Do you want to promote your latest posts and products with shorter URLs than the simple permalinks CMSs like WordPress and Squarespace allow you to create?
In this post, we’ve rounded up eight URL shorteners you can use to generate short links that redirect users to longer links. Some of these tools also allow you to track links through click reports and campaigns as well as use tracking pixels to retarget visitors.
The best URL shorteners to shorten long links
- Bitly – Great all-round tool and solid free plan.
- Shorby – Best for social media campaigns + driving conversions.
- BLINK – Great integration with Chrome and Firefox.
- ClickMeter – Best for link tracking.
- TinyCC – Solid URL shortener.
- Rebrandly – Powerful tool but can get expensive.
- TinyURL – Simple and 100% free.
- YOURLS – Open source link shortening script you can install on your own website.
Bitly is one of the most popular URL shorteners in existence. Some of its customers include Disney, Nike, Amazon and The New York Times to give you an idea of just how widely used this tool is.
Bitly is free for the most part if all you need are a few links shortened here and there (you can actually shorten as many as 1,500 URLs/month with the free plan). Chrome and Firefox extensions are available for on-the-fly link shortening. However, its paid plans unlock a lot of powerful features as far as marketing goes.
Among these are branded URLs. Links shortened by Bitly use “bit.ly” as a domain. Branded allow you to use a custom domain for brand-specific shortlinks. For example, we could have sb.xyz. So instead of “bit.ly/34512”, we could have “sb.xyz/34512”.
Keep in mind, you can also add custom keywords after the forward slash /, such as or “sb.xyz/blogpost”.
This helps you build trust between you and an audience that may be more inclined to click links that resemble your brand name.
You can also create tags that let you organize links and monitor link history when you create account, which makes the reuse of certain links as simple as can be. High-tier custom plans grant access to campaigns and UTM parameters for tools like Google Analytics.
- Up to 3,000+ links/month.
- Up to 3,000+ branded links/month.
- Free custom branded URLs (after the / ).
- Tags for grouping your links into categories.
- Build campaigns with reports on clicks, location and device type.
- Post shortened URLs to Twitter directly from Bitly.
- Extend Bitly through browser extensions, official integrations, webhooks and API connections.
Bitly is free forever for up to 1,000 links/month. Premium plans give you access to additional links and branded URLs, among other things. Pricing starts at $35/month or $348/year, which is a 17% discount.
Shorby is best known as an Instagram bio link tool but it also includes a powerful URL shortener. Because Instagram is notorious for not allowing users to insert links in individual posts, it’s not uncommon to see the words “link in bio” in captions as the bio of your Instagram profile is the only place that allows you to insert links, and you only get one.
Instagram bio link tools are the solution to this problem. With Shorby, you’re given a “smart page” that allows you to build a landing page optimized for Instagram & other social networks. You can add an avatar, links to your social media accounts, handles for messenger apps, text, buttons, cards (text with an image) and, of course, links.
You can also use Shorby to shorten URLs on the fly. You can create an unlimited number of short links but can only create up to 250 custom links (where you can choose the text that appears after the forward slash).
You can also track clicks and use retargeting (e.g. by adding a Facebook Pixel). High-tiered plans can use custom-branded URLs and offer team management functionality which is ideal for agencies & in-house teams.
- Unlimited short links.
- Up to 250 smart pages.
- Custom-branded URLs available.
- Up to 250 custom short links (text after the / ).
- Smart pages can contain text, images, handles for messenger apps, social media links and regular links.
- Customize styles of smart pages, including colors.
- Tracking for link clicks.
- Google Analytics integration.
Shorby’s pricing starts at $15/month or $144/year for up to five smart pages, five custom URLs and limited features. You can start using a custom domain at the next price tier, which costs $29/month or $288/year.
BLINK is another widely-used URL shortener with a customer base that includes such as names as Target, Coca-Cola, UPS and the Seattle Seahawks. Two of the biggest features this tool offers are link management and branded URLs.
