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How to Create Your Own Customized Short URL for Your Blog

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How to Create Your Own Customized Short URL for Your Blog

With social media sharing on a rise, we are seeing more and more attempts for branding. This branding starts from a custom twitter background, facebook welcome page, but it does not stop there. While most of us were sharing generic ow.ly, and other URL shortners, top brands like New York Times, TechCrunch, BuySellAds, and others were using their own customized short urls like “nyti.ms”, “tcrn.ch”, “bsa.ly”. This got us thinking, and we decided to create our very own customized short URL for WPBeginner which a lot of you has asked about. For those who did not see it, look over at our twitter @wpbeginner. We are using “wpbeg.in” as our custom branded short URL for this blog. A custom branded short url is great for building a personal or business brand, as readers will know exactly where it will lead when they see it shared on social networks. In this article, we will share how you too can get your very own customized short url for your WordPress blog.

Step 1: Buy a Short URL

Most of us do not have a very short URL for our blog because if we did, we could be using this trick instead. But because we do not have a short URL, we would need to purchase a short URL. Now if you think about it, these domains are very creative, so how can you find it quickly? Well you can use number of tools to find domains, but we recommend using Domai.nr to find these cool names.

Domainr

If you type in the word you want to include in your short URL, this site will provide the different ways you might assemble it with a variety of domain extensions (TLD). It also lets you know which of these options are available for purchase. You need to make sure that your Domain is less than 15 characters. Once you have picked the domain, register it from the top registrar: Godaddy (look around the web, and you might find coupons as well that works for .in)

Step 2: Setup Custom Domain in Bit.ly

Most of us do not have the capability to create our own script that lets us manage, and track branded short URLs. But you have nothing to worry because bit.ly has taken care of that. It is free for everyone. Simply sign up for a Bit.ly account. Once you are logged in, click on the Settings link which can be found under the dropdown of your username.

Bit.ly Settings

Once on the settings page, click on the tab called “Advanced”. Follow along with the process and add your short domain in Bit.ly

Step 3: Set an A Record to Point to Bit.ly

Next step is setting an A Record, or DNS Host, for your short URL to point to bit.ly’s IP address. We presume that you took our advice and used Godaddy to register your domain. The A record is located under the “Total DNS” tab, so login and add the DNS record and point it to the IP 69.58.188.49 (this is Bit.ly’s IP).

If you are using a subdomain for example on.wsj.com, then you need to set a CNAME record and point it to cname.bitly.com

Step 4: Verify Your Site

It can take up to 48 hours for domain changes to propagate. You’ll know the DNS has been setup correctly when you can set your custom short domain as the default domain in your bit.ly settings.

Once your setup is complete, any url that you shorten from your site will use your custom branded domain. If you do follow this article and decide to get your own Customized URL, then please share with us in the comments.

We hope that this answered all questions that everyone asked us about how we had such an awesome short url for our tweets “wpbeg.in”.

Update: We now use WP Bit.ly plugin to automatically create short URLs for all of our WordPress posts and pages.


Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress experts led by Syed Balkhi. Page maintained by Syed Balkhi.

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Comments

  1. Darby Perrier says:

    Team Jerseys of buy mlb jerseys cheap Wholesale of NBA, Soccer and NCAA. More Cheap Hot Jerseys Contact Us Online.

  2. Ravikanth says:

    Hieee can anybody teach me how to make my own link and blog plzzzzzz

  3. John says:

    Some emails and messages get flagged automatically as ‘spam’ or they block out the link in the message if the mail provider thinks that domain is associated with a lot of spam complaints. Some email providers block out bit.ly links. If you buy your own domain name and use this to mask the bit.ly link is this a way around this issue? Could the email service detect that your branded short link is configured through bit.ly?

  4. Sacha says:

    Why not just use the wp.me URL shortener? It’s short and looks nice.

  5. Joseph V M says:

    Heard news that bit.ly services are hacked.. Is it fixed now?

  6. Steve says:

    I use moo.pw because it’s easy to remember

  7. Aditya says:

    With a twitter deal – is there an automatic way to make the URL’s tiny / small?

  8. Barry says:

    Thanks for the article. I just used it to setup “newplushi.es” as the shortener for my plush toy website. It is more characters than I would have liked to use, but taking out some of those vowels just made it look overly weird and unrecognizable.

  9. Andy says:

    Hi I bought a shortened vanity URL (had my webhost check I had the redirect set up right to Bitly) and set up the WP bitly plugin in readiness.

    The new vanity url now shows on bitly dashboard.

    On my WP dashboard and admin bar, I see the bit.y/…. shortlink in place of the WP shortened link, so the plugin is working – to a degree – but I dont see the vanity URL version.

    I can manually change bit.ly URLs to mytp.infoURLs and it still finds the right page but it seems to be missing a step. Any ideas.

    • Editorial Staff says:

      Login to your Bitly account. Go to Settings and then click on the Advanced tab. Make sure that your branded URL is selected as default short domain.

