Short URLs

Your very own URL shortening service

Posted on 30/10/2011 by Adam

So I expanded on my Twitpic service in this post However people keep asking me in the street, Adam, how do you make those little web addresses on your site, and on twitter? Well let me tell you…
 It goes without saying that you need a fairly short domain to start with. There’s no point registering because it will use far too many characters. Find something snappy, memorable with the shortest tld you can afford. I registered Other alternatives are .cc .eu and .im and they all have different costs to them. Dot EU addresses are currently on offer at my usual registrar and are currently only £2.99 per year. The dot TV i’m using costs £9.99 per year.

I looked around the interweb, did some searches, read some reviews and downloaded two scripts.

Spiral URL‘s beauty is in its simplicity. A simple looking page with an input box and a submit button. You’re also free to hack the page as much as you like, but are politely requested to leave some bits of code that link to their website.
I was sold on this project but for three things. There is no WordPress intregration, no detailed statistics on the usage of the URL and its open to the public. Without some HTML skills, it’s open to everyone to use, or abuse.

YoURLs stand for Your own URL shortener and obviously does just that. It’s private as standard, but could be used without authentication on a private intranet where it won’t be abused. It has a good statistics section giving you an idea on how many people have clicked the link, where they are, where they found the link as well as the colour of their socks. Finally there is a fantastic WordPress plugin.

That plugin is available to download from the usual WP plugin repository through the admin panel and should install within a couple of clicks if your permissions are set correctly on your web server.

So it’ll be no surprise that I have adopted yoURLs as my tinyURL system. It also automatically tweets a link (short of cause) to a blog post I’ve just published with a little messing around (instruction included with plugin).

So hopefully I can walk down the street in peace now?