You can shorten links directly from BLINK’s dashboard or use their browser extensions for Firefox and Chrome. You can also group specific links with tags and search for them easily with filters.
All premium accounts have access to branded URLs, and you can customize the keywords you use after the forward slash.
As you shorten URLs with BLINK, you’ll notice numerous pieces of data collecting within the dashboard. Click counts are chief among them with outputs including total number of clicks, location, browser and device type. Each plan has its own limit for the number of link clicks that show up in these reports. Fortunately, the tool will still redirect visitors to your page even when you hit these limits.
- Unlimited shortened URLs, including branded URLs.
- Unlimited link clicks, though reports are metered.
- Customize links after the / .
- Tags for grouping links.
- Mask long URLs so only the shortened URL appears in the address bar.
- UTM builder for building campaigns with Google Analytics.
- Advanced reports and analytics that allow you to monitor link performance.
- Extensions available with browser extensions, API access and multiple integrations.
BLINK has a free plan that offers 1,000 links per domain and limited features. Premium plans start at $12/month for three users, up to 10,000 active links and up to 7,500 trackable link clicks.
ClickMeter is a sophisticated piece of software designed primarily for link tracking, though a URL shortener is included under this umbrella.
Unlike the previous two tools, ClickMeter doesn’t offer its own domain for shortened URLs and wants you to use your own branded URL instead.
Understanding this tool is simple when you compare it to other tools on this list: whereas Bitly and BLINK place emphasis on the link-shortening aspect of their products and offer lightweight tracking and analytics, ClickMeter expands on these features in advanced ways. URL shortening is merely integrated into these features naturally.
You can track clicks and views for links based on a variety of different data points, including location, organization, language, browser, device type, platform and keyword. You can also track which links produce the best conversion rates based on how many leads and sales they produce.
ClickMeter also offers reports and sophisticated redirects. Bitly and BLINK offer redirects as well, but ClickMeter allows you to target redirects based on everything from location, language and device parameters to more intricate things like random and sequential redirects for split tests, weighted redirects that send visitors to different landing pages from the same link, redirects to different landing pages after a certain number of clicks, and more.
- Up to 50 million trackable clicks per month.
- Up to 100 branded domains.
- Up to 5 million tracking links, tracking pixels, banners and rotators (“data points”).
- Redirect traffic to multiple landing pages. Split tests are included with this feature.
- Track link clicks, conversions and sales.
- Advanced reports and analytics.
- Sophisticated redirect rules.
- Retargeting with tracking pixels.
- Google Analytics integration.
ClickMeter offers three plans with multiple tiers per plan. With that said, pricing starts at $29/month for 25,000 events/month, up to 2,500 data points, one branded domain and one year of data storage.
TinyCC is a URL shortener and link management tool used by over 279,000 companies around the world. A free, lightweight version of the tool is available at tiny.cc. You can create one shortened URL at a time with this version but can only customize the back-half of it (after the / ).
TinyCC’s premium version is available at tinycc.com. With this version, you can use your own branded URL to create up to 1 million links and generate up to 15,000 clicks per day depending on the plan you choose.
Redirects are one of TinyCC’s most-advertised features, though the company calls them “smart links” instead. Retargeting is available, and you can track link clicks by the total number you receive and the cities they originate from.
You can also organize your links into folders and tags.
- Up to 1 million links.
- Up to 10 custom domains.
- 15,000+ link clicks per day.
- Group links into tags.
- Google Analytics integration.
- Use one short link to send users to specific landing pages depending on a variety of different parameters, including language and device type.
- Built-in broken link monitor.
- Retargeting codes available for short links.
- Basic tracking and reports.
- Extendable via webhooks and the tool’s API.
You can create simple, non-branded shortened URLs with TinyCC’s free version. Premium plans start at $5/month or $55/year. This plan gives you access to one custom domain, 500 links and 1,000 link clicks per day.
