5 Best URL Shorteners (FREE & Paid)

February 21, 2024

It is impossible to overstate the significance of URL shorteners in the current digital era, where businesses use dozens of apps, messages are frequently subject to character limits, and readers demand instant access. Using one of the best URL shorteners to shorten your website or social links, you can reap rewards such as building more trust in customers, creating more aesthetically pleasing links, etc.

Shortened links work especially well for social media posts, so businesses advertising on these platforms should incorporate a URL shortener into their marketing strategy. In this article, we'll provide everything you need to know about the best URL shorteners and why you should start using them.

What Is A URL Shortener?

An URL shortener transforms your long URL into a shortened URL. These URL shortener web services shorten your links into a more manageable version. Link shorteners primarily aim to make your custom domain link more shareable and visually appealing.

There are several web services that can shorten your links, of which these are the best:

1) T.co

T.co is the perfect link shortener if you primarily post on Twitter. Twitter owns this web service, and it automatically shortens all the links you share on the platform. T.co ensures your shared links on tweets are consistent and brief, keeping the character count in check.

This platform also scans the destination URL to ensure it is safe and warns users if the website has been flagged. It is important to note that all links submitted on Twitter are automatically wrapped with the T.co shortener, and you cannot opt out of this service.

Nonetheless, this free URL shortener does all the work for you. It makes your life of advertising or posting on Twitter much easier.

2) Tiny URL

Tiny URL is a veteran in the URL shortening game. With a catchy and straightforward name, it is easy to see why this custom URL shortener has such a dominant foothold in this sector.

The platform is incredibly easy to use, offering a simple interface that quickly reduces long URLs and provides you with shortened URLs. Plus, the browser extension makes the process even less of a hassle; most of my short links are done by TinyURL.

3) Ow.ly

Ow.ly is a product of Hootsuite, a social media management platform. This URL shortener not only produces a short URL for your web pages, but it also offers tracking features, allowing businesses to gather insights into link performance. This feature is very similar to what eclincher offers: a platform that lets you track all your links and gather data on certain metrics such as link clicks, geographic location, view times, etc.

Ow.ly offers a free plan with very basic features as well as paid plans that let you tap into more advanced features.

4) Rebrandly

Rebrandly is one of my favorite URL shorteners because it lets you customize your links with brand names and keywords, enabling you to build branded links that reinforce brand awareness and trust.

Additionally, you can also perform link tracking on these short URLs and analytics, providing you with detailed reports, much like Hootsuite and eclincher.

5) Bitly

Bitly is another popular choice among advertisers and business owners. This platform also provides detailed tracking information for each shortened link, including geographic data, referral sources, and click rate.

Similar to Rebrandly, you can create a custom domain name or alias. This platform offers a free plan as well as a paid plan (the paid plan is worth it if you need to regularly shorten links with custom domain names).

So, do you think you know which URL shortener to onboard? Well, it might be better before choosing one to first understand how they work. Luckily, it is pretty straightforward.

How Does a URL Shortener Work?

When you shorten an URL, the service creates a redirect from the shortened URL to the original one. When customers or clients click on the shortened link, they are redirected to the original webpage. This redirection happens in milliseconds, ensuring a seamless browsing experience without the customer even knowing.

URL Shorteners

What Are The Benefits Of Shortening Links?

For businesses, shortening links has various benefits. One of the most significant has to be the increase in aesthetic appeal of these branded short links; they are cleaner and more attractive. Another benefit of shortening links is that it saves space, which is extremely useful for platforms like Twitter which have character limits.

Short links are also easier to share and remember, making it easier for clients or customers to remember your link and share it with their friends. Word-of-mouth advertising is, after all, one of the best methods of advertising.

Finally, social media management platforms like eclincher and Hootsuite, as well as URL shortening websites, can track and analyze these links, helping you gain helpful insight into link performance and who responds best to it, demographically.

Do shortened Links Perform Better On Social Media Posts?

Shortened links perform much better on social media posts. This is because a shortened link has a higher click-through rate. Their clean appearance makes them more clickable.

Additionally, they are often perceived as more trustworthy, especially when customized with familiar brand names. Think of it this way: I would rather click on a link with 75 characters filled with oddly arranged numbers and letters or a link with 10 characters that says exactly where the link takes you. I'll go with the latter.

Which Type Of Businesses Shorten Links?

Any business can shorten links, from small bloggers to multinational corporations. Any entity aiming for a robust digital presence benefits from shortened links. They are especially useful in my social media marketing business, where I rely on captivating content and in-depth analytics.

Additionally, influencers and businesses that do marketing on social media can benefit the most from these shortened links.

Should Businesses Use Free or Paid URL Shortening Tools?

If you are a small business, use free tools to shorten your URL. However, as your business grows, you'll need tools beyond what free tools can offer. Paid URL shortening tools offer more advanced features, such as link customization, tracking, and are mostly likely integrated into social media management platforms, allowing you to manage your social media accounts easier.

Therefore, businesses that want a comprehensive solution with insights and brand reinforcement should opt for the paid option.


Frequently Asked Questions

Are Link Shortening Tools Easy To Use?

Yes, tools like TinyURL and T.co can shorten links very easily. They offer a straightforward interface where you can paste your long URL and receive a shortened version in seconds.

Which URL Shortener Has The Most Positive Reviews?

According to G2, the URL shortener with the most positive reviews is Bitly.

Can You Customize Your Shortened Links Using Link Shortening Tools?

Yes, tools like Rebrandly and Bitly allow you to customize your links to align with your brand's identity and make it easier for customers clicking shortened URLs to trust the link and the business page the link is taking them to.

The Bottom Line

URL shorteners are not just tools for aesthetic adjustment; they are vital for branding, analytics, and efficient sharing in the digital space. Beyond basic URL shorteners, you get those that offer advanced analytics and metrics to measure the performance of these links. As you know, knowledge is power, which is why using these advanced URL shorteners is so effective.

If you'd prefer a free URL shortener, then why not opt for a comprehensive, all-in-one suite of tools specifically designed to increase your performance on social media? eclincher, is the number one social media management platform aimed at driving ROI and making your social media marketing game more effective! Give the 14-day free trial a go; you'll not be disappointed!

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