How to Make a Custom Link Shortener | Affordable Rebrandly Alternative

How to Make a Custom Link Shortener | Affordable Rebrandly Alternative

15.Jul.2021

hey guys my name is christian taylor
welcome back to crailermaid where i like
to talk about all things
online branding and marketing so today
i'm going to be sharing
how i set up my custom url shortener
so if you see in my video descriptions
below i usually put links that are like
trailer dot media slash and then
something random or sometimes like
trailer dot media slash
expressvpn which is a custom ending to
my short domain  
but no matter how you look at it i'm
essentially making a custom version of
like a bitly link
now there are a couple reasons why you
would want a custom short url like this
and it's mainly to take your branding to
the next level
if you're posting to twitter or social
media and you have your custom
short url it really makes you stand out
as professional
and it really takes your brand to the
next level in other people's eyes
that's the biggest reason why you would
want a custom one now there are some
compelling reasons to use url shorteners
in general
and those are mainly to save space in
description boxes and on social media
and also to collect detailed click
analytics
so with using a free service like bitly
or this custom script that i'm going to
show you how to use
you can track how many clicks the link
gets where that traffic is coming from
country device demographics all this
stuff can be tracked
through those redirects so that way i
can actually see
okay how many people clicked this link
in the description of my video
what country are they coming from etc so
two of those three benefits you can get
absolutely free with a generic url
shortener like bitly but if you really
want to take your branding to the next
level
i'm going to show you how i do that
today with my custom url shortener
script
now the best script i found for this is
called premium url
shortener and it's available for a
one-time fee of 33
from code canyon now this is the envato
network so it's the same place where i
recommend you get wordpress themes
from themeforest codecanyon is under the
same parent company
so you're getting a quality product from
a quality site and you'll also receive
six months of customer support from the
developer of this plugin so they can
help you work through
any issues you have with the setup
process that one time fee
also includes future updates now i will
tell you
using a php script like this is very
similar to using wordpress.org
you bring your own web hosting and you
do your own setup and server
administration
so if you're not a fan of wordpress.org
and you're someone who likes
maybe wix or squarespace stay away from
this solution there are other packaged
short url solutions out there like
rebrandly where you just connect your
domain to them
and they just give you the platform to
make custom short urls
but the reasons that i stay away from it
would be price and
ultimately i'm worried about them
shutting down not rebrandly specifically
but i did have an experience in the past
where i used one of these hosted
platforms
for my custom short url and they shut
down
and worse they didn't notify anyone
that's when i set up the solution that i
used today
ultimately it's the cheapest most
flexible and most reliable solution
in my opinion you can get cheap web
hosting from namecheap for just
a couple dollars a month if you want i'm
going to be showing you how to set this
up on cloudways today and their hosting
starts at 10
a month i'm not going to get into the
details of cloudways today because i
have a whole review that you can watch
just on that but you can really host
this script anywhere as long as it
supports php
today i will be showing you how to do
that on cloudways
okay so here i am at cloudways and i'm
just going to start by clicking add
application now i've obviously already
got a server set up on cloudways i'm
assuming that you've already stepped
through that process
so i'm just going to select my server
click add application
and then we're going to do a custom
php app and i'm just going to call this
custom url shortener
select a project and click add
application
okay so now that the application has
been installed i'm going to flip over to
applications right here
and i'm going to page over
to my custom url shortener application
now first thing i'm going to do is
connect the domain name that i've chosen
now i've already connected the domain
via dns using cloudflare
again that's another concept we're not
going to get into today
but i've already got my domain pointing
to my server so all i need to do in
cloud ways to let them know
is click domain management and just
enter
my domain name crailer.life
click save changes okay now that that's
done i'm going to go to
access details now we need to upload the
files
for the url shortener that we got from
code canyon and what we need in order to
do this
is sftp access or you may see
ftp access with your cpanel shared
hosting
the process is going to look virtually
the same with any web host but some web
hosts may give you an ftp manager in
your browser where you can upload the
files
with ways they don't so we're going to
have to use an ftp
client so right here on this main screen
under access details i'm just going to
create a username
i'll just call it custom url
and i'm just going to copy this same my
sequel password
for the sftp credentials
and we don't need to save this here so
now we're going to hop over to the ftp
client of choice now for me i use
transmit
on mac it is not a free application so
if you're looking for a free application
you can look at filezilla
there's lots of ftp clients available
out there that are free for both mac and
windows
for windows i recommend win scp but
that's not available on mac
and i find that i like transmit so i'm
going to go ahead and just hit the plus
button down here
sftp i'll just say custom url
shortener
next we can just click right here to
copy the password
and go back and paste it in and click
save
now i can just double click this here
now when you get to any web hosting
account you're probably going to see a
folder called
public underscore html that is where
your website files live
so for this url shortener i unzipped the
file that we got from codecanyon so all
the files are here
so i'm first going to double click
public html i'm going to clear out
anything that's in there