Rebrandly is a popular URL shortener as well as a sister company of ClickMeter. Over 1 billion links have been created by a customer base that includes such brands as Shopify, PayPal and Lamborghini.
The tool possesses much of the same features as ClickMeter but is a much lighter product overall. Plus, unlike much of the other tools on this list, Rebrandly is designed to help you promote long links with your own branded shortened domain and doesn’t offer its own. It’s not a feature but rather the main intent of the brand.
Collaboration is another key feature of this product. It allows your team to create new links at will and share existing links with one another. Plus, the tool collects data for individual team members and will report who receives the most clicks and which countries those clicks come from.
Tracking and redirects are available as well. You can set up multiple landing pages for a single link. The one visitors are sent to can depend on where they are, which type of device they’re using and more.
- Unlimited redirects.
- Up to 1.5+ million tracked clicks per month.
- Up to 150,000+ branded links.
- Up to 20+ branded domains.
- Customize URLs after the / .
- Allow team members to create and share links.
- Analytics and reports that display link history, total number of clicks, location of clicks and more.
- UTM builder for Google Analytics.
- Organize links with tags.
- Add tracking pixels to retarget visitors.
- Broken link manager (for custom Enterprise plan).
- 50+ integrations.
You can create up to 500 links, use five custom domains and track as many as 5,000 clicks per month with the free version of Rebrandly.
Premium plans start at $29/month or $288/year, the latter of which is a 16% discount. This plan unlocks a number of different premium features in addition to the ability to create up to 5,000 links and track as many as 25,000 clicks.
Link tags, unfortunately, are only available in the Pro plan and higher, which costs $69/month or $696/year.
TinyURL is a free and simple URL shortener. It doesn’t have any of the bells and whistles the other tools on this list have, so it truly is just a simple link shortener.
All you need to do is visit the tool’s homepage, input the link you want to shorten, enter a custom keyword, if you wish, and shorten it. That’s it.
There are no branded URLs and no tracking. There is, however, somewhat of a built-in redirect feature, but nothing that comes close to the other tools on this list.
- Unlimited links.
- Simple redirects. All you need to do is add the file name of your page to the end of your short link to redirect visitors to it.
TinyURL is free to use.
YOURLS is a free and lightweight URL shortener you can install on your site via PHP scripts and/or plugins. You can use it to create simple, custom-branded short links. You can even set things up in such a way that allows outside parties to use your link shortener.
This one’s a lot more technical than the other tools on this list as it requires you to install scripts in ways that may be above the capabilities of the average blogger. Perhaps the biggest appeal of this style of URL shortener is the fact that you aren’t handing your data over to a third party as the links are hosted on your own server.
- Not a third-party tool. You must install it on your site in order to use it.
- Unlimited, custom-branded URLs.
- Private or public URL shortener. It’s your choice.
- Simple reports on number of clicks and location of clicks.
YOURLS is free to use.
As is the case with most products, deciding on a URL shortener comes down to two things: your budget and what you need it for. There are a few free and low-cost options on this list, for starters.
BLINK and TinyCC are wonderful contenders for this reason. They both offer quite a bit in their free versions. Plus, their minimum payments per month are lower than $15. On the other hand, Bitly is free forever with limited features and up to 1,000 links.
Most of the URL shorteners on this list are very similar when it comes down to it. Once you’ve decided on a price point, you may need to have a look at their user interfaces through free trials and detailed reviews to truly get a grasp on how it feels to actually use each one.
Shorby is the exception due to the powerful social media landing pages and focus generating leads from clicks. For example, you can create click to call links or links that open up a
Consider if the tool shortens URLs in a way that suits you and whether or not branded URLs are offered at a suitable price point. Look for reviews that go into each tool’s reports or have a look at your own if you decide to take advantage of free trials.
Lastly, if your marketing team involves more than one person, take each tool’s collaboration features into consideration as well.
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