Saturday, January 14, 2017

What is URL Shortener service ?

URL shortening is a technique to convert a long URL (site or page address) to a shorter version. This shorter version of the URL is usually cleaner and easier to share or remember. When someone accesses the shortened address, the browser redirects to the original (large) url address. It is also called URL redirection or URL redirect.
For example, the large version of this url:

Can be shortened with service to this small address, that redirects to the previous longer address:
URL shortening services are trending
"Shorter URLs are better since people often type them manually."
Jakob Nielsen

Uses and purposes:

  • Track user clicks from your site to external websites.
  • Share links inside email messages without breaking lines
  • Track email marketing campaigns with stats in all links
  • Share short links in Twitter messages, blogs, microblogs and other social networks
  • Create customized links to easily remember your favorite addresses (see useful examples)
  • Share short links in instant-messaging
  • Share easy-to-type links in news and printed material
  • Have clean and compact urls for your use
  • Hide real URL (user will see the real link only after clicking the short url)
  • Hide affiliate URLs
  • Create human-readable links
  • Send SMS messages with short links
  • Avoid errors when typing long urls links with parameters
  • Surprise users by creating links like this:

URL Shortener FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
[view complete faq]
  • How to view access stats from my short link? 
    Just add a dash "-" (minus signal) to the end of your short url to view complete access stats information about your shortened url.
  • Is the short url case sensitive? 
    Yes, the short url is case sensitive. So if your short url is "" (lower case), then "" (upper case) will not work or will lead to a distinct site since our shortener engine uses lower case and upper case to identify distinct addresses.
  • Does the URL have an expiry date? 
    No, the short URLs don't have an expiry date, they will be always online. Currently it is not possible to set an expiration date for a shortened link, but if your login (user account) is associated to your short link, you will be able to delete the short link if you want.
  • How the redirection is made? has a database that associates the long url with a short url. When user tries to access the short url, the browser will instantly redirect to the original page (long url). uses the "301 redirect" code, that is better than "302 redirect" for url shorteners. 301 means that the redirection is permanent and it passes link juice (for search engine better ranking).
  • How many short urls can be created with only (3,4,5,6...) characters?
    See the number of combinations of a URL shortener.
  • Is it possible to use to store "Data URI scheme"? 
    We currently don't allow Data URL scheme. Data URL is a way to encode all page content in the URL.
    Click to see example:
    We have some data: urls created internally for test purposes only, like this Simple text editor: (will redirect to an empty page with a simple text editor, everything defined in the url, will not load any external html files).
  • How can I manage the links that I created? 
    You can change link titles, change stats privacy, change link destination and delete short links that you've created. You must be logged in to access the control panel: 
      1. Go to your links admin page:
      2. Click "[edit]" in the link that you want to change
      3. You'll see option to change link destination or delete link
  • Why I can not shorten a link pointing to other url shortener? 
    If you got the error message "Sorry but URLs in this domain can not be shortened.", it is because you were trying to link to other URL shortener. Due to abuse, it is not possible to shorten a URL that points to other URL shortener. Users could be trying to hide the real destination. However, you can shorten pointing the link to the final destination.
  • How much does it cost? is a free service and we also have paid plans with more advanced options. See the Branded Short Domain page for more information.
  • Where can I find the "QR Code" of a short link? 
    All links have a corresponding qr code image. To view an enlarged version of the QR Code, just add '/qrcode/' before the short link address. E.g.:
  • Can the stats be private? 
    You can choose to set the stats as "private" (only you will be able to view) if you are logged in when you create the short link. Just click "Make access stats private" option (only available to logged users). You can also change stats privacy using admin page.
  • How to preview shortened URLs? 
    You can find out what is the destination address (expand a short link) and view to where the link will redirect without going to the final destination. Just add "/expand/" to the short link address. Example:
  • Does have an API? 
    Yes! Our API is available for customers. See our custom domain information page or contact us.
  • How can you know from where a visitor is opening a shortened link? 
    When a user opens a short link, our server knows the user's IP address. Each IP address is associated with a server provider and with a physical location. So we use a very large database with IP numbers (IP ranges) and their associated location (geolocation with country and sometimes also user's city).

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