Let’s talk about a use case. You are in need to share an article within your social circle. The article link or URL is too long and it would look bogus and spam as you share it within your social media platform. And as a result, no one’s going to click it. How can you resolve that? What if there are too many URLs which need to have some kind of short link available to them? Also what if you’d like to gather analytics for the links shared?. well – the answer is URL shorteners also known as short links generators.
What is a URL Shortener?
A URL shortener or a link shortener is a tool or more so a web app that allows users to transform long URLs into short links. Shortened link still direct users to the same page which is expected. The goal is to have short shareable links.
There are also many reasons to use a URL shortener. Keeping in mind, there are a lot of services which allow creating a ‘share link’ which is already a shortened URL. For example, Twitter features a built-in free URL shortener which will reduce any URL to more than 23 characters. Also, some team knowledge base organizers like Confluence allows user to share page via a shortened link. The link is automatically generated via the share option. If you are sharing lots of links – it is always easier to create shortened URLs. If you represent a brand or company, a custom URL shortener will be a great option as it lets you apply branding to the links.
Some Awesome URL Shortener Tools
In this article, we will list out some of the best URL shorteners available on the web today.
Rebrandly is a detailed link management solution including a free URL shortener tool. The app also contains traffic routing, analytics, and collaboration features. A free account allows you to create 500 branded links but can only track 5000 clicks per month. The app has a neat design and is super easy to go through all the features and options.
The app comes loaded with a lot of integrations via the API. From Zapier to Slack, it offers a lot in terms of third-party integrations. Rebrandly also offers an Edge, Firefox and Chrome extension which allows users to create short links with a click. Rebrandly is worth a try and earns our recommendation.
+ Shorturl.at is a simple and fast URL shortener-only tool offered by Rebrandly.
Hyperlink is a modern link management tool with the option to create short URLs. You do need to create an account to get started. The free account offers 100 links with a live dashboard, mobile app, and Chrome extension. The standard plan starts at $39 USD monthly and offers unlimited links and branded links. Having more apps within the system is a big plus i.e. Android app, iOS app, and Chrome extensions make the overall purpose swift and handy for the go.
It’s one of the best short URL generators out there and recently they have had a good UI overhaul. You can customize a long URL into a TinyURL without any account.
To have options such as branded domain, a number of active TinyURLs, history, a dashboard, and all the fun stuff – a pro account is required. On the free account, you have limited options but you can share the link and generate a QR code.
Bitly is one big link management platform with almost half a million users. It offers creating, sharing and monitoring of created links. It also offer mobile specific – custom SMS URL short links. Bitly API integration is very mature and works with tools such as Salesforce, Hootsuite, Adobe and many more.
A free account offers 50 links per month with branded QR codes, link history and reporting. There are quite a few paid options depending on the need but the premium option gives users 3000 branded links per month, advanced dashboards, campaigns, customization and data analytics.
Tinycc also known as Tiny.cc is another simple service which allows shortened URLs, management and analytics. Free account has a limit of 400 URLs. They have been in service for a while now and it’s likely you have seen a tiny.cc URL somewhere.
Tinycc believes they stand out because the custom URLs with their service created are always available. It’s never 1st come 1st serve collisions because you get private hash space for each custom URL created.
How about you getting paid for shortening the links with a service? That’s where Shorte.ST comes into play. The journey starts with shortened link creation. Once a reader clicks the link an ad is displayed which makes you earn.
Bit.do is one of the most simple options to create shortened links. You can do so in 3 steps. But you do need to create an account to create links. Statistics for created links are also quite detailed (not so modern in comparison to the other tools we looked at). Bit.do tool also offers branded services for custom domains but they are quite expensive in comparison to what others are offering.
Cutt.ly is another link management solution which also offers a free URL shortener tool. If you do create a free account, you can manage up to 3 branded domains with unlimited links and redirects. Link analytics history is limited to 30 days. Paid plans offer a lot more such as defining teams, detailed link management, password protection, social postings and more.
In conclusion, there are tons of URL shorteners available online. It depends on the need as most of these services also offer full-on link management tools. Give these a try and let us know which one worked well for you. Also if we missed any, do share it in the comments. thanks for reading.