  10. Khürt Williams says:

    Nope. Very few of the words I would use or want are available and the ones that are are ridiculously expensive. I’ll stick to bit.ly.

  11. M Asif Rahman says:

    As now Bit.ly pro costs $995/month, what are you using now? And any update to this post will greatly help.

    • Editorial Staff says:

      They built-in the custom domain option for all bit.ly users. Just updated the article, so you should be able to get it now. Since they built-in that function in all accounts, they decided to rename their enterprise plan $995/month and called it Pro.

  12. MichealKennedy says:

    .tt domains are 2097.00 USD/3 Years!!!??? Holy spit.

  13. jiping2011 says:

    Wow, thanks. I didn’t realize it was that easy! I might just have to try it.

  14. Khaledscorner says:

    great tutorial thanks

  15. RamooRami says:
  16. Alex Watcher says:

    thanks for tutorial, will try it tomorrow

  17. Drew says:

    Good post. I actually managed to work this out for myself a week ago. Though, I’d like to know if it’s possible to direct the basic short domain (like exm.pl) to my site. Currently, if it’s typed in on its own, it directs to bit.ly.

  18. Manveet Singh says:

    I have a similar question to Nicholas, though not related to use of t.co
    Ho do I make a tweetbutton use my bitly pro url shortener instead of default bit.ly?

    • Editorial Staff says:

      If you are using the tweetmeme tweet button, then refer to the tweetmeme documentation. They have a whole tutorial that walks you through using Bitly PRO

  19. Nicholas Tart says:

    Hey Syed, I got jnr.bz for JuniorBiz and set it up. But when I click the tweet button, it still uses t.co. How can I get the branded short domain in the tweet?

  20. Harsh Agrawal says:

    Wohoo..Thanks for the quick guide..Setting up mine now…

  21. Atul says:

    great tutorial.
    need to buy one for me too :)

    Tweeted this post

    ATUL

  22. Chris says:

    You can do the without registering for bit.ly pro. There’s a yourls plugin that rocks. Had my own up and running in minutes!

  23. Manveet SIngh says:

    whenever you have an article on how to use YOURLS with a wordpress.org blog, please let me know!

  24. Otto says:

    If you’re going to use bit.ly, make sure to use the WP Bit.ly plugin so that the internal WP Shortcode support works properly: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wp-bitly/

    Personally, I prefer to run my own service using YOURLS, but to each his own.

    • Editorial Staff says:

      Excellent suggestion Otto for Bit.ly plugin. Ozh will have to do an additional writeup about your YOURLs as well ;) If you want, you are more than welcome to contribute an article about it because you probably know it better than all of us.

  25. Martin says:

    Why not use something like yourls http://yourls.org/ . I have been using it for a long time now and it works excellent.

    No need to buy anything.

    • Editorial Staff says:

      You don’t need to buy anything for bit.ly either. The Pro features are beta and are free. It is for ease of use for beginners. However yourls.org is a great platform.

      • Greg Winiarski says:

        I suppose they will not be free once they will come out of beta :/, but still neat article.

    • Haseeb Ahmad Ayazi says:

      i think yourls.org is great. I am also working on it

  26. Micha says:

    Great Tutorial. Our short Url with bit.ly is gfcthe.me

    Thanks

  27. txhoudini says:

    I wish this tutorial was available 6 months ago when I had to figure it out on my own through trial and error. Great work!

  28. Nayan@Howtotechie says:

    function bitly_url($url,$login,$appkey,$format = ‘xml’,$history = 1)
    {
    //create the URL
    $bitly = ‘http://api.bit.ly/v3/shorten?login=’.$login.’&apiKey=’.$appkey.’&uri=’.urlencode($url).
    ‘&format=’.$format.’&history=’.$history;

    //get the url
    $response = file_get_contents($bitly);

    //parse depending on desired format
    if(strtolower($format) == ‘json’)
    {
    $json = @json_decode($response,true);
    return $json[‘data’][‘url’];
    }
    elseif(strtolower($format) == ‘xml’) //xml
    {
    $xml = simplexml_load_string($response);
    return $xml->data->url;
    }
    elseif(strtolower($format) == ‘txt’) //text
    {
    return $response;
    }
    }

    1. Put this functions into your wordpress theme functions.php

    2. go to single.php put this after the content
    Note: do’t forget to copy and paste your bit.ly pro API key

  29. Yudiacro says:

    I also use it for my shortener, cid.im. Actually goo.gl also provides this feature. But you must use a subdomain.

  30. Vivek Parmar says:

    really a nice tutorial will look forward to get mine

  31. Mosarrof says:

    Great tutorial! i will try it Sure.

  32. Nick says:

    I was wondering how you did that, Syed. Neat. I’ll get to it eventually ;).

  33. Piet says:

    Cool tutorial, just used it to get my own senl.in :)

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