URL Shorteners are an effective way to reduce long links into fewer characters. This strategy is applied to fit into the character limits as mandated by the social media platforms and various messaging applications. Besides URL shorteners help in tracking the number of clicks to a website, the location, and demographics from where the clicks are coming in and the devices used by the visitors. The best URL shorteners assist in creating shortened URLs separately for different platforms. The advantage being you can use the short URLs in multiple ads or social media posts. Thus, allowing you to compare the click-through rates in various applications.
In this article, we will discuss the 10 best URL shorteners in 2021. These are easy to use, self-explanatory, and bring in powerful techniques for generating short URLs.
Before elaborating on the list, let us try to understand why we need URL shorteners.
Why do we need URL shorteners?
There are several advantages for using URL shorteners, the key ones are highlighted below:
- Long URLs are confusing and difficult to use, hence short URLs will be easy and visually appealing.
- Using a URL shortener, you can customize the links and create branded links.
- You can easily memorize, read and type the short links, even referring them to different social media platforms and websites is easier.
- A branded and trusted URL is more reliable than lengthy URLs and users feel secured.
- Through URL shorteners, you can easily track the links; allowing you to plan your campaigns and promotions effectively while using Twitter marketing tools.
Bitly is one of the most popular and best URL shorteners. You just need to paste the long URL into its homepage and click on the Shorten button. Immediately it returns you with the bitly short link. The fact that it is simple and easy to use, has spurred up its popularity. It provides a robust dashboard with almost 20 data points that can be tracked in real-time. The data points include the demographics of the visitors like location, gender, etc., organic shares, access from devices, and many more. The free account allows the generation of 50 shortened URLs in a month. Each of them helps to track the click rates. Besides in a month, you can collect information for about 1000 links. The free plan is useful and beneficial for small businesses.
Bitly also provides paid plans. The basic plan charges are USD 35 per month, wherein you are provided with a free custom domain, provision to create 1500 links in a month, and click-through rates. The premium plan costs USD 300 per month allowing to create more links in a month with better analytical capabilities and several other advanced features. Bitly integrates with Zapier and hence can generate short links automatically from an Instagram post or RSS Feed.
TinyURL, functional since 2002, is one of the preferred and best URL shorteners in 2021. You just need to type or paste your URL Link into the box provided on their website and generate the short link. Even you can customize the second half of the URL and generate the link. The link does not expire and stays lifelong for you to use and refer to. The website does not mandate you to sign up or create an account for generating the links. But creating an account will provide the history of the short URLs you have created in total.
Additionally, TinyURL has a paid plan through which we can provide advanced features on analytics and the creation of custom branded domains. The personal plan is priced at USD 9.99 per month.
Rebrandly is one of the greatest and best URL shorteners in 2021. Its motto is to generate the links which value the brands or the companies representing the brands. The links must be referenceable from social media platforms or any other websites. The free plan of Rebrandly offers 5 custom domains along with provision for customization of the entire short link. The link then can be used in any website, online advertisements, and social media platforms. Besides the free plan allows the generation of 500 branded links and tracking of about 5000 clicks in a month.
Rebrandly helps in generating QR codes automatically and also captures the demographics of who is clicking on the links. It has integration capability with Zapier and thus can generate links for usage in Dropbox and WordPress. It also has a paid plan called Starter Plan priced at USD 29, allowing the generation of 5000 links and tracking of 25000 clicks in a month.
Short.io is one of the preferred and best URL shorteners in 2021. It has features that help to track visitors from different locations and using different devices. Accordingly, it can generate different links and send them across to the target visitors. In this way, people using different operating systems in their mobile and smart devices like iOS or Android can receive the relevant links. Besides customers from various countries can also receive the links based on their country-specific currencies, locations, etc.
Whenever you want to generate a link using Short.io, you need to specify whether its Android or iOS. Similarly, you can also click on the globe icon to specify the location of your visitors. The links will be generated separately based on the operating systems and the locations. It depends on your discretion how you want the links to be generated.
There is a statistic and clickstreams section on the website to check the click details and other analytics for the links generated. Short.io can integrate with Zapier which helps to create new short links from Shopify products or RSS feed. With its free plan, you can generate about 1000 branded links and tracking of 50,000 clicks in a month which includes tracking of devices. Additionally, it has a paid personal plan priced at USD 20 in a month, with the provision of generating 10000 branded links and location tracking.
