The Jelly Blog / What is a Link Shortener?
What is a Link Shortener?technology, link, how ·
By now, most people have heard of link shorteners, and probably shortened a few links themselves. But no matter how many links you’ve shortened, you might not know much about link shorteners. If you don’t, or just want to learn a little more, you’ve come to the right place.
This article will use the Jelly URL link shortener as an example, since that’s what we’re most familiar with. However, most of the stuff covered in this article applies to all link shorteners.
What is a link shortener?
A link shortener is a service that allows you to take any link to a webpage and create a shorter “alias” link that will lead to the same page. Most link shorteners include the ability to create an account to manage your links, track some basic analytics, and add your own domain names (more on that later).
The Anatomy of a Shortened Link
There are a few components of a shortened link:
The Domain Name
The domain name is the part of the link that comes between the https:// and the ending. For example, with the shortened link https://urlly.in/example, urlly.in is the domain name portion of the link.
Most link shorteners come with a few options for the domain name, and let you bring your own domain to hook up to your links. For example, Jelly URL offers the domain names https://event.church and https://urlly.in. The Jelly URL site also allows you to add as many custom domains as you want.
Although some sites require you to pick one domain name for each link, Jelly URL allows you to use any of the domain names connected to your account with any link. For example, https://urlly.in/example would lead to the same place as https://event.church/example. Your custom domains will only work with link on your account (so other people can’t use your domain).
The ending of your shortened link is unique to your link, and tells the site where to point visitors. Unlike the domain name, no two links can have the same ending (that would lead to quite a bit of confusion). In the example link (https://urlly.in/example) we’ve been looking at, the “example” portion of the link is the ending. No other links can have this ending, it sets the link apart from other shortened links.
The last, and possibly most important part of a link is the destination, or where users end up when they click your link. All link shorteners let you set the destination when you create the link, and some let you change it after you created it. Jelly URL allows you to schedule changes to the link, so you can make the destination change at some point in the future.
With our example link, https://urlly.in/example, the destination is https://example.com. Whenever someone clicks on the shortened link, it will always take them to that destination (go ahead, try it out!)
Link shorteners also include features like link tracking, UTM integration, QR code generation, and more. The best way to get a general understanding of link shorteners is to try one out. Sign up for a free trial of Jelly URL and try out all the features for yourself!
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