Whether you want to set a status message, send an SMS, or make a post on a forum, shortened URLs come in handy in various scenarios. If you are wondering which URL shortening web service to bookmark for future use, here are the 5 best candidates for the job. Each has its own fortes and flaws – see which one suits your needs best.
Bitly is perhaps the most popular entry on this list. It is certainly one of the first URL shortening tools that I began using. It could not be any more user-friendly in usage. All one has to do is paste in a long URL, click on a button, and then copy / share the shortened URL. If you want to just casually shorten a long URL before you share it in a status, then Bitly will serve perfectly. The site even lets you optionally create an account on it. Accountholders on the site can easily see their account history i.e. they can view which URLs they have shortened.
You can check out Bitly over here.
URLs that are shortened by Owly are perceived as more reliable and secure than ones which are shortened by Bitly. The primary reason for this is Owly’s human confirmation. Unlike regular CAPTCHA codes, Owly human verification asks you to drag shapes into relevant areas in order to prove that you are a human and not a computer a virus trying to mask malware as a shortened URL. Thus if you want your shortened URL to carry a small “no threat” sign, you should go for Owly rather than Bitly.
You can visit Owly over here.
Isgd (pronounced Is Good) is indeed a really good URL shortening web service. Its usage is as quick as that of Bitly. However it lacks the human verification system which Owly has employed. What sets Isgd apart from other entries in this list is the fact that is also provides a QR code for the URL which you shorten through the website. After you paste in the long URL and get its shortened Isgd version, you can click on a link to have a QR code that leads to the shortened URL. If you plan on sharing the URL through cellphones or if you plan on putting the URL in print, then you should definitely consider using Isgd.
You can shorten URLs using this web service by clicking over here.
4. Google URL Shortener
With Google URL Shortener, you basically get two advantages: analytics and reliability. Because everybody knows about Google, they are not reluctant when it comes to clicking on a shortened URL that has been processed by Google. In other words, a URL shortened via this web service has more chance of being clicked than a lesser known service. Secondly, Google saves the visits that each shortened URL has received. This makes it easy for people to track the popularity of a certain page. However, this can also be a disadvantage since the analytics are public and anybody can see them. If you would prefer for your shortened URLs analytics to remain non-public, then it would be best to use one of the other entries on this list.
The Google URL Shortener can be accessed from over here.
5. McAfee’s Secure Short URL Service
As we all know, the problem with shortened is their reliability. Because we never really know what lies on the other side of the link, we are hesitant when it comes to clicking on them. What we fear most is unleashing some computer infecting virus that is hard to get rid of. However, if the link is shortened by a known anti-malware company such as McAfee, our virus concerns are laid to rest (at least to a great degree). So if you are looking for a way to ensure that your audience knows that the link you are sharing is completely secure and virus free, you should definitely go with McAfee’s Secure Short URL Service.
Begin shortening URLs through McAfee’s Secure Short URL Service by clicking here.