcuts. I realized how much I've been relying on a mouse for my work, subconsciously refusing to learn new keyboard shortcuts (I'll be returning my senior engineer license shortly). So I learned a few new ones, which is good, I guess. - Some keyboard shortcuts are hard to press with one hand. If you find yourself in a similar situation, you may need to remap some of them. - Copilot became my best friend, saving me from a lot of slow typing, although I did have to correct and rewrite many of its suggestions. The Perspective of a User As a developer, I was able to get by and figure things out to be able to work effectively. As a user, however, I got to experience the other side of the coin and really feel the accessibility (or lack thereof) on the web. Here are a few insights I gained: - A lot of websites apparently tried_ to implement keyboard navigation, but failed miserably. For example, a big e-commerce website I tried to use to shop for the aforementioned trackpad seemed to work fine with keyboard navigation at first, but once I focused on the search field, I found myself unable to tab out from it. When you make the effort to implement keyboard navigation, please make sure it works properly and it doesn't get broken with new changes. I wholeheartedly recommend having e2e tests (e.g. with Playwright) that verify the keyboard navigation works as expected. - A few websites and web apps I tried to use were completely unusable with the keyboard and were designed to be used with a mouse only. - Some sites had elaborate keyboard navigation, with custom keyboard shortcuts for different functionality. That took some time to figure out, and I reckon it's not as intuitive as the designers thought it would be. Once a user learns the shortcuts, however, it could make their life easier, I suppose. - A lot of interactive elements are much smaller than they should be, making it hard to accurately click on them with your weaker hand. Designers, I beg you, please make your buttons bigger. I once worked on an application that had a "gloves mode" for environments where the operators would be using gloves, and I feel like maybe the size we went with for the "gloves mode" should be the standard everywhere, especially as screens get bigger and bigger. - Misclicking is easy, especially using your weaker hand. Be it a mouse click or just hitting an Enter key on accident. Kudos to all the developers who thought about this and implemented a confirmation dialog or other safety measures to prevent users from accidentally deleting or posting something. I've however encountered a few apps that didn't have any of these, and those made me a bit anxious, to be honest. If this is something you haven't thought about when developing an app, please start doing so, you might save someone a lot of trouble. Some Second-Hand Insights I was only a little bit impaired by being temporarily one-handed and it was honestly a big pain. In this post, I've focused on my anecdotal experience as a developer and a user, covering mostly keyboard navigation and mouse usage. I can only imagine how frustrating it must be for visually impaired users, or users with other disabilities, to use the web. I must confess I haven't always been treating accessibility as a priority, but I've certainly learned my lesson. I will try to make sure all the apps I work on are accessible and inclusive, and I will try to test not only the keyboard navigation, ARIA attributes, and other accessibility features, but also the overall experience of using the app with a screen reader. I hope this post will at least plant a little seed in your head that makes you think about what it feels like to be disabled and what would the experience of a disabled person be like using the app you're working on. Conclusion: The Humbling Realities of Accessibility The past few weeks have been an eye-opening journey for me into the world of accessibility, exposing its importance not just in theory but in palpable, daily experiences. My short-term impairment allowed me to peek into a life where simple tasks aren't so simple, and convenient shortcuts are a maze of complications. It has been a humbling experience, but also an illuminating one. As developers and designers, we often get caught in the rush to innovate and to ship, leaving behind essential elements that make technology inclusive and humane. While my temporary disability was an inconvenience, it's permanent for many others. A broken hand made me realize how broken our approach towards accessibility often is. The key takeaway here isn't just a list of accessibility tips; it's an earnest appeal to empathize with your end-users. "Designing for all" is not a checkbox to tick off before a product launch; it's an ongoing commitment to the understanding that everyone interacts with technology differently. When being empathetic and sincerely thinking about accessibility, you never know whose life you could be making easier. After all, disability isn't a special condition; it's a part of the human condition. And if you still think "Our users don't really use keyboard shortcuts" or "We can add accessibility later," remember that you're not just failing a compliance checklist, you're failing real people....