Developing Your Own Branded Url Shortener

Twitter’s 140 characters or less created a whole new business model-url shorteners.  Services have come and gone with some surviving the attention deficient social media users. And fewer with viable money sources.  URL shorteners are a great tool but with the number of failures they can create a problem with links that no longer work.  Selecting a URL shortener and sticking with it is important.  A few suggestions is to stick with some that might be around for some time.  Protecting your links can be important especially if you have klout worth mentioning.  Here is some help in developing your own url shortner.

Choosing your url shortening service to self host.  Unless you are dev and know how to program scripts to handle generated urls then finding a source to create your own is easy and cost effective.  Here are the options.

Free.  Yourls is a free open source software that allows you to have a hosted url shortner.  The free use allows you to easily create and maintain your own service.  By following the instructions given you can have url service open for business quickly.  You can also opt to have the service open to the public.   There is also stats and the ability to change urls the links and urls in the future if need be.  One major disadvantage is that this has little support.  Which if your not a developer can create headaches in the future but the code is available for your updates and changes.

The other plans are affordable depending on your price point.  Here are a few that I came up with in my development of http://empri.se.com branded url shortner.

Awe.sm.  I love the name of this url shortner but that’s not what this is about.    This paid solution is affordable which gives you on going support and updates.  With some understanding you can have url shortner based off of the api pretty quickly.  At the time of this article the service started at $15.  They have an API which if you have a developer then you can have them install it for you.  This service also comes with stats by the hour and unlimited if you buy the $50 option.  Really this is an affordable option for some more enterprise tools if your in need.

Bitly.  Bitly has been the leader for some time in the url shortening service.  They have an enterprise solution for $995/mo for one keyword and 3 seats at the time of this post.  So if you’ve got a grand to drop per month and the clicks and audience then it might be well worth the cost for your service.   Although I can’t tell you what the service is like, big brand names are touted on their site as examples of their shortening api at work.

Branded urls can look professional and help drive your brand presence.  It also can help to stand out from chatter within Twitter.  The problem is that perhaps people might be a little skeptical your use of them.

Are there any other services that are worth mentioning?

About Derek Hanson

Derek Hanson is a digital strategist and founder of Emprise Media, a digital web design and internet marketing firm. You can connect with him on Google+, Twitter, and Linkedin.
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