JotURL is one of the cost-effective and best URL shorteners in 2021. Additionally, if you are looking for optimizing links for marketing, promotions, and campaigns, then you can leverage its powerful features. JotURL is a perfect tool to assist you in increasing your revenue. It monitors the audience, their location, and devices being used and accordingly assists in generating links. Besides, it tracks the links which are earning greater clicks and performing better than in terms of attracting visitors.
It has a Social Opt-in CTA feature which enhances the branded links with a message. You can then share it on different social media platforms. The links generated with JotURL are monitored to check the security aspects and to ensure they are not broken. They can even track IP addresses for fraud detection and blacklist them. Its dashboard and analytics area help to check the performance of the links. For Instagram users, it helps to create a unique InstaURL; a way to optimize the social media pages while viewing through mobile devices. The paid plan is charged at USD 12 a month.
BL.INK is one of the user-friendly and best URL shorteners in 2021. It has a dashboard that provides details on the clicks and tracks the location, language, demographics, and devices. So you can analyze your target audience well as understand who, when, and from where the content of your website is being accessed. You can thus plan your promotions and marketing campaigns well.
The short links generated by BL.INK helps in increasing the market and brand presence. The URLs assist in boosting traffic to your website and open up the provision of converting visitors into potential customers. The free plan allows the creation of 1000 links and tracking of 1000 clicks per link. It is integrated with Zapier, provides one custom domain and branded links. There are premium plans which start from USD 48 in a month allowing more links and clicks; helping to track location, language and device.
Polr is one of the affordable and best URL shorteners in 2021. The best part is it’s open-source and suited for those who are not looking for premium plans. But you need to possess good knowledge of some technical aspects like MySQL, Lumen, and PHP. The user interface is equipped with modern looks and is aesthetic in nature. Though it is free, yet it has tools for tracking the clicks and traffic to your website via the links. It also helps in creating custom domains for branded links; thereby connecting with the potential customers or target audience.
The webpage of Polr shows the demo in detail for you to watch and decide before starting to use the tool. Best is to sign up and create an account in their website. Lastly, it is completely free.
T2M is one of the preferred and best URL shorteners in 2021. It has a robust dashboard with analytical features to track the URLs and their clicks. The dashboard is helpful in understanding the demographics of the visitors, the location, and the devices being used for clicking the URLs. Besides, it helps in creating branded links that can be customized and generated in bulk. In one single click, the short URLs can be shared to various social media platforms.
The other key features of T2M are the URLs can be password protected. There is no limit in link creation or in tracking the links. The dashboard has search functionality and is easy to use. For safety and security, there is in-built GDPR privacy. It has CVS import and export tool and a free encrypt SSL certificate. For the free and basic plan, a small startup fee of USD 5 is required and then the rest of link creation and tracking of links will be absolutely free. There are paid premium plans to starting from USD 9.99 per month, that opens up the provision for accessing the advanced features.
Yourls is again one of the affordable and best URL shorteners in 2021. It is an open-source similar to Polr and also self-hosted. The tool needs to be installed and run on your own server for usage, contrary to the other URL shorteners. Yet still it’s lightweight and non-bloated.
The key features of the tool involve the creation of public and private links that includes customization of links. Statistics for locations, referrers, and click reports related to the visitors accessing your website. There are also additional features provided that can be accessed via the plugins. Lastly, the tool is available for free.
Zapier’s URL Shortener
Zapier’s URL shortener is one of the commonly used and best URL shorteners in 2021. So if you want to generate a short link for adding a photo in your Instagram or uploading a new product in Shopify, the tools is the ideal one. It has automated workflows called Zap, which is triggered the moment a product is created, post is uploaded, and other activities. The tool will then generate a short URL in a Google Sheet or in the app being used.
The free plan provided by Zapier allows the creation of 5 active single-step Zaps and also 100 tasks in a month. It also has a starter plan priced at USD 24.99 in a month, providing 20 multi-step Zaps and 750 tasks in a month.
The Final Thoughts….
Selecting the appropriate URL shortener is important as short links boost up your traffic and help in gaining sales leads. The sales lead transforms into potential customers if they are comfortable accessing your links and happy with your content. Besides, the shortened URLs help in planning your marketing strategies effectively.