What is a “short URL”? Short URL or tiny URL is an URL used to represent a long URL For example, http://tinyurl.com/45lk7x can be used to represent and will be used to redirect to http://www.snippetit.com/2008/10/implement-your-own-short-url.
Why people use short URL? First, because it is easy to remember. Imagine when you read an article on a magazine or newspaper that shows you a site with 100 characters and complicated URL. How can you remember the long URL, put down the magazine or newspaper, sit in front of your computer and type out the URL at web browser correctly? When the URL is short, for example tinyurl.com/45lk7x, you can do it easily.
Second, short URL is more portable. For instance, when you want to send your friend a SMS that contains some message and an URL, with short URL you can save a lot of space and give you more space to type your message.
Most short URL services are free and easy to use. You just need to provide the long URL and it will generate a new short URL for you. Here are the list of most popular short URL websites sorted by its traffic rank (by Alexa):
- bit.ly (Alexa traffic rank: 220)
- tinyurl.com (Alexa traffic rank: 660)
- is.gd (Alexa traffic rank: 10,833)
- ff.im (Alexa traffic rank: 45,395)
- twurl.nl (Alexa traffic rank: 120,846)
If you are good in computer programming language, you interested in implementing your own short URL.