The URL (Uniform Resource Locator) Shortening services are gaining traction in the age of twitter and smart messaging, when the number of characters really matters. They are used for taking the long URLs and squeezes them into short form to make a link that is easier to share, tweet, or email to friends.
For example, the URL “http://stacktips.com/author/nilanchala” can be shortened to “http://goo.gl/7367BB”. It is basically a redirect service. When the short URL is opened it will be redirected to the original web link.
There are various reasons why people use URL shortening services. Following are some of them:
- Regular long URLs are often unpleasing and hard to spell or remember
- Due to character limit restrictions for services such as Twitter or SMS
- Track link clicks or disguise the original web address.
- Developers use the URL shortening services to present long hierarchy of complex URL path or web session related informations.
We look at some of the best URL Shortening services that you might consider using while converting your long your short.
1. Google URL Shortener
Like any other Google product, the Google URL shortener is one of the free, simple and no nonsense solution. Due to Google’s brand value, it is most trusted and popular among users. To create a shortened URL, just visit the Google URL shortener site at goo.gl and paste your long url to generate it’s short form.
All the short links you generate are private and will not show up for other users. You can login with your Google Account and take advantage of additional features such as;
- Track the use of your short link
- Save the short links to your goo.gl account
- Create a unique short URL each time
Google URL shortner also provides the API for developers to integrate its service to your application. It’s REST and JSON based architecture allows you to easily integrate in any programming language, wether you use in PHP, Java or other languages.
The bitly is yet another strong contender to goo.gl. It allows you to shorten, share and measure the links. You can customise the the short URLs to fit your brand name and make it easy to memorise and share.
The enterprise version comes with API support and powerful dashboard with fully integrated Analytics to get a deeper level of understanding on how the links are performing.
TinyURL has been around for some time. It is possibly one of the best known as one of the standard URL shortening services. It allows you to choose custom alias and prepare the short link of your choice. However the alias name is restricted to only to letters, numbers and dashes.
This is very handy for creating memorable short URLs that are easy to communicate, or if you’re quoting them over the phone.
Checkout www.tinyurl.com for more informations.
The add.ly is used to shorten and share long URL. It provides a smart way to monetize your link by placing inline ads. Every time someone visit your short link, a page with advertisement displayed for few seconds and that enables you to earn money.
Developers can integrate add.ly service to their website or app using their easy-to-use API and generate an AdF.ly link on the fly.
Visit add.ly for more informations.
Is.gd is a another alternative to tinyurl. You can make your links lead to a preview page simply by including a hyphen at the end of the shortened address. This helps visitors check out the safety and reliability of the site before actually going there.
Visit www.is.gd for more information.