Wednesday, 29 April 2015

URL Shortener

Many URLs (Universal Resource Locator or "web address") are very long. If you will share that URL it would be preferable to send a shorter one. This is especially a good idea when sending a URL inside an e-mail, the shorter the URL the less likely it is the recipient will not copy/paste only part of it and call you asking why it doesn't work!

There are many services on the web for shortening URLs but I use Google's. I like it because it's simple (I like anything simple ;-)) and there are some added features that are nice. 

Browse to: 

  1. Enter the URL you'd like to shorten and click Shorten URL
  2. The resulting short URL will appear to the right
  3. You can copy it and paste it into your e-mail or use it how you like.

In the following screen shot you can see this demonstrated:

Once you've created your short URL it will appear in the list below. It's a nice feature as you have a history of the URLs you've shortened. Even better, click Details (highlighted in yellow in the above screen shot) and you'll see the following detailed information:

OK, I admit that my screen shot above isn't the best example but I hope you can see the potential. It shows some useful stats such as the number of clicks, clicks from which countries around the world, etc.

There's also a QR Code you can click on, then right click and select Save as Picture. You can share the PNG image file. Someone could use their smartphone to scan the QR Code and it will take them directly to the website (your URL). The Details screen is a nice touch. 

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