URL shorteners like bit.ly and tinyurl.com are great, particularly if you are active on social media. They are also great for tracking how much traffic any particular link generates as well as other cool statistics like what country the visitors are from.
The problem I see with using such URL shortening services is that they could just up and vanish, leaving you with a whole lot of broken links. Not only can it happen, but it has happened (remember http://tr.im?) and will happen again.
The way around this is simply to get your own URL shortener. It’s really cheap to do and requires practically no running. If you’re not comfortable with code or ftp, get someone who is to set it up for you.
I’ve tried a lot of URL shortening software, both free and paid and the best, in my opinion is YOUrls. It’s free, easy to use, allows link customization, has great stats and some handy bookmarklets for your browser. Pretty much everything you could want in a URL shortener.
You can get it at http://yourls.org.
1 short domain (the shorter the better).
1 hosting package (unless you already have one). Make sure it has a SQL database free.
1 person to install the software.
That’s it. Total cost is around $20 per year all up (less if you’re adding it to hosting you’ve already got). It’ll take about half an hour (max) to setup and you’re good to go. YOUrls lets you have multiple users, but you have to set them up in the config file. You can change them any time. The only thing I don’t like about YOUrls is that everyone sees every link, but if it’s just for yourself, that’s not an issue.
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