When it comes to the number of shortening services out there, they are quite a few good ones and tonnes of bad ones. There are many premium link or URL shorteners who charge money for usage fee but there’s none that gives you full control over your shortened links.
So what if I tell you that you can very well create your own custom domain based link or URL shortener script in under 5 minutes with MININK? Well, you should definitely give it a try!
MININK is your very own self-hosted & beautiful link or URL shortener script written in PHP. It uses the best of PHP world i.e., Symfony for business logic and Twig for templates easy customization. Many built-in features make it very useful e.g., detailed clicks report, interstitial pages with analytics or tracking, QR code and social sharing etc.
Some key facts are mentioned below:
Features at a glance
Automatic shortening of long links using goo.gl API
Customization over title, description, URL and hosting provider (including CDN support)
Earning through affiliate marketing links added & tracked automatically by script itself i.e., no need to sign up at any other service
Detailed clicks report including date/time stamp of click, name of user who clicked the link, referral url if any etc.
Multi-language support for URLs during creation as well as reports e.., use your own language characters in custom domain
Optional email alert feature to inform you whenever a new click is recorded
Different templates for different types of links or URLs e.g., you can have different templates for FAQs, Menu items etc.
Ability to set requirements before the link gets created i.e., if minimum clicks requirement not met then it gets deleted automatically after a particular time period
Gravatar support so you don’t need to enter any user ID during sign up
Social sharing using AddThis or ShareThis APIs which become even more powerful when combined with Built-in Affiliate Marketing feature, explained below: Whenever somebody uses social sharing options (AddThis or ShareThis) to share your link with his/her followers on popular social networking websites, new visitors are tracked automatically by MININK which later can be used to earn through affiliate marketing.
To make it more useful, you can set up your AddThis or ShareThis account with your custom links i.e., every person who shares the link using either of these plugins will be considered as a referral for affiliate marketing purposes. You may do this during sign up process itself using API keys provided by both services.
The best part about this is that there’s no need to sign-up at any other affiliate marketing service if you have already opted for Built-in Affiliate Marketing feature in MININK. During social sharing of shortened links, you might want to show title/description of custom domain what if I tell you that there are templates for the same within MININK? There are many other features that can be used to enhance your link shortening service, but it would require a separate blog post.
If you still think that I’ve missed something in this list then please let me know. Now it’s time to switch from features to their usage.
Go to http://www.minink2.com/signup/, choose your plan and enter the required details there
User Name, Mail Address, Password & Confirm Password must be entered at least once during sign-ups. A valid email address is required for this purpose because you may receive password reset links on the same mail address which are very important if you’ve forgotten your password or any time in future when you want to recover access over your MININK instance either by yourself or someone else who needs it for some reason. So please use a regular email address here!
You can also create multiple users with different privileges e.g., put one user as Admin having full control over installation & customization options while creating another user with limited privileges. You can change username, password and email address of any existing user anytime e.g., if you’ve created a friend account for somebody else but later on want to manage this MININK instance yourself then you can do it by changing administrator privileges of his/her’s account whether the person is sitting next to you or on another continent!
When everything seems OK, click Create Account button & it will take a few seconds to create a new database as well as installation files under your domain directory i.e., http://www.mydomainname.com/minink_install/. If some error occurs during signup process itself then please make sure that there were no errors in data entered by you and firewall is not blocking any of the required ports.
You can always access your MININK instance by visiting login page as shown in the following screenshot:
Now you may want to see what was installed there and how it looks like, click Continue button otherwise go straight to "MININK Dashboard" under Introduction section
What’s installed by default? Upon successful installation, you will be redirected to minink dashboard i.e., http://www.mydomainname.com/minink_install/dashboard where you can get an overview about the newly created Minink instance including links for Quick Start Guide & User Manual which contains all information about different functionalities available with this script. These articles contain screenshots of installation pages so that there are no doubts in understanding the concepts involved here.
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