Top 3 URL shorteners you should use
This link is the longest URL ever created manually on the Internet and contains 263 characters. Though automatically generated URLs can go upto 2000 characters and more.
Did you ever imagine if you had to copy and paste such long URLs in the address bar of your web browser. Despite being careful you may sometimes miss out a character or two. So if you run a blog or website and want to post links on social networking and micro blogging sites, your long URLs would just distract your visitors and since microblogging sites have space for limited characters, you won’t be able to post your links there. Also if you write for a newspaper agency or some magazine and want to print a link, your readers will struggle writing down every character in the address bar of their web browser and if the link is like the one mentioned above they will never care to visit them even if you claim there are tons of important information. But today in the age of microblogging, where every word counts, there are hundreds of URL shorteners to your rescue. All short URLs will send users to the original long URL. But only a handful of them are worth using and the others are only short-term businesses. They will redirect you to some sites containing advertisements and then to your site. As this would take some time in between, many readers would just prefer to click the cancel button. If you use such URL shorteners your links would be dead when those services are down or out of business. So, when you use URL Shorteners, use the better ones as they will practically never shut down. Even Facebook and Twitter have jumped into the URL shortening service with the domains fb.me and t.co exclusively built for their respective platforms. There are many genuine sites to shorten the URL you want, but in this post I will discuss only the top three services.
Here goes the URL shorteners.
Homepage URL: tinyurl.com
Probably the first among URL shortener which still survives the competition. As stated on its homepage, TinyURL serves billions of redirects per month. TinyURL provides a bookmarking button which you can drag to your bookmarks toolbar enabling you to shorten the URL of your current page at the click of a button. It also has an advanced feature allowing users to customize their URL.
Let us consider the URL of the page you are reading now
Using TinyURL you get this link
You can even customize this URL to provide a good look and feel. Let’s say
Do remember that if a URL has already been created, TinyURL will return the existing URL rather than creating a duplicate one.
Google url shortener
Homepage URL: goo.gl
Google url shortener was launched in December 2009 under the domain goo.gl. First it was embedded into Google Toolbar and Feedburner but was eventually released for general use. Google url shortener has a simple interface which is created just for shortening long URLs. You won’t find the customization button here and for the same input URL it will create different URLs each time you press the “Shorten URL” button.
I entered this URL
First I got
Next I got
This goes on and on…..But one advantage the Google url shortener offers is that it uses Google Analytics features to track the clicks on your created links. You get to know exactly how times your links have been clicked. You also know the countries from where the clicks have come, the referrers, browsers and more. This makes Google url shortener one of the most preferred.
Homepage URL: bitly.com
The most popular URL shortener on the Internet, Bitly comes with enhanced features and great tracking. Your links, on default will appear to be under the domain bit.ly but you can change it to bitly.com or j.mp, all owned by Bitly Inc. Like TinyURL, Bitly also provides a bookmarking button which you can drag to your bookmarks toolbar to shorten the URL of your current page. Visiting the Bitly website you can shorten any URL and check its stats.
The URL of this page is
When shortened by Bitly, we get,
You can login to Bitly and do an extra load of things such as you can customize your links. Remember that Bitly customizations are case-sensitive. For the above URL I customized it as
You can add a message to your link as well and share it on Facebook and Twitter.One thing you should remember is that Bitly will create different short links for different logged in users and visitors.
For the above long URL, when logged in I got
But you don’t have to worry as all the links will redirect to your site. Another feature of Bitly is that it allows users to use their custom short domain as a substitute for bit.ly, bitly.com or j.mp. For example, The New York Times uses “nyti.ms”, Pepsi uses pep.si as their short domains. So, you can also do the same to keep your brand intact.