The 7 best URL shortener services
- Bitly for the best all-around URL shortener
- Rebrandly for creating branded links
- TinyURL for free, fast, and anonymous unretentive url
- BL.INK for belittled business owners
- URL Shortener by Zapier for automatically creating short links
- Short.io for sending different visitors different links
- Sniply for adding a CTA to the links you share
What makes a great URL shortener?
How we evaluate and test apps
All of our best apps roundups are written by humans who ‘ve spent much of their careers using, testing, and writing about software. We spend dozens of hours researching and testing apps, using each app as it ‘s intended to be used and evaluating it against the standard we set for the class. We ‘re never paid for placement in our articles from any app or for links to any site—we measure the trust readers put in us to offer authentic evaluations of the categories and apps we review. For more details on our process, read the fully summation of how we select apps to feature on the Zapier web log. At its most basic, a URL shortener takes some long, gawky link and turns it into a shorter connection, one that ‘s easy to parcel. For case, if you ‘re making an ad for a roommate, you can take something like
http://www.example.com/my-super-awesome-blog-about-squirrels/2022/10/23/live-with-a-squirrel-fan--they%27re-awesome, and turn it into
https://tinyurl.com/live-with-me. This shortened connection means whoever sees your ad has an easy-to-type URL to visit, quite than having to type some hanker opaque string of text where they ‘re about guaranteed to make a err. And it ‘s not barely for ads for roommates ; URL shorteners allow you to provide a typable connection on a clientele wag, print ad, podcast interview, or any early position where person ca n’t fair click on a dainty hyperlink. Get more ROI out of your URL shorteners with automation
While URL shorteners used to be useful for shortening longer links to fit character limits on social media and messaging apps, a lot of platforms take care of that for you. Twitter, for model, automatically shortens any share links with its t.co shorten service, while iMessage obscures any links behind a preview poster. If you ‘re just sending things to your friends, you only actually need to worry about URL shortening if you ‘re entirely using SMS. In addition to that basic capability, here are the features I was looking for in a link shortener :
- Analytics and click tracking. If you share person else ‘s blog post with your consultation, for exemplar, you wo n’t know much about how many people—and who—clicks through ; all that data will be in the other person ‘s Google Analytics account. If you use a URL shortener, however, you ‘ll have a unique curtly URL, so you ‘ll besides be able to see how many clicks the link gets, where they ‘re coming from, and what devices people are using. Like with most selling services, the more detail and herculean these analytics, the higher the cost. free services tend to have basic click traverse ( although there ‘s frequently a prison term limit ), while bounty marketing options will collect as much data as possible—and even allow you to serve different URLs to people in different places or using different devices .
- Customization of URLs. The best url shorteners all allow you to customize your abbreviated URLs. This means you can make your URLs more relevant, or use different links in multiple ads or social media posts to compare click-through rates. many basic or detached plans for a unretentive link generator only let you change the final separate of the URL ( so you get
https://tinyurl.com/awesome-squirrels), while the more business-focused services enable you to use a custom world ( so you get
- Standalone app. There are lots of different URL shorten options out there, and we limited our search to easy-to-set-up, standalone services. There are self-hosted versions, like Polr and YOURLS, that, while unblock and powerful, require besides much technical cognition to well recommend. There are besides URL shorteners built into other apps that we did n’t consider. For example, Ow.ly is fully integrated into Hootsuite, and most newsletter services have some kind of URL shortening and tracking. We besides did n’t consider apps like Shor. that use a single updatable url to get around a social media profile ‘s limits on the numeral of links you can have in your bio. It ‘s not that these services are n’t good, but they go far beyond what most people need a URL shortener to do .
- Value for price. I paid particular care to price tables and what each short URL generator offered at the unlike tiers. Some free plans are actually better than other apps ‘ paid plans, at least if you do n’t want fabulously detailed analytics .
I ‘ve been testing apps for this list for the by two years. To update the number this year, I spent time with dozens of apps, shortening URLs and broadly exploring how well they worked. URL shorten is n’t a complex tax, at least from a exploiter interface perspective, so this was largely to get a feel for how courteous they were to use and what extra features and analytics they offered. Apps with more advanced features, like the ability to add CTAs to your links, took more test than elementary free options. In general, I relied on my experience using and testing software over the past decade to make any close sagacity calls, equally well as considering my notes on all the different apps from stopping point class. If an app seemed under continuous development and was improving, it was much more probably to be considered favorably than one that looked to be stagnating. With that, let ‘s search at the best yoke shorteners. Interested in doing flush more with your url shorteners ? Check out our tips for how to use automation to track them, send them, and stay on top of performance .
