What Is a URL Shortener and When Should You Use One?

URL shortener

URL shortener

Do you ever find yourself wanting to share a link, but it just seems too long and cluttered? Or perhaps you need to fit your link into a limited character count on social media. That’s where URL shorteners come in handy! If you’re not familiar with them, don’t worry we’ve got you covered.

In this article, we’ll explain what URL shortener is, how they work, and when you should use them. Plus, we’ll introduce some of the best options available and highlight their benefits. So let’s dive in and simplify those clunky links together.

What is a URL shortener?

A URL shortener is a tool that takes a long and complex website address, or URL, and condenses it into a shorter version. For example, instead of sharing “https://www.example.com/article/12345/how-to-use-a-url-shortener” you could shorten it to “bit.ly/example”. These shortened links can be easier to read, share, and remember.

When you use a URL shortener, the service creates a unique link that redirects users to your original webpage. This means that even though the link looks different, it still leads to the same page as the longer URL. Many social media platforms limit character counts for posts so using an abbreviated link can save valuable space while still directing readers where they need to go.

URL shorteners are often used in marketing campaigns because they can help track clicks on specific links. The services provide analytics about how many people clicked on each shortened link which can help businesses better understand their audience’s interests and behaviors.

Using a URL shortener is simple yet effective way of streamlining online communication without sacrificing functionality or tracking capabilities.

How to use a URL shortener?

Using a URL shortener is fairly easy and straightforward.

  • Choose the URL that you want to shorten. This could be a link to your website or any other web address that you wish to share with others.
  • Next, visit your preferred URL shortening service and paste the long link into the appropriate text box. Some services may require you to create an account before using their platform while others offer anonymous usage without registration.
  • Once you’ve pasted in your long link, click on the “Shorten” button or equivalent command provided by the platform. The tool will then generate a new shortened URL for you which can typically be copied and shared immediately.
  • Test out your new shortened link by clicking on it yourself to ensure it works as expected. You can now use this shorter version of your original web address in emails, social media posts or anywhere else where brevity is key.

What are some of the best URL shorteners?

When it comes to URL shorteners, there are several options available on the internet. Each of these options has its own unique features that cater to different needs and preferences. Here are some of the best URL shorteners currently in use:

1. Bitly – This is one of the most popular and widely used URL shorteners today. It offers a range of analytics tools and customization options for users.

2. TinyURL – This service allows you to create shorter links without creating an account or logging in. It’s simple, fast, and easy to use.

3. Ow.ly – Hootsuite’s very own URL shortener provides real-time click tracking data on your shortened links as well as integration with their social media management tool.

4. Rebrandly – A premium link management platform that includes custom domains, link tracking, branded links for businesses

5: T2mio– Provide multiple advanced features like password protection where you can ensure only specific people have access to your link.

Each of these services has its pros and cons but they all provide great solutions when it comes to managing long URLs effectively online.

What are the benefits of using a URL shortener?

Using a URL shortener has several benefits that can make your life easier.

  1. It allows for more efficient sharing of links across multiple platforms. The shorter link takes up less space in tweets or other social media posts, making it easier to fit in all the necessary information.
  2. Additionally, using a URL shortener provides valuable insights into how many people are clicking on your links and from where they are coming from. This data is crucial for measuring the success of marketing campaigns and adjusting future strategies accordingly.
  3. Another benefit is that it makes links look cleaner and more professional. Long URLs with endless strings of characters can appear spammy or suspicious to some users. A shortened URL looks concise and trustworthy, encouraging users to click through without hesitation.
  4. Using a URL shortener enables you to redirect traffic easily if needed. If you ever need to update the destination of a link due to changes on your website or other reasons, you can quickly edit the shortened link’s target rather than having to change every instance of the original long URL across various platforms.
  5. Utilizing a URL shortener offers numerous advantages that help improve efficiency and effectiveness in digital marketing efforts.


To wrap things up, URL shorteners are an incredibly useful tool for anyone looking to share a long web address in a more user-friendly way. They can be used for social media posts, email campaigns, and even print materials. With so many benefits, it’s no surprise that there are plenty of great options out there.

When selecting the right URL shortener for your needs, consider factors such as features offered, cost (if any), and ease of use. And remember to always keep track of your links with analytics tools to ensure you’re getting the most out of your shortened URLs.