Hello webmasters, bloggers and website-owners! Today I’d like to introduce you to another awesome free open source self hosted tool that can help you create awesome link shorteners. Yourls is your own URL shortener. The difference between this one and the other tools listed here at SHN is that it is 100% free, completely customizable and also includes support for subdomains if needed. This means you are not bound by any limitations of the service itself so you have quite some room to try out new things with it.
When signing up for a custom domain through Yourls, the system will give you an acount similar to what Twitter has just launched , which allows people who have registered their usernames very early on to get their accounts back, without having to create a brand new username.
As the other tools on SHN you will need to run this one yourself, which means you should know how to install and manage your own web server.
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This tool won’t be usable by everyone but from what I gather from it it seems like Yourls is targeted at people who want more flexibility and control over their short URL service because they are using it for certain campaigns or other things that may require customizations not available with standard services such as Bitly or TinyURL. The fact that it can be used for subdomains is also a great feature to have if you want to use short URLs as short links for tracking campaigns.
This service makes me think of an old article I wrote about creating custom URL shorteners , which shows how tough it was to create custom ones without having to start out with coding or installing servers, which means that the barrier into this market has now been lowered. Now even non-technical people can create their own link shortener and keep full control over what happens with their links.
On SHN we talk about tools but sometimes you need more information on why they are useful and how they work, so here is some more info on Yourls’ features:
Shorten multiple URLs at once (batch processing) by putting them in a plain text file.
Keyword tracking - let Yourls track keywords across multiple URLs or even shorten URLs automatically when certain keywords are used by others on their own website, social media account etc.
Web-based shortener UI - generate shortened links through the browser using either GET requests, bookmarklets or direct link generation via custom strings which can be generated for use in emails or twitter posts etc.
Custom branded bookmarks for generating links directly into your browser’s bookmarks bar.
Shorten long URLs to reduce clutter and improve readability of messages shared over different platforms including email clients, chat apps and websites.
URL expiration - set individual expiration dates for each shortened URL.
URL parameters - include up to 3 additional URL parameters to be appended to the short link.
RSS feed generation: create a custom RSS feed containing shortened URLs and optionally including keyword data for use with an RSS-to-email service so you can track your links via email alerts.
API support: fully supported API allowing developers to integrate all your custom shortening needs into their apps/scripts/plugins etc.
Customisable password protection - protect any Yourls page with a password, which can then be shared with others if required for access to certain information or stats only available on those pages. The passwords must match exactly otherwise it will not work. You can also set a default password that will automatically be used for new links created on the system.
Short URLs for desktop apps - add a button to your desktop app allowing users to shorten any URL through Yourls and then open it in their browser without having to copy and paste it manually.
Your Own Experience With Yourls:
I had never heard of this service before while doing my research on link shorteners, but I’m definitely going to be using it in some of my future projects which does require custom features such as keyword tracking and the ability to generate links through email alerts etc.
It looks like a nice tool with very useful features so if you need something similar or just want an alternative option, you should take a look at this one. You can find out more about Yourls at its official website, https://yourls.org/ or download it directly from GitHub .
4 of 5 Stars. I like it.
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