Best all-around URL shortener
Bitly Bitly is a full-service, business-grade URL shortener. If you only need to shorten links occasionally, you can use it without creating an account. Just paste your long URL into the box on the home page, snap Shorten, and be on your way. But Bitly truly stands out for its clientele offer. part of the appeal is that Bitly is so simpleton and comfortable to use. It has a comprehensive dashboard where you can track over 20 real-time data points, including the location of your visitors, organic shares, and more. Tools for tracking campaigns are easy to use angstrom well. While Bitly ‘s exempt specify account used to offer quite a distribute, it ‘s gradually become less easy to recommend, particularly for small businesses. My exempt report from a few years ago gets analytics for 10,000 links/month, while fresh plans opened today entirely get 100—although you can placid customize the back-half of 50 shorten URLs. It ‘s a good way to check out Bitly ‘s UI, but you should very be considering a pay plan. The $ 35/month Basic plan provides a free custom domain, allows you to create 1,500 links per calendar month, and shows more data about who clicks your links. If you need more from Bitly, Premium, at $ 200/month, is a boastfully footfall up but offers 3,000 links per calendar month, more farinaceous analytics for things including city-level data and device-types, and other features, like unbranded QR codes. Bitly is a great URL shortener for big on-line businesses that share a distribute of links and want to brand and track them. It ‘s besides a good choice for small businesses that want to generate short URLs and follow their stats for a modest phone number of campaigns. Bitly flush integrates with Zapier, so you can do things like automatically generate short links from an RSS feed or Instagram military post.
Create Bitly bitlinks for new RSS feed items
Create Bitly bitlinks for new RSS feed itemsTry it
Bitly, RSS by Zapier
Bitly + RSS by Zapier
Create new Bitlinks in Bitly with new posts to Instagram
Create new Bitlinks in Bitly with new posts to InstagramTry it
Bitly + Instagram Bitly price : very limited Free design ; basic plan from $ 29/month ( billed per annum ) with brand domains, more links per month, and documentation. If you ‘re looking for a Bitly alternative, both Cuttly and Linkly were very close to taking the top spot—they ‘re worth checking out if you do n’t like Bitly. Their free plans are good, and both have improved enormously over the by two years .
Best custom URL shortener for creating branded links
Rebrandly While Rebrandly is a great URL shortener like all the other apps on our tilt, its appeal is unique. Rebrandly believes that brands, whether it ‘s a merchandise or a person, get rate out of customizing links to content that references them from all over the world wide web. Their unblock design offers five customs domains, tied for the most with Short.io out of all the apps we considered, so you can customize the whole short URL, and not good the last half of it. For example, our roommate-seeking squirrel fan could customize the associate to the Wikipedia entry for squirrels from
squirre.ls/wiki, a link to their ad for a roommate could be
squirre.ls/roomie, and a yoke to their squirrel-spotting enlistment book page could be
squirre.ls/tours. This squirrel fanatic can then post these links on their social media, occupation cards, ads, and anywhere else they feel the want. Rebrandly includes tools for tracking the popularity of each liaison, data about who ‘s clicking on the links, and automatic QR code generation, besides. On the free plan, you ‘re limited to 500 entire branded links and 5,000 clicks tracked per month—but that ‘s enough if you ‘re just starting out. Rebrandly besides integrates with Zapier, so you can do things like mechanically generate a short, branded link for new WordPress posts or Dropbox files.
Create Rebrandly for new WordPress posts
Create Rebrandly for new WordPress postsTry it
Rebrandly + WordPress
Create Rebrandly links for new Dropbox files
Create Rebrandly links for new Dropbox filesTry it
Dropbox + Rebrandly Rebrandly price : detached design with up to 500 links and 5,000 clicks tracked per month ; Starter plan from $ 24/month ( billed annually ) for 5,000 links and 25,000 clicks tracked per calendar month.
Best free URL shortener for quick, anonymous use
TinyURL free connect shortener TinyURL has been in the game since 2002, and it ‘s stuck around sol hanker because it shortens URLs, and it does it with minimal fuss. It ‘s a utilitarian instrument for when you ‘re in a rush and need to create a light radio link that will never expire. Just paste your retentive connection into the box, customize the second half of the URL, if you want, and click Make TinyURL! You can then use that connection indefinitely without fear that it will stop work. Although you do n’t need an account to use TinyURL, if you sign up for one, you can see a history of all your shorten links. You can besides subscribe to a paid design if you want features like tracking and analytics, branded domains, and the ability to edit each TinyURL after you create it. TinyURL price : rid to use ; Personal plan from $ 9.99/month ( billed per annum ) for track links and branded domains .
Best URL shortener for small business owners
BL.INK BL.INK is a full-featured URL shortener service that can be used to not only turn long URLs into short ones but besides to track the traffic coming from your links. Its dashboard shows trending links and general statistics, while an analytics page lets you dive into traffic by device, location, and referrers. You can besides drill down into clicks by the time of day. Tags, which you can add to your sawed-off links, let you view your associate traffic in raw and customs ways and are perfect for tracking and coordinating campaigns. BL.INK offers four tiers of paid plans to give minor businesses, teams, and enterprises a variety of options based on the number of links you need to generate and track. free account holders can generate 1,000 active links, track up to 1,000 clicks per link, and create a custom knowledge domain to make brand links. If you ‘re a occupation in need of a full-service URL shortener that the stallion team can access, and Bitly ‘s enterprise-grade design seems like overkill, then BL.INK is one of your best options. Plus, BL.INK integrates with Zapier, so you can do things like automatically post new short links to a Slack channel or add them to your Buffer queue. BL.INK price: free design with 1,000 active links and limited analytics ; Expert+ plan from $ 48/month with 10,000 active links, 7,500 tracked clicks per connection, and 3 users .