don't be scared to delete stuff we need
this completely cleared out
so i'm going to delete this php file
right here
and delete then i'm simply going to
click these files here that are
highlighted
drag them over and drop them
and we can see the files beginning to
appear we have our little progress bar
right here
and it's showing us the status to upload
the files
okay so now that it's dragged over and
we've got everything uploaded
we already connected our domain name
we've got the files running on the
domain
so the next step if you've gotten this
far is to visit this
install.php file in your browser
and all we have to do to do this is go
to our domain name
so open a new tab go to crailer.life
slash install.php
and hit enter and if you see the screen
come up congratulations
you did it right and you're just a
couple seconds away from having access
to your custom
url shortener so everything here looks
good
now if you see that any of these are red
or say disabled or
or there's some kind of problem with
this system self check right here
go ahead and contact your web host and
just send them a screenshot and ask
if they can help you configure that in
my case
everything is good here so i'm going to
say requirements are met
you can now proceed now database toast
it is usually localhost which
says here in my case on cloudways and
really almost any web hosting account
i've ever used
it is localhost
database name now we can pop back over
to cloudways
and get database name right here
just click this to copy also note
username
is the same as database name with
cloudways
so we'll go back over here and we'll
paste this twice
now cpanel users beware if you have
cpanel shared hosting
you're going to have to walk through the
my sequel
wizard within cpanel and actually create
this database
first where in cloud ways when you say
create a custom php application
they automatically generate a mysql
database that's associated with it
that's an important differentiation
because even on cpanel
if you go in with ftp and you upload
your files you may get to the step and
go
wait a second where's my database info
you need to do the extra step to create
that
if you guys are interested in seeing a
tutorial for cpanel i'm happy to record
one
and make it unlisted and put it in the
description below so if
that's something you're interested in do
drop a comment down below just say hey
i'd love to see a cpanel tutorial
and i would be happy to make one for any
of you guys that go with namecheap or
any cpanel shared hosting and you want
to take on this project
okay now we're going to copy the
database password over here in cloudways
go here and paste it and say create
configuration file
and no i don't need to save this to my
password manager just close this here
i'm just going to enter an admin email
and one thing that i'm personally going
to do is change this to be
https because i would like it to be ssl
friendly you don't have to do this but
it's just something that i like to do
when i set this up
and click finish installation
no password manager i don't want to save
this
so there we go now we are going to click
delete
install.php that's an important step to
get the
installer file out of here now that it's
configured so i'm going to click
delete and we're taken to the main
screen here for the url shortener so now
i can just say
login enter my username
oops my password
log in
and here we go so we have our very own
custom url shortener that we can access
now there's a lot of settings in here
and if you go to this admin section
you can really poke around and see how
powerful this script is
it's actually set up so if you wanted to
run like a bitly competitor
you could allow users to sign up and
create short urls
under your domain name and you can
actually accept payments for that so you
could have a subscription service
for users to be able to create short
urls
of course i'm not interested in any of
that chances are you're not
either it's it's cool to see that it's a
feature but
i just want to create custom short urls
for myself
and for my brand so to do that i'm going
to go back to view site
and on this user ui i can put any url
here so let me just put my youtube
channel
youtube.com slash crailer made and click
shorten if i do nothing else
we already have an automatically
generated short url that i can copy
and i can paste into my browser here and
hit enter
and boom just like that you could see
how speedy that is it has redirected us
to my youtube channel now if i close
this and i go back to the panel
we can see zero clicks here now maybe if
i refresh
one click look we can already see recent
activities mac os user from united
states directly visited the link and we
start to see this
heat map of links which is really cool
here
so i can edit this link anytime i need
to i can make
aliases i can change what the link
is the metadata target by device so i
can have a short link
and i can say hey if you're on iphone
point here if you're on android point
here
a cool use of this is if you have an app
you could tell people go to this short
domain to download it on your phone
and it can detect if it's an iphone send
them to the app store if it's an android
phone send them to the google play store
i actually use this script for this
exact scenario with my software company
for our app and i find that it is
extremely intuitive for users
there's just a ton of powerful features
here that you can dig into if you're
really into marketing stuff
you can do like facebook pixel google
tag manager
all sorts of stuff that you can
integrate into the script for
advanced tracking and analytics and
really i got to be honest this is
impressive for a 33
one-time fee all you really have to do
is pay for your web hosting and your
domain every year
and the script will get updates it's
been getting regular updates for the
years that i've been using it
and you get those for free in exchange
for the 33
one-time payment so that's the basics of
how i use my custom url shortener and
how you can set up your very own so what
do you think of custom url shorteners
is it something that you'd like to do
for your brand i'd love to know in the
comments down below and if you like this
video do be sure to hit that subscribe
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miss when i release new videos
with that said i will catch you guys
next time

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