A lot of sites, like Twitter, are all about short links. Have you ever wondered why people use short links? Or do you want to know how you can make your own?
Sharing and remembering URLs from short links is easier than from long URLs. Shortening URLs can be a great way to see how far they are being clicked on. In addition, it offers a way to protect links you make and change them later.
How to Shorten a Link
The following are two simple ways to shorten your links, and both have their advantages.
1. Shorten your URL with SnipURL, TinyURL and Bit.ly.
Numerous websites are dedicated to providing link shortening services. If you Google "shorten my link" you'll get lots of search results.
You can use both of them easily. Simply copy and paste your URL into the shortening box and click the button to receive your shortened URL. Tracking your links with Bit.ly is also free.
Essentially, links in this format are not controlled by you, which means that when you link to a domain which disappears in the future your link will no longer work. Furthermore, you can't alter the link later.
Some popular link shorteners might cause an email to be flagged as spam as spammers have been known to use them to send out URLs they didn't intend to send. Avoid using them in newsletters or autoresponders.
Although they can be useful in situations where you need a super short link, they are not ideal for social networks.
2. Use a script on your own domain
The GoCodes plugin for WordPress is a simple way to shorten links and remain in control. A shortened link can also be edited so that it points to a new URL. As with any other plugin, you can install it the same way. Go to "Plugins" then search for "GoCodes" then install and activate.
Affiliate marketers will find this especially useful. A short link pointing to Big Website Host A is what I can make if I recommend that host right now. I could change the link my short link points to and redirect everyone to the new recommendation if I realize next week that something better is available. Short links that point to me will still work, but now they'll point to BigHosting B instead.
There's also the free script Shorty if you're not using WordPress. Your URL is shortened with the short link. There are a lot of great URL shorteners available so you should search for them and compare your options.
The base for your shortened links can be your own domain, which will allow you to continue building links to your own website and further enhance your brand. It also means you're less likely to have your newsletter flagged as spam.