Environment Variables in SvelteKit and Vercel

By Hideki Ishiguro at

When using environment variables in web apps, we use it as process.env.YOUR_ENV in most cases.

I wrote about deploying SvelteKit app with Vercel in the previous post.
In this post, I tell you about using environment variables in SvelteKit and using them in Vercel as process.env.

1. Create a .env file

At first, create a .env file in your project root and then add some variables. For example:

// .env

Note that you should add prefix VITE_ to your variables. This is because SvelteKit uses Vite under the hood.

I recommend you add .env to .gitignore by the way.

2. Using environment variables in SvelteKit

Convert variables so that it can be used in your project.
For example, create Env.js in lib directory and declare them. Note that the file name(here Env.js) is arbitrary, but not a .svelte file.

// src/lib/Env.js
export const MY_API_KEY = import.meta.env.VITE_MY_API_KEY;
export const MY_URL = import.meta.env.VITE_MY_URL;

import.meta.env is the object in Vite.

You can now use them in your project.

// sample.svelte
import { MY_API_KEY } from '$lib/Env';


3. Using them as process.env in Vercel app

To use your environement variables as process.env in Vercel, you should add the setting in svelte.config.js,

// svelte.config.js

const config = {
    kit: {
        // ...
        vite: {
            define: {
                'process.env': process.env,

export default config;

Check the following settings compilerOptions.paths of jsconfig.json. If not, add it.

// jsconfig.json
    // ...
    "compilerOptions": {
        "baseUrls": ".",
        "paths": {
            "$lib": ["src/lib"],
            "$lib/*": ["src/lib/*"]
    // ...

Finally, although I don't know this is the best practice, use them as follow for instance:

// sample.svelte
import { MY_API_KEY } from '$lib/Env';

let myApiKey;

if (process.env.NODE_ENV === 'production') {
    // For production
    myApiKey = process.env.MY_API_KEY;
} else {
    // For development
    myApiKey = MY_API_KEY;

4. Configuration in Vercel

*See this article for how to deploy your app in Vercel.

Add your environment variables in the Vercel Settings.

5. Done

You can now use process.env in SvelteKit app hosted with Vercel.