Have your own domain? Hate clunky, hard to remember and share long links? Me too! So, let’s see how we can get rid them in favour of nice, memorable short links using your own domain.
For this tutorial, I’m going to be using the Pretty Links plugin for WordPress. It’s free, but there’s also a premium version that gives you some extra features. I’ve found that the free version is more than enough, though.
How do you use it?
After installation, the plugin is very simple to use.
On your dashboard, you should see a newly-added Pretty Links Quick Add element. This allows you to quickly create short links- simply put in your long URL and, if desired, customise the back half of the URL, then click create! Easy as that.
You might also notice the new Pretty Links section in the sidebar of your admin page. Hovering over it will present you with some more options.
What sidebar options are there?
- Pretty Links allows you to see all of your existing short links and information about them, like the title and destination URL, total clicks, creation date, and back half of the link.
- Add New lets you make new short links (but configure a few more things than the Quick Add element).
- Clicks lets you see the IP, timestamp, short URL, referrer, and destination link of every click/visit to one of your short links.
- Tools gives you access to some pretty neat features, like a handy bookmarklet that lets you make new short links on the fly, and buttons to ‘Trim Clicks’- delete all clicks or those older than 30 or 90 days.
- Options gives you some configuration over the plugin (obviously). You can change the default link options for new links and reporting options for link tracking.
- Upgrade, to upgrade to the pro version of the plugin, which gives you access to some more features. I might end up going for it in the future, since I really like the plugin and would like to support the developers, but for now I am perfectly fine with the free tier!
So, what do you think? Could this be a great alternative to Bit.ly and other link shortening services? I think so, but try it out and let me know! Until next time…