WordPress Inbuilt URL Shortner

I guess we are all very familiar with URL shortening services which shrink the length of a URL, but did you know that WordPress has a built in shortlink service?

In this post I will show you how to use this, and give some examples of why you may want to do this.

Why Shorten A URL?

There are a couple of good reasons to shorten a URL and they are:

To save character space, if you are using services such s twitter with limited space, shortening a URL allows you to get your message over in a more complete fashion.

To cloak a URL; if you are sending out an affiliate link for example you may want to cloak the link to hide the ugly nature (or even hide the fact it’s an aff link) so all you target sees is the end URL.

Creating A Shortlink

TO create a shortlink inside of WordPress, you need to go to the post editor and create a new post or edit an existing one.  At the top of the screen you will see a button

When you first create a new posts, the button does not show up, you need to save a draft first.

Click on the link, and a popup will appear with your shortened URL ready for use.

How Does IT Work

A redirection is created on the wp.me domain, which matches your unique URL, when this URL is entered into a browser, you are taken to the wp.em website and an immediate re-direction occurs taking you to the full URL on your WordPress site.

The links are monitored for SPAM so anyone planning to use this service to blast offers to people should be wary, your spam activities may affect your legitimate blog posts in the future.

The link does not have a set lifetime, so as long as WordPress is around, your shortened link will be around so there should be no concerns with broken links in the future.

Missing Link

There is one missing link in all of this configuration, and that is a monitoring option.  I like to use bit.ly because it allows me to monitor how many clicks I am getting on my shortened URL, perhaps this is in the pipeline I don’t know, but if you need a simple URL shortner that can be used inside of your WordPress dashboard, then you cannot go wrong with Get Shortlink.

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