Long URLs can be shortened to create short URLs. Short URLs are often used on social media profiles and websites with limited space where long URLs would appear unprofessional or get cut off (for example: Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook).
URLs generally follow this address format: /page1/?=querystring . When you visit a long URL in your internet browser it sends an HTTP request to the server; however, when you shorten a URL using a website like TinyURL it actually redirects the web browser to another URL known as the "long URL." The redirect may be permanent so that every time you visit any page within the short version of the link, your internet browser automatically hits the server at the redirect long URL. The short URLs are typically easy to remember because they are simple combinations of words. The result is that internet users can make it easier for visitors to find their websites, while also potentially gaining SEO ranking benefits because search engines tend to favor shorter URLs.
The following image illustrates how the original long URL ( https://www.mozillafirefox.com/ ) gets redirected to the short version of the URL by adding a redirect code into the destination address bar in order for internet browsers to reach it properly:
When you understand how URL shorteners work, you'll be able to better determine why your website doesn't display correctly after one is used! Shortening links using online tools like Bitly or TinyURL redirects the traffic from that link to a different website. This is a problem if you're trying to reach a page on your site with a shortened URL and the website doesn't load because it's being redirected by some other resource. The fix varies, but in this article I'll cover two common scenarios: redirecting links placed on social media websites like Twitter or Facebook, and shortened URLs created using TinyURL or Bitly.
Do you need URL shorteners?
Shortened URLs are often used when sharing resources over various websites like social media sites (Twitter, Facebook) and blog posts (WordPress). Shortened URLs may also be used in emails, text messages, instant messaging platforms, app installations (iTunes), etc. Many people don't realize that shortened URLs are basically the same thing as long URLs. If you want to see the destination your short URL leads to, just replace the "short" with "long." For instance, Bitly's short URL leads to Mozillafirefox.com (you can check it here).
One use for shortened links is tracking how many times someone opens your link or clicks on it. Since long URLs often get cut off in places where people might click on them, bitly and other websites allow you to track who clicked on the shortened link so you know how successful your campaign was. This provides valuable insight into which content is working best for a particular audience.
You can use a free website like bitly or tinyurl to shorten your links that you share on social media or simply to reduce the length of a URL that's too long for your liking. A good rule of thumb is to not shorten links unless they're too lengthy and will be cut off when posted somewhere else, because shortened links may harm search engine optimization (SEO) rankings and hurt your site's performance. Shortened links look unprofessional and most users want direct links instead of redirected ones: it takes more time, which can be annoying if there are multiple clicks involved before you reach the final destination page.
What to do if your website doesn't load
If you don't use shortened links often, then keep in mind that when someone clicks on a shortened URL it redirects them elsewhere. That means the webpage you're trying to access may not load because internet browsers are sent to another webpage instead. If you want to make sure users can still reach your page, avoid using short URLs without creating an alias for it (short with long). Another workaround is manually removing "?=" from medium-length URLs with Redirect Path app (no longer available) - but only if the link was shortened using bitly or tinyurl; otherwise, there will be no effect.
Shortened links in online marketing campaigns and social media
Adding a shortener to a long URL can be a powerful way to share your content. In addition, some URLs are very long and you don't want the full address showing when someone shares it on social media or with other people. Some shortened links used by online marketers include:
Links from Twitter : For example, instead of sending someone all the way to Mozillafirefox's home page using , a shortened link that sends them directly to Firefox Quantum is better at . Here's an explanation for why you should shorten your social media posts' URLs and how to do it in minutes or less .
Links from Facebook : For instance, if you're sharing a TED talk online using , the full URL is /talks/richard_st.... Similar links are also used on other social networks like Linkedin and Google Plus .
Links from blogs : If you have readers who frequently read your blog posts, they'll usually only want to click on the link once rather than copy and paste it each time. You can avoid inconvenience by simply placing a short version of your complete webpage address in front of them so they don't need to retype everything every time they visit your site (a 301 permanent redirect is created behind the scenes).
Shortened URLs in email marketing campaigns
Since emails are limited to how much text
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