Top 5 URL Shorteners and How They Help You

Long URLs are simply hard to pass along. The links tend to sometimes break in email, are harder to verbalize in a conversation, and they are difficult, or in some cases near impossible to remember.

For example, let’s say you want to pass along this piece of news to your friends about how the ‘Iphone will test loyalty of cellular customers’– Which you can visit with this long URL…

…which I will need to shorten to something more digestible.

Now, there are a plethora of URL shortening services out there – the majority of them free, but most of them not bringing anything unique to the table.  Here are some notable exceptions with useful value-added features in place:

#1 Choose your own page name with Doiop


What Doiop allows you to do is actually define your own keyword (In this case I used loyalty) so you can give your short link some context, something simple which many URL shortening services just don’t offer.

Result: Link shortened to –

#2 Create instant short URLs using bookmarklets and enjoy previews with TinyURL


TinyURL is probably the most famous of all the URL shortening sites out there, but many people don’t take advantage of two key features they offer.  The first – Incorporating a one-click bookmarklet on your browser, so you never have to visit the site to shorten a URL, just click a button on your browser and it’s done!

The second is a preview feature.  This tells anyone who clicks on the preview link – what exactly they are accessing, so there are no surprises on the other end.

Result: Link shortened to

#3 Tag short URLs using multiple keywords with ReadthisURL


Just like Doiop, this allows you to add context to your shortened URLS but this time by allowing users to tag it with multiple keywords. 

Result: Link shortened to

#4 Create pronounceable with


Too lazy to think of a keyword but still want some form of coherence for your shortened URLs?  memURL will create a mnemonic link which is easy to pronounce (but doesn’t mean anything).  memURL also comes with a bookmarklet feature for one click shortening.

Result: Link shortened to

#5 Track your short URL traffic and stats with


On top of a basic URL shortening system, DwarfURL allows users to track statistics and traffic of these shortened URLs.  Perfect for tracking how many people actually visit those links you send them :)

Result: Link shortened to

A word to the wise here – Like most good things on the Internet, spammers have invaded the URL shortening space -using these services to cover their tracks.  I would apply the same level of caution when clicking on the links – only doing so when you’re sure it comes from a trusted source.

What URL shortening services do you use?  Let us know in the comments!

[tags] url redirection, url shortener, tinyurl, domain [/tags]

440 Replies to “Top 5 URL Shorteners and How They Help You”

  1. @ Greg ,

    >Cool one also

    I have subscribed to this thread a 2 years ago and checking every URL Shortener posted here.

    The one you suggested has excellent Interface

    I also like these features…
    1) ‘ .af ‘ extension
    2) Lovely interface with simple look
    3) Speed

    Can you please let me know if you or the owner used any open source script (URL shortening script like Yourls) to create this ?

    Thanks !

  2. which I manage is fairly new and has currently 1 character available. It holds up to 15 million keys with only 4 characters. IT also allows you for custom keywords. Future features will include keyword stats.

  3. Hi all, we’ve just build A new “open” url shortener. The nice thing about it is that the shortened url contains the target domain. This way you’ll be protected against spam. Try it out at and tell us what you think!

  4. I received a news letter about a URL shortner . It is more restrictive with out any advanced options. Only the advantage is it’s short domain with Single letter :)

    Let me know what you think about it :)

    Thanks !

  5. Hey Admin your top 5 is now a top 4with gone into the internets black hole. Why dont you replace it with one of the suggestions from the replies to your post?

  6. I won’t click on a short or masked URL, period. I don’t care who sends it to me. I hover over any link before I click on it, and frequently copy and paste the URL is I have the least bit of uncertainty as to the validity of where it says it goes. Any email containing a shortened URL from a name I don’t recognize is immediately flagged as spam, no questions asked–I don’t follow any “unsubscribe” process because I consider a masked/shortened URL as potentially dangerous. Just something to think about when you use these. I’m not the only one.

    1. I understand your concern, but I think you are being a little harsh. One GOOD reason to use a shortened URL is for tracking different ad campaigns if one is marketing on the net. If you have a website, and just send people to that link, then you don’t know what ad generated that click. By using different shortened URL’s, one can track which ad is sending the people from.

  7. I also use :) The main reason i use it is direct post to twitter/facebook with all other bookmarks and i can login with my facebook / twitter / google to view my click stats the batch uploader is very good also.

    Other than that i sometimes use but they dont listen to ideas as much as the they do most ideas as long as they are not silly



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

nineteen − 9 =