Long URLs can be a huge pain in several ways, and one of them is managing them.
If you store your URLs somewhere for reference, then having long and difficult characters can sometimes be a daunting task to manage. Not only that, if you share long links on social media, but that might also look a little spammy too.
To battle that out, there are many URL shorteners that convert your long URLs into short, memorable ones. Using them will make it easy for your audience to share them without any hesitation.
Also, most of the URL shorteners allow you to track views/clicks and other data. It’s a great element for marketing purposes.
What Is a Link Shortener?
A URL shortener is a tool to convert long and complex URLs into shorter links. Its objective is to minimize the web page address into something which is easier to remember, manage, and track.
When clicked, the shortened link redirects users to the original, long URL. This tool assigns a unique identifier to the original URL and stores it in its database.
Reasons to Shorten URLs
Make the link look short and memorable
Mask the original link for platforms with a character limit
Use it to track the audience and link performance
Get an aesthetic URL instead of an ugly one
Brand the URL with your company name
Get more clicks and share on social media
In this article, I’ve listed some of the best URL shorteners that are around. Let’s jump straight into the list. 🙂
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know what Bitly is. It’s probably the most famous URL shortener, and it does more than just that. You can get data such as, who are clicking your links, the demographic it is coming from, and also from which website/source it was clicked.
You can customize your links to contain selected characters, suit your brand. Big companies like Disney, ESPN, Amazon, and Nike use this service, so you can hardly go wrong with it.
You can get started with Bitly for free, but there are also premium plans starting at $29/month.
With over 100 integrations, Rebrandly comes with a bunch of features that are quite out of the box. You can put your brand name on your shortened links, track each click and view, optimize links for better reach, and collaborate with your team members.
Rebrandly has over 250,000 happy customers and growing.
Pricing plans start from $29/month, but you can sign up for free to get a taste of it with the free plan.
Great for individuals and as well as for teams, Blink is used by brands like Airbnb, Ray-Ban, and Coca Cola. It lets you analyze and track your links and easily integrate their API into your ecosystem. You also get a ton of helpful resources to go about setting things up and having the best possible results.
It’s easy to scale it up with time, as you’re allowed to pay only for the features that you need as of now and upgrade later. One amazing thing about this platform is, it has an IOS app and a Google Chrome extension so you can access it from multiple ends.
Lastly, it’s important to mention that they maintain enterprise-grade security and compliance, so all your data and everything else will always be safe.
As the name suggests, TinyURL makes your links shorter and memorable for free. You can straightaway use their URL box to enter your long links and hit the button to get things done, without even registering.
It also has a browser toolbar so you can shorten links a lot faster, and it works on most of the leading browsers that are out there.
This service isn’t the most feature-rich, but it sure does its essential job pretty well. If your requirement is no more than shortening a handful of links faster, then TinyURL is great for that. Nothing more, nothing less.
If you have Hootsuite, then you can use their Ow.ly URL shortening service. Previously, it used to be available for everybody, but due to security concerns, now you can only find it inside the Hootsuite dashboard.
However, that doesn’t make it any difficult, because you can get started for free and keep using it for no cost at all. It lets you shorten links in a jiffy, measure traffic, and demonstrate social ROI.
There are also a lot more features that you can access if you choose one of their paid plans. Rest assured, Ow.ly is super user-friendly, and you won’t have any difficulties figuring things out.
You can shorten, track, and manage URLs with Tinycc. It lets you view new vs. returning clicks, country of origin, browser used, and other stats. And because you’re required to sign up and create an account, you can check your link history and manage them via tags, filters, etc.
You’re also given the option to shorten links containing your brand name or custom domain, which is pretty cool and useful. This service is free, but there’s also a premium plan that you might want to check out. It has more allowances and features.
Qti.ai is not just an URL shortener but also works as a threat intelligence to improve online integrity. Once you generate links through this service, it’ll analyze them for fraudulent spoofing and malicious activities, helping users stay protected from the threats.
As hackers are quite advanced these days, Qti.ai carefully directs each link to find out whether it contains any phishing, mature content, or fraud risks.
It keeps you and as well as the people who’ll click those links quite safe and secure. This service is free to use, so go ahead and check it out.
A very simple and straightforward service, Chl.li lets you shrink URLs quickly and easily. It is free, privacy-friendly and allows you to set your own custom URL ending. You can also select an expiry date, just in case you don’t want the URL to be functioning after a certain period of time.
You can turn your long URLs into branded ones and analyze them easily using Tiny.ie. It has a tracking ability that lets you A/B split test among URLs to see which ones are producing better results. Also, you can enjoy a fully secured data vault that protects your information.
Other than that, you can:
Easily change destination URL if you made a mistake at first.
Retarget every single click for maximum results
Create CTAs for any website in the world
There are a lot more features, and you can access them all using their 14-day free trial. Post that, pricing plans start from just $19/month.
Is.gd is another really simple service to shorten your links. You get the option to log statistics for your links, use lower case + pronounceable words, and even generate a custom URL. This website is completely free to use, and you can shrink as many links as you want.
Moreover, it’s quite widely used, and they’ve shortened over a billion links till now.
Available as a cloud service and as well as a browser extension for Google Chrome and Firefox, Kutt has a bunch of features that can make your life a lot more convenient while shrinking links. It is completely free and open-source, and lets you do the following tasks:
Manage links from a single, easy-to-use dashboard
Create custom domains for your links
View detailed statistics
Use their API to access the solution from anywhere
For a service that has no cost attached to it, I think Kutt does a pretty great job.
I believe a lot of you are familiar with Adf.ly, because at one time it was the most used link-shortening service. A lot of the popularity came because it pays you for shortening links. Yes, it does.
However, it has plenty of great features as well, like viewing detailed analytics, utilizing their API, and so on. You also get several monetization options as well, so definitely check it out if that’s something you’re looking for.
Last but not least, Short.io has flexible plans and great features. You can use multiple custom domains, track every single click, and its whereabouts and personalize each URL. Other than that, it lets you collaborate with team members and utilize their API key as well.
The amazing thing is, you can integrate this service with a handful of applications for your feasibility. Short.io has a free and as well as paid plans starting at $20/month.
You can either register using their free plan or take a trial for one of their premium ones.
A shortened URL is always better than a long and spammy looking one, so I hope one of the above solutions will get your work done with ease.