Brand yourself with customized URL shortener.
It has always bothered me that URL shorteners are taking over the web. As many people have pointed out, your entire linking history is subject to the lifeline of a third party service. And with many URL shorteners operating on questionable country code domain names, the risks are prevalent.
This weekend I set out to get my own URL shortener. After all, I plunked down five figures for my short domain name DNW.com, so I may as well get as much value out of it as I can. I came across Your Own URL Shortener (YOURLS), and it does the trick.
There are a couple steps to using YOURLS. First, you install it on your web server. This process is painless, assuming you have PHP 4.3 or better, MYSQL 4.1, and mod_rewrite enabled.
Once installed, you can manually create short links. You can also link it to WordPress to automatically create short URLs for your new blog posts using the WordPress plugin.
The WordPress plugin automatically shortens URLs for each of your posts and posts them to Twitter. Like most shorteners, YOURLS also keeps stats to help you understand how much traffic each short URL or tweet delivers. For example, the short URL to this post is dnw.com/6.
You can also open up your shortening service to friends, but that presents plenty of risk.
If you follow Domain Name Wire on Twitter @DomainNameWire, you’ll see YOURLS in action. Here are the benefits:
1. Not reliant on third party service
2. Sends link juice to your domain, not a service provider
3. Customize your short links
4. Build your brand (showing your URL)