How to Make a Link Shorter

How to Make a Link Shorter


Many people want to link to a page or website, but the web address is very long. If you start typing out something like , it can seem like your browser's going on strike because it takes so long for the page to load! Thankfully there are services that let you create shorter links (also called "URL shorteners") that redirect to any webpage on the Internet, an example of which is bitly. These services maintain databases that contain all shortened links and their corresponding full-length destination addresses, which they compare with every new shortened URL entered by users like you - if two entries match, they redirect you straight away to the corresponding webpage.

How do they work?

URL shorteners use a special algorithm to create the shortened link identifier. The algorithm uses the web address that you're linking and combines it with other things like words, numbers or letters from your address. In some cases, you can set up your own custom URL if you want to use a word or phrase of your choice as a shortcut link. This is useful if you have a contact page on your website and want to make it easier for people to find their friends' contact info by typing in one name instead of having to remember or type out a long string of characters.

What are the benefits?  

You might think a shorter link would be less convenient, but often it's actually more convenient, because you have fewer characters to type in. This is especially important if you're sharing a link on social media websites, when your post might already be limited by the number of characters that fit into a single status update. And in fact, many services will show you how many people clicked or favorited your link just by looking at the shortened version of it!

How can I use these services?

The simplest way to shorten a web address with one of these services is by copying and pasting any URL from your browser's address bar and pressing the "Shorten!" button. They let you customize links based on what you want them to say written out -- for example, instead of typing out , you can just type in to bring up the same results without the hassle of typing out a long web address.

How are these services different from each other?

There are many URL shortening services available, so they might have slightly different features or interface designs. For example, some let you share your shortened link on popular social media websites while others only allow you sharing through email or text message. Some have simple white backgrounds and basic colors, but others have more visual appeal with custom logos and designs that match their brand identity. Some use all lowercase letters for easier readability, while capitalize words for a variation on this theme. There are a few things to look out for before choosing a service:

Does it offer analytics? You can find out how popular your shortened link is by clicking on it and checking the stats page, which provides data like views, clicks, and favorites over time. Some services let you compare click activity across certain periods of time or view individual stats for any given date range or particular period.

Is it easy to use?   Some services have convenient buttons that let you copy the shortened URL so it's automatically added to your clipboard ready for pasting wherever you need it. Does the service track social media activity? If you create a custom URL through some services, they'll give you an option to redirect people who visit your profile or send you a direct message on social media to your shortened link automatically.

Does it offer customization? If you want to create a button that automatically redirects someone who visits it to the page linked in the button, some services allow you to modify buttons with custom text and colors so they can be easily recognized as clickable links. You might also have the option of editing your Facebook profile URL settings so people who search for you on Facebook can visit your short link instead. Some shorten URLs from their own site, but others work by pointing your browser towards a third-party website that hosts the data for them - this means that if you copy and paste a shortened version of a post from Twitter, both Twitter's servers and the third-party hosting service will be sending data to your browser.

What are some unique services? Some URL shortening services provide additional features you might enjoy, such as image hosting or video clipping. For example, if you shorten a link using TinyURL and click on it, the website will ask what program you want to use to open the file -- by default it will open in your web browser, but if you have a different application installed that can handle certain types of files (like an image viewer for JPGs), then it'll offer a dropdown menu with all of your options. TinyURL also allows people who visit their shortened links on mobile devices to view them in full size by clicking "view original." Plus, they you customize what happens when someone clicks on your shortened link so, for example, it can immediately open the link in another browser tab or new window.

What are some of the most popular services?

Here are five of the most well-known URL shortening services today:  Bitly TinyURL Snipr

How do you use them? If you want to shorten a link using one of these tools, just visit its website and paste in your URL into their form field - after that, choose how long you want the shortened version to be available for (most offer anywhere from 2 days to 2 weeks) and click on "Shorten!" button at the bottom of the page You'll get a new version of your link that you can copy and paste anywhere, plus statistics on how many clicks it's received so far.