Using sed to add Google Analytics to static pages

The shell command sed is extremely powerful. Recently, I needed to add the Google Analytics JavaScript to several hundred old static html pages. I did not fancy doing that by hand and when a computer is around the boring and repetitive become an excuse to grab a shell! Here’s the script I came up with:

#!/bin/sed -f

Obviously, you would replace “yourcode” with whatever your analytics code happens to be. I used find to dig up all of the html pages and then ran this script via xargs, it would also be possible to use -exec:

find . -name "*.html" | xargs -n1

The script itself contains just one “s” or substitute command. It uses the | or pipe symbol to delimit the arguments of the command. So, the script says that when sed encounters a body tag, replace it with the Google Analytics code and a new body tag. Simple.

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