What Is A URL Shortener?

A URL shortener is a tool that condenses a long, complicated web address into a shorter, more manageable link. It’s like shrinking a bulky sweater down to a more portable size. Here’s everything you need to know about URL shortener.

ALSO READ: URL Opener – Open Multiple URLs At Once

What Is A URL Shortener?

A URL shortener is a tool or service that takes a long URL (Uniform Resource Locator) and generates a shorter version, which typically redirects users to the original URL when clicked. These shorter URLs are useful in situations where space is limited, such as in social media posts, text messages, or printed materials.

URL shorteners work by using an HTTP redirect on a domain, often a short one, to send users to the original, longer URL. When a user clicks on the shortened link, they are automatically redirected to the intended destination without any noticeable delay. This redirection process is transparent to the user and helps save characters in text-based mediums. Additionally, URL shorteners often provide tracking and analytics features, allowing users to monitor the traffic and engagement on their links.

How Does A URL Shortener Work?

Here’s how it works:

  1. You copy and paste the long URL into the URL shortener’s website or app.
  2. The shortener creates a new, shorter link using a unique code.
  3. Anyone who clicks the shortened link will be automatically redirected to the original webpage.

Benefits Of URL Shortener

There are several benefits to using a URL shortener:

  • Saves space: Shortened URLs are ideal for social media posts or text messages where character limits are common.
  • Easier to share: Shorter links are easier to remember and share verbally.
  • Tracking clicks: Some URL shorteners offer analytics to track how many times a link is clicked.

Best URL Shortener Services In South Africa

Here are some of the best options to consider:


A popular all-around shortener that offers a free plan with basic features and paid plans with more advanced features, such as custom domains and detailed analytics.


A good alternative to Bitly with a focus on branding. It offers free and paid plans, with the free plan allowing you to create up to 100 custom links.


A free and simple URL shortener that’s been around for a long time. It doesn’t offer any frills, but it’s a good option if you just need to shorten a URL quickly.

T2M URL Shortener

An all-in-one link management platform with features like short URL customization, password protection, and detailed analytics reports. It offers a free plan with limited features and paid plans with more features.

These are just a few of the many URL shortener services available. When choosing a service, consider your needs and budget.


Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about URL shorteners:

What are the benefits of using a URL shortener?

  • URL shorteners help save space, particularly in character-limited platforms like Twitter.
  • They can make links look cleaner and more manageable.
  • Many URL shorteners offer analytics and tracking features to monitor link performance.

Are there any downsides to using URL shorteners?

  • Shortened URLs can be susceptible to link rot if the shortening service goes offline or shuts down.
  • Some people are wary of clicking on shortened links due to security concerns, as they may hide the destination URL.

How do URL shorteners track link clicks?

URL shorteners typically use HTTP redirects to track when someone clicks on a shortened link. They record information such as the number of clicks, geographic location of users, and referral sources.

Are there any alternatives to popular URL shortening services?

Yes, there are self-hosted URL shortener scripts and services that allow users to create their own shortened URLs using their domain.

Can I customize the shortened URLs?

Many URL shorteners offer custom alias options, allowing users to choose a specific keyword or phrase to be included in the shortened URL.

Are there any restrictions on what URLs can be shortened?

Some URL shortening services have restrictions on the types of URLs that can be shortened, such as those containing adult content or malicious links.

Are URL shorteners free to use?

Many URL shorteners offer free plans with limited features, while others offer premium plans with additional features such as branded domains and advanced analytics.


In conclusion, a URL shortener is a handy tool that converts long URLs into shorter, more manageable links. These shortened URLs are useful for sharing on platforms with character limits or where space is limited. They redirect users to the original, longer URL seamlessly and often come with tracking and analytics features to monitor link performance. Overall, URL shorteners offer convenience and efficiency in sharing links across various digital platforms.

Image Courtesy: clickslice

Leave a Comment