URL shortening is a technique on the World Wide Web in which a Uniform Resource Locator (URL) may be made substantially shorter in length and still direct to the required page. This is achieved by using an HTTP Redirect on a domain name that is short, which links to the web page that has a long URL. For example, the URL
http://ibrahimjabbari.com/english/index.php/blog/item/407-how-to-create-your-own-branded-url-shortener-without-any-coding can be shortened to
http://algr.in/ZkewpP. This is especially convenient for messaging technologies such as Twitter and Identi.ca which severely limit the number of characters that may be used in a message. Short URLs allow otherwise long web addresses to be referred to in a Tweet. In November 2009, the shortened links of the URL shortening service Bitly were accessed 2.1 billion times.
This branding starts from a custom twitter background, facebook welcome page, but it does not stop there. While most of us were sharing generic ow.ly, and other URL shortners, top brands like New York Times, TechCrunch, BuySellAds, and others were using their own customized short urls like “nyti.ms”, “tcrn.ch”, “bsa.ly”. This got us thinking, and i decided to create my own customized short URL for AltinGroups.net, I’m using “algr.in” as my custom branded short URL for my blogs (Or elsewhere).
A custom branded short url is great for building a personal or business brand, as readers will know exactly where it will lead when they see it shared on social networks. In this article I gonna share how you can create your own customized short url for your blogs by using bitly.com.
So let's get started :)
Step 1. Purchase a short Domain Name
There are many websites that you can find / register your short domain name and as they offers (Bitly) on website you can use “Domai.nr” to register your name, BUT I prefer to use my own services to register my short domain name if you would like to use it you can visit: Services.AltinGroups.net :)
(I suggest that your short name should be not more than six characters. Ex: algr.in)
Step 2. Create an account in bitly.com and set you short domain name up
If you don't already have one, it is free to sign up for a Bitly account. With the account, you'll be able to set up your customized short URL and view statistics on the customized short links that you create. You'll need to verify your e-mail address before you can create a custom short domain.
Sign into Bitly, and select 'Settings' from the pull-down menu at the upper-right corner of the page. Click on the 'Advanced' tab, and click on 'Activate a Branded Short Domain for personal use' under the 'Branded Short Domain' header. Enter your short domain and click on ‘Add’ button; you'll have to set an A Record for your short domain before you can verify it. (Step 3)
Step 3. Setup and A record for your short domain name to point it to Bitly
Now it’s time to set and A record or DNS for your registered short domain to point to bitly’s IP address. So Log into your domain name registrar and set the A record, or DNS host, for your short URL to point to bit.ly's IP address. Bitly's IP address is 22.214.171.124. It can take up to 48 hours for domain changes to take effect. (For me it take about 2-3 hours)
If you've registered your domain from my registrar, you’ll have such video on domain’s DNS page. ;)
Step 4. Verify Your Tracking Domain
What is a tracking domain?The tracking domain is the "long domain," owned and controlled by you, for which will report all click traffic from all Bitly users. All click traffic on your tracking domain, including clicks on links that were created by other Bitly users, will appear in your dashboard. For example, the tracking domain for Altin Groups is “altingroups.net”, The New York Times is "nytimes.com"and the tracking domain for Tech Crunch is "techcrunch.com". You can set up and verify your tracking domain from within your bitly account settings.
So to track all the click traffic to your site, set up your tracking domain under the 'Advanced' tab in your settings. Enter the domain name you want to track (your site's long domain Ex: AltinGroups.net) in your Bitly account. This domain should not be the same as the short URL (Ex. Algr.in) that you just set up. After you verify that you own the URL (there are three ways to provide verification that you can see on bottom of your tracking domain), Bitly will automatically convert any links you shorten from that site to your custom short URL.
Once your setup is complete, any url that you shorten from your site will use your custom branded domain. If you do follow this article and decide to get your own Customized URL, then please share with us in the comments.
NOTE: If you blog on WordPress platform you can use
WP Bit.ly plugin to automatically create short URLs for all of your WordPress posts and pages.