How To Create URL Shortener ?



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URL shortening is a method which shortens the URLs substantially and still redirects to the original URL. It is achieved by using an HTTP Redirect on a domain name that is relatively shorter and aesthetically pleasing. The technique is especially useful for the users of social media messaging technologies like Twitter which restrict their users to limit of characters in the messages or Tweets. Also it offers a way to make the URLs look appealing. For instance Tr.im is a really good URL for a shortening service although it got discontinued once due to misuse by dodgy websites. Misuse is an irremovable smudge on the otherwise excellent service.

There are a few ways to setup your shortening service. You can host your own service or if you do not want the hassle of managing your own service, there are quite a number of services available that do it for you.


Set Up Your Own Service

1) Register a domain

How To Create URL Shortener ?


Registering a domain is easy. The idea is to buy a domain which is as short and aesthetic as possible. Domains such as .com, .org and .net are quite expensive. But you can look for domains that are international and offer more options to make the URL appealing. For example su.pr is a Puerto Rican domain which is quite a good name. So is is.gd. You can come up with names such as gu.ru, b.us or br.at.

2) Host your domain

How To Create URL Shortener ?


Next step is to host your domain on a server. There are quite a number of services available. The deciding factor is the services they provide such as the space on the server. If you are going to provide public access to all then obviously you need more space than a private setup.

3) Install the shortening app

There are a few very good solutions available such as Z.ips.me and Shorty. Most services require the hosts to support PHP scripting and MySQL database access. Z.ips.me needs support of PHP5 too. Installing these apps is easy. All you have to do is to provide information of your database such as name, location, username and password etc. They maintain logs and statistics for you too. Another excellent service is YOURLS.

The Easy (but not free) Way


Use a third party solution if you do not want to host your own service and get confused while all you wanted was to shorten your URLs. There are services such as Bit.ly and Awe.sm. They provide already hosted solutions to your shortening needs.

With Bit.ly all the hard work is done for you. They provide a hosted solution that is renowned and their analytics are quite great considering they provide both real-time and long-term reports. All you have to do is to register your domain, apply to Bit.ly and use a specific IP address that it provides to set the A-record of your short domain. You can start using the service right away after this. It has quite a few handy bookmarklet integrations for your browser.

For Mac users, CloudApp is a good option.

There are other options too, but it should be kept in mind that you may end up losing all your shortened links if the fly-by-night services go down.

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How To Create URL Shortener ?
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