The Spaghetti Refactory Established 2015

Quick and easy HTTP headers with HTTParty

UPDATE: I changed the gem. It now follows redirects and maintains the HEAD request across all redirects.

I have a method that checks URLs submitted by the user to ensure they are valid. I don’t want to scrape the page to make sure any specific text is on there because the URLs can go almost anywhere, so I basically only care if the URL returns an HTTP 200 status.

I’m using the excellent HTTParty Ruby gem to make my external requests, and it offers a handy .head method that only returns the website headers for the request:


However, I found out that if the requested site redirects, then subsequent requests get changed to GET, which isn’t ideal since the GET request will download the entire page’s content rather than just the headers, and is understandably slower.

Thankfully, there are a couple options that can be passed to the .head method which takes care of this:

maintain_method_across_redirects: true,
follow_redirects: true)

Now, I get just the headers, and since all I care about is whether it was a successful request, I’m able to call .success? in my method and use the return value.

There are a few external HTTP gems out there - Net:HTTP (of which HTTParty is a wrapper), RestClient, etc - but HTTParty is my favorite so far, and easiest to work with. Check it out if you haven’t already.