Bit.ly has dominated the URL shortening services space for years since its inception and why wouldn’t it, Most of the features are free, and it’s very easy to use. It even offers analytics like Google’s goo.gl URL shortener that got shut down a few years ago and some other amazing features like custom URLs.
You may be wrong if you think URL shortening apps are not important.
What they do is take long URLs with hundreds of characters – which are often cumbersome when you want to share them on other sites – and convert them to a short URL that doesn’t exceed 20 characters and they are easier to manage and share on any platform.
Why use URL shorteners?
We all know how long a link to a post you want to share can be, and sometimes it takes so much space that it leaves you little room to write anything extra.
Websites like Twitter allow for few characters and it’s often frustrating when you cannot write as much text as you want because your blog link has colonized much of the available space. But by using a URL shortener, it will make your life easier and they look cool.
Besides, it gives a better user experience for your followers.
So, now you have seen the light, I’m sure you are ready to get started with URL shorteners. We have compiled ten of the top URL shortener websites that are alternatives to Bit.ly for you to consider. Some offer free subscription while some will charge you a little money for you to gain extra service.
This URL shortener platform believes in branding, so their service enables you to customize your links, making them unique to your brand, product, or service. With their free plan you can get five custom domains – this is more than what you can get anywhere else. It also includes customer metrics tracking and 5,000 clicks tracking.
With their paid play, you get the branded link service, 150,000, metric tracking, 1,500,000, customer domain, 20 QR code generator, and lots more.
When it comes to short links for Instagram Bio, shorby is the best known. This short link converter can shorten very long links easily. Apart from the usual shortening links and metric tracking services, it also has features that enable you to create custom Facebook audiences, connect your short links to messenger services like WhatsApp, Telegram, etc.
The basic service like converting your URL to a short link and tracking metrics are free but other extra services like getting a custom domain, creating a mobile optimizer for use on your social profiles, and many more, comes with the paid service.
This is one of the oldest URL shorteners around. They have been in existence since 2002 and they are still one of the best-known URL shortener. The reasons are; it has a very friendly interface which is simple to use, your shortened links will never expire so your content will be available to users for as long as you want, it has a self-branding feature that allows you to change the end portion of your URLs before posting it and all these are for free.
However, TinyURL doesn’t give customer metrics so there is no way you can tell how well the link is driving customers to your website or blog.
With BL.ink, you get a fast URL shortener that also shows you trending links and broad statistics on their dashboard. With their free account, you’ll get 1,000 links and track up to 1,000 clicks per month.
If you need the extra service that BL.ink offers, especially for business, then it will cost some monthly subscription fee, but you will get top of the range online branding, marketing campaign support, and analysis that includes, link tags, custom keywords, and lots more.
T2M is seemingly the best URL shortener to get a free subscription with. This is because their free subscription enables you to generate endless short URLs, as well as no clip on how many clicks you can track. It also gives access to baked-in tools that enables you to share URLs on social media platforms and T2M generates an automatic QR code when you crate URL.
If you are getting all these goodies from thefree subscription, then you should know you will get awesome stuff on the paid subscription. Some of which are; branded and vanity URLs, tools to enable you shorten multiple URL at once, URL password production, and lots more.
This platform can be accessed without creating an account. You can just jump in the website and create a custom URL for your brand, blog, or post, but you only have access to 500 URLs. You can also use the link tracking metrics, you can edit any URL and do a lot more without creating an account.
The paid subscription comes with extra value that can help your marketing campaign a great deal. It has tools like bookmarking, tools that create links for SMS messaging, email campaigns, links in QR codes and statistic tracking, function for multiple users, and lots more.
This URL shortener is one of the awesome ones that have a front and center Android and iOS apps. One of its uniqueness is that when someone clicks on the URL generated for it, you will get a notification on your mobile device. And you can program the notification to come hourly, daily, or weekly.
You can get all this with the free subscription service but if you want a premium service that comes with custom domain and several other services, you will have to pay for monthly subscription.
If you have your server and you want to add a URL shortener to the server, then Yourls is what you need. YOURLS stands for your own URL shortener. If you have technical knowledge, you can easily install it on your server. The great thing about Yourls is that it comes free and it is lightweight so it will not be a strain on the resources of your server.
Some of the features you can get on Yourls are; click report statistics, geo-location information, custom link creation, bookmarklets for shortening and sharing with ease, etc.
If you have the technical knowledge to host your own URL shortener then you can use Polr. Polr is an open-source URL shortener you can install and run on your own domain. It comes free and if you want to try it out, a live demo is available.
This URL shortener is a platform that creates short URL without mach stress. When you post the URL spun from Clickmeter on any platform, you can see how many people click the URL on their dashboard and the geographic information of who click your link.
Apart from shortening your URL, clickmeter provides custom domain, custom URL slug, you can change destination URL and lots more. Clickmeter offers several paid plans that give access to different features.
The software is written in PHP and Lumen, while MySQL is its primary database. The dashboard page shows a database of all the links you have created and you can delete or customize the links if you want.
The Benefits Of Using URL shorteners
If you are still wondering whether or not you need a URL shortener, here are some advantages of using URL shortener.
- They shorten long links and make it easy to share
- It enables you to track people that click your link
- They can help you improve your marketing campaign
As we know, everything that has an advantage also has a disadvantage, same goes for URL shortener. So let’s see some of the disadvantages:
- Online criminals are beginning to clone popular shorteners like Bit.ly and are using them for malicious acts.
- Most people believe that using shortener is given raise for links to require middlemen (URL shortener service providers) and they are slowing down the web.
- Some people also believe that if they create a link to a story using a URL shortener, the URL shortener service provider gets the credit for the story.
Well, there you have it. You now know what URL shortener is and how it functions. It is now left for you to decide whether or not to use it. However, one thing is sure; the use of URL shortener service platforms is becoming more popular, mainly because of the extra features like QR code generation, customer tracking, and the rest.
So if you wish to take advantage of all the awesome features that come with shortening your URL link, you just have to join the bandwagon.