The 6 Best URL Shorteners to Shorten Long Links

Automatically turn your long URLs into shorter, more shareable links

Bitly link-shortening service on a laptop on a desk in front of a plant

Original Image: Getty Images

Long web links are so old-fashioned, and boy! Do they ever look spammy. Making use of a good URL shortener to minimize the number of characters in a link is the way to go on the web these days, especially if you want to keep all your online friends and followers happy.

There are a lot of options for shortening your links, and some even provide additional services like link bookmarking and analytics on your clicks. Check out the following URL shortening providers that you can get started with using right away. (P.S. If you need to change your URL on your social network page, it's easy to do.)

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Bitly

A screenshot of the Bit.ly website.

 Bitly

Bitly is at the top of the URL shortening game. It's one of the most widely used options out there, and you'll often find it integrated with lots of other services as well as third party apps like TweetDeck and TwitterFeed. With Bitly, you can track how many clicks your shortened links receive, plus bookmark and organize your links on your own personalized Bitly dashboard.

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TinyURL.com

TinyURL screenshot

 TinyURL

TinyURL used to be one of the top shortening choice in the past, and people still use it a lot today, however it does include a couple more characters compared to others like Bit.ly and Goo.gl. With TinyURL, you can actually customize the end letters and numbers as an option. For example, a shortened link may be: http://tinyurl.com/webtrends. This is a nice extra feature if branding is important to you or if you want to make your link easier to memorize.

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Ow.ly

A screenshot of the Ow.ly website for shortening URLs.

 Ow.ly

Another popular alternative, Ow.ly is a link shortener from the leading social media application known as HootSuite. You can shorten a link right away, although you’ll need to enter a CAPTCHA code. You can also share files, images, and videos easily with Ow.ly in all sorts of different formats. The real benefit of using this link shortener comes with using it in conjunction with HootSuite itself for all your social media marketing.

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Is.gd

A screenshot of the is.gd URL shortener website.

Is.gd provides one of the simplest URL shortening experiences by giving you nothing more than a field to input your long link so you can instantly transform into a shorter one. There are no real extra features or services, so this is a good choice if you just want to get the job done as fast and as smoothly as possible without all the extra fluff like signing in and CAPTCHAs and other stuff.

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AdF.ly

Adf.ly screenshot

 Adf.ly

AdF.ly takes an interesting approach to link shortening by offering its users the opportunity to earn money by using its service. The more clicks you get on your AdF.ly links, the more money you earn. Although the earnings are small, it can certainly add up if you can attract a lot of clicks. You'll also get detailed statistics for every link when you sign up for an account, and you're paid via PayPal for payouts as low as $5. 

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Bit.do

Bit.do screenshot

Bit.do 

Bit.do is another great alternative that's both simple and powerful. In addition to easy link shortening, you can use the service with your own domain, customize the characters at the end of your links, get real-time statistics and even see which countries your clicks are coming from. You can use this service with or without an account.