Best URL shortener for automatically creating a short URL
URL Shortener by Zapier When you want to automatically create and save a cut yoke every time you perform a certain action—like add a photograph to Instagram or upload a modern product to your Shopify store— Zapier ‘s URL Shortener is the way to go. You can create a Zap ( an automated work flow on Zapier ) that triggers every meter you upload a mail, create a product, or do something else in the other apps you use most. Zapier will then save the sawed-off URL to a Google Sheet or send it directly to another app. This is the Zapier web log you ‘re reading, so test it for yourself since we ‘re a short bias, but if you ‘re looking to add URL shortening to your automated workflows, this will do the magic trick. here are some other popular ways people use Zapier ‘s URL shortener.
Add new tagged Pocket items to Twitter with shortened URLs
Add new tagged Pocket items to Twitter with shortened URLsTry it
Pocket, Twitter, URL Shortener by Zapier
Pocket + Twitter + URL Shortener by Zapier
Post new Eventbrite events to Buffer with shortened URLs
Post new Eventbrite events to Buffer with shortened URLsTry it
Buffer, Eventbrite, URL Shortener by Zapier
Buffer + Eventbrite + URL Shortener by Zapier URL Shortener by Zapier price : unblock design limited to 5 active single-step Zaps and 100 tasks/month ; Starter from $ 19.99/month ( billed annually ) with 20 multi-step Zaps and 750 tasks/month .
Best URL shortener for sending different visitors different links
Short.io Most url shorteners will happily tell you where people are clicking on your links and what devices they ‘re using, but Short.io goes one better : it enables you to target visitors in unlike locations or using different devices and send them to a different yoke. This is utilitarian if you want to make sure io users and Android users see the right app download radio link, or that your american english and canadian customers see the right kind of dollars. When you add a link, click the Apple icon, Android icon, or the globe icon and select how you want to target your clickers and what link you want to serve them. You can, of course, send io users something wholly unlike than desktop users, but that ‘s credibly going to be identical confusing for everyone—including you. rather, it ‘s best to use this feature only when you have a argue to send unlike types of visitors to subtly different web pages. otherwise, Short.io is a big URL shortener, though unlike most options, you ‘re required to use your own customs sphere. ( last year, I was able to open an history with a short.gy sphere for testing purposes, while this class I had to declare what URL I was going to use to sign up. ) You can set a default sphere for any short liaison that does n’t work, and dig deep into when, where, and how people are clicking on your links in the Statistics and Clicks Stream sections. And Short.io integrates with Zapier, so you can do things like create new short links from an RSS feed or Shopify products.
Add new RSS feed items to Short.cm as links
Add new RSS feed items to Short.cm as linksTry it
RSS by Zapier, Short.io
RSS by Zapier + Short.io Short.io Price: free design with 1,000 brand links, 50,000 tracked clicks, and device target ; Personal plan from $ 16.67/month ( billed per annum ) for inexhaustible brand links and geo-targeting .
Best URL shortener for adding a CTA to the links you share
Sniply If you ‘re sharing links to person else ‘s content ( like interesting articles or dear videos ) in your newsletter or on your social media accounts, you might want to have the last word. With Sniply, you can. Sniply ‘s big feature is that, equally well as giving you a short URL and click-tracking details, you can besides add a call-to-action ( CTA ) over any link you share. so, when person follows a connect from your Twitter visibility to some cool article, at the bottom of the page, you can show a pop fly hint they subscribe to your newsletter for more amazing links. From the Dashboard, pawl Manage > Call-to-Actions and then New Call to Action to create one. Depending on your plan, you can make textbook, forms, and even image CTAs. now, when you add a link, you can select a CTA to be displayed to anyone who clicks it. If you just want to use Sniply ‘s trailing and analytics, you can besides make a obscure CTA that wo n’t get shown. The big caveat with Sniply is that, as a marketing service, it ‘s a bit pricier than simpler URL shorteners. The Free and $ 25/month Basic plans will give you a taster, but for features like removing Sniply brand, using a custom sphere, and even customizing the light connection textbook, you ‘ll need to get the $ 125/month Business plan. Sniply integrates with Zapier, so you can do things like use a CTA form to automatically add subscribers straight to your e-mail marketing app.
Add Subscribers to Mailchimp From Sniply Forms
Add Subscribers to Mailchimp From Sniply FormsTry it
Mailchimp + Sniply
Add Subscribers to Aweber From Sniply Forms
Add Subscribers to Aweber From Sniply FormsTry it
AWeber + Sniply
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Sniply Price: free design with 500 clicks per calendar month. From $ 25/month ( billed per annum ) for Basic plan with 5,000 clicks per month ; from $ 125/month ( billed per annum ) for Business plan with custom sphere and no Sniply brand. This post was primitively published in October 2018 by Jill Duffy .