With recent news of either Tr.im url shortening service closing, Tr.im staying opening, or via TechCrunch, Tr.im Cuts Off Bit.ly’s 301works Idea, Wants to Sell, I am finding it a better venture to just have your own URL shortener. In fact, I have found quite a few recent articles that have stemmed from this Tr.im mess. Regardless if Twitter prefers one url shortener service over another because of close ties, or Tr.im was closing or selling, people only want to know if the service is going to continue and if they can use the service when tweeting links. People want a reliable service, even if it is free.
Shortened URLs are a wonderful resource to use with Twitter, Facebook, and many other social networks because it saves space and the potential eyeful of a URL with many characters. Of course, people could have shorter titles for their blogs, but what fun would that be if you cannot play with words. The title is very much the first thing a person sees and if it is catchy, people are apt to check it out.
Many of the free services are highly competitive for visitors attention. While some people love TinyURL.com, others like bit.ly, or another related short url service with a very short URL like tr.im, they all practically do the same. Some offer user accounts so you can monitor your submissions, and others have different ways of coding. All are usually free. Some have advertisements to monetize the site. However, they are all useful.
There are even free resources that you can install and have your own URL shortener on your domain, or even a side domain. I offer a free GPL one you can install and customize called PHPurl. I am in the works of continuing the PHPurl project to contain a WordPress plugin to twitter with the script using your chosen url shortener, even ones using PHPurl as its core. I also may come up with a captcha version. I am the only developer working on it, and so far my plate has been busy with other things that pay to put food on my son’s and my own plate.
Of course, there are more free URL shortener scripts that you can download. In fact, WebResources Depot has a great list.
What url shortening service do you use? What do you think about being able to having your own url shortener on your domain? And of course, what kind of suggestion would you like to see in PHPurl in the future?