Make a {shiny} app README badge


Matt Dray


March 23, 2021

A GitHub repo showing some README badge, including one that has an RStudio logo and says 'shiny' on one half and '' on the other half.


Use the {badgr} package to make a clickable README badge for a repo that contains an R Shiny app:

Badgr badgr badgr

I made the {badgr} R package to take advantage of the full flexibility of—a service that builds README badges from a supplied URL string—from within R itself.1 You can find the source for the package on GitHub, visit its site built with {pkgdown}, or read a blog post about its inception.

Wait, what’s a README badge? It’s one of those little clickable buttons that provides at-a-glance info about a code repository, like its test coverage or build status.

Turns out you can make custom badges by building a special URL to For example, I use a custom badge to tell people that a repo has an associated post (the rightmost of the badges in the screenshot at the top of this post).

Recently I added a badge to each of my GitHub repositories that contain a Shiny app. The purpose is to let visitors:

  • know that the repo contains a Shiny app
  • know whether the app is hosted on the internet
  • click the badge to go directly to the live app

I put out a tweet about this that got a little traction, so I figured it would be worthwhile to record the idea more permanently.


First, you can install the {badgr} package from GitHub using the {remotes} package.

# install.packages("remotes")

At time of writing, the package should ‘just work’, though it’s dependent ultimately on the service, of course. Leave an issue if you find something wrong.


The code is in a GitHub Gist, should you want to access or bookmark it there. It’s a call to the get_badge() function:

  # Badge label
  label = "Shiny",  # left-side text
  label_color = "white",  # left-side colour
  # Badge message
  message = "",  # right-side text
  color = "blue",  # right-side colour
  # Logo
  logo_simple = "RStudio",  # named icon from
  logo_color = "blue",  # colour of icon
  # Markdown link
  md_link = "",  # clickable link URL
  # Convenience arguments
  browser_preview = TRUE, # preview badge in your browser
  to_clipboard = TRUE  # copies markdown to paste into readme
# Opening browser to display badge preview
# Badge Markdown added to clipboard
# [1] "[![](]("

The output is a Markdown string that you can paste into your README. You can see the string is actually a link within a link: the URL to the badge is wrapped by a link to the Shiny app itself.

Conveniently, the to_clipboard = TRUE argument copies the string to your clipboard and browser_preview = TRUE opens a browser window with a preview of your badge in a new tab. You’ll notice these outcomes are referenced in the output from the function.

Pasting that string into your Markdown or R Markdown README results in this badge when rendered:

In this example, the badge is from the repo for ‘randoflag’, which is a guessing-game Shiny app hosted on, which serves a random emoji flag. You can read about that app in an earlier blog post.

Note also that {badgr} is capable of incorporating bespoke icons, but we didn’t need to provide a custom RStudio logo because can easily display any icon that’s already part of


I think the badge is a useful at-a-glance recognition that the repo contains a Shiny app, whether it’s hosted or not, and a convenient clickable link to the app itself.

I think the wording on the right-hand side of the badge is a good place to indicate the app’s status. Text variants could, for example, be:

  • (the app is live on RStudio’s service)
  • not hosted (the repo contains a Shiny app, but it’s not hosted online)
  • not yet hosted (the Shiny app in the repo is in development, but not yet live on the internet)

I’ve used all three of these so far, but you can use whatever text you want, really.

I’ve already got use out of custom Shiny badges for my repos. I look forward to seeing some more in the wild.


Session info
Last rendered: 2023-08-14 22:07:01 BST
R version 4.3.1 (2023-06-16)
Platform: aarch64-apple-darwin20 (64-bit)
Running under: macOS Ventura 13.2.1

Matrix products: default
BLAS:   /Library/Frameworks/R.framework/Versions/4.3-arm64/Resources/lib/libRblas.0.dylib 
LAPACK: /Library/Frameworks/R.framework/Versions/4.3-arm64/Resources/lib/libRlapack.dylib;  LAPACK version 3.11.0

[1] en_US.UTF-8/en_US.UTF-8/en_US.UTF-8/C/en_US.UTF-8/en_US.UTF-8

time zone: Europe/London
tzcode source: internal

attached base packages:
[1] stats     graphics  grDevices utils     datasets  methods   base     

other attached packages:
[1] badgr_0.1.1

loaded via a namespace (and not attached):
 [1] digest_0.6.33     base64enc_0.1-3   fastmap_1.1.1     xfun_0.39        
 [5] knitr_1.43.1      htmltools_0.5.5   rmarkdown_2.23    cli_3.6.1        
 [9] compiler_4.3.1    rstudioapi_0.15.0 tools_4.3.1       clipr_0.8.0      
[13] evaluate_0.21     yaml_2.3.7        rlang_1.1.1       jsonlite_1.8.7   
[17] htmlwidgets_1.6.2


  1. See also on CRAN the {badger} R package from Guangchuang Yu, which has a number of pre-baked badges for simplicity.↩︎