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Top 11 URL shortener website for free to manage links in a smart way

There are many URL shortener website are present on Internet, offering many different features! The question is, which one is best for you?

Nowadays, many brands offering URL shortener website, but they all have a slightly different features and plan. Everyone have to share links on social media site or elsewhere and long URLs are frustrating. Sometime, you need to track clicks or engagements on your links. For all stuffs like this, an URL shortener website would be helpful.

There are many URL shortener websites (online tools), but it might be difficult to figure out which one is best. Here is list of the top 11 URL shortener online tool that you may find helpful.

However, you should read the basic first, obviously you can direct jump on the list! Feel free to bookmark this page, heck yeah! Press CTL/Command + D in windows/mac.

URL shorter website
URL shortener website

What is URL?

URL stands for Uniform Resource Locator. A URL is nothing more than the address of a given unique resource on the Web. Formally, URLs also known as link. URLs are case sensitive and may long up to 2,083 characters. Keep in mind URL does not contains space, while you can use alpha-bates, number, hyphen and underscore in URLs.

What are URL shortener websites?

Sometimes links are long, complicated and difficult to track, an URL shortener tool/website can make this easy. URL shortner website will provide a short Link that sends the user to the exact same address.

By the help of an URL shortner website, you can manage your links in your own way with or without your custom branding. Many times URL shortener tools are used to track the link analytics too. Even you can divert your traffic on multiple pages by using URL shortener website and this this will help you to make more money from your resources.

Types of URL shortener website!

Nowadays, we all have two types of URL shortener websites or technique that people use to Short URL.

1. Direct shorteners: Clear from there name, URL shorted from these websites will direct point to the original link. Simply - One click open, even you can not feel that URL is redirecting you, unless until you see the address bar of your browser.

Direct shorteners are use to track links or to make them short. All the tools that are shared below are Direct shorteners.

2. Break shorteners: These websites have their own landing page, after clicking on a shorted URL, you have to visit there custom landing page first (might contains advertisements and time break), then the final link will open.

Break shorteners are use to make more money or sale.

Again, there is a question, which one is best? Simple - this will depends on your need. If you want to earn (more) money or want to divert traffic, you have to use break shorteners and if your requirements is to track or short a link, you must consider direct shorteners.

Cool tips: Movie/song/APK (etc) downloading sites are using Break shorteners, the rest of you is smart.
Top URL Shortener websites and Tools
Top URL Shortener websites and Tools

How URL shortener website works?

All you need to do is to visit a URL shortener website from any web browser and past the URL that you need to short. That's it, you will get your shorted link from your favorite website. But, the question is How they work? Look!

URL Shortening process is simultaneously very simple and very complex.

URL shorteners website are generally made with custom CMS (content management system) and coding, while you can make easily with WordPress and Blogger too. Although there are lots of link shortener website's codes and templates are available on Internet (of-course free and paid both), you only need to host on your server.

The technique behind this is really complex, websites are storing data that which shorted URL is where to redirect. That's why there is a limitations - URL shortener website generate each time unique links, while you have to write link suffix from the available one (if they allow).

Why we need to use URL shortener websites?

Even you can say, Why we need to short links? You might be thinking that shortening URL is an extra step, but sometime this is important. Some quick reasons that are in the support

Reason 1: Shorted URLs are more visually appealing. Most important, you have to short your links to avoid long complexed links. Although, short links can generate 39% high click through rate and they are easier to share.

Long URL example

Reason 2: Short links will helpful where you have to say more in limited space (number of characters). Example: Facebook page description can carry maximum 250 characters, while a blog description can be write up to 150 characters.

Bonus for Twitter user: Long URLs no longer take more characters on Twitter than shortened ones do, twitter is automatically shorting URL to 23 characters regardless of its actual length while writing. Therefor, even if the URL is shorter than 23 characters it will still count as 23.

Reason 3: It allows you to custom branding. A custom shorted URL can help users to feel more comfortable to click. Sometime long links look spammy, but with shorteners, your users will be familiar with your brand.

Reason 4: Short URL are also use to track number of clicks or analytics, many URL shorteners website gives you a dedicated dashboard to manage and track your links. Keeping analytics is one way to increase the visitors to your site.

Reason 5: When you are using an URL shorteners tool then automated software and spam bot are unable to detect your web address, this can protect you from negative SEO and e-mail spams.

How short links can affect your digital things!

As I said, short links are easy to read, share and looks like a brand, short link looks less spammy, this can increase you click through rate. Moreover, users can trust on your custom domain’s short URLs. While the SEO effect is not so high (negligible), you can use it anywhere.

Cool tip: Your YouTube channel may be suspend for using too many third-parties links from free anonymous URL shorteners in video description. (Only for new channels)!

Keep in mind: Everyone using the same free URL shorteners site, and off course the spammers too. This might cause for trust issue.

Why should not use URL shortener website
Why should not use URL shortener website

Why should not use free URL shortener website or online tools?

Nothing is perfect in this world! Free URL shorteners tools or shorting links using third party website can harm your digital presence. I know short URLs are still worthy, but there are a few reasons in support of "Why should not use free URL shortener site".

Reason 1: Using your own full URL promotes honesty, transparency, and good digital hygiene, while short URL does the opposite. Although, spammers are using the same tools - this is the reason why people have a fear to click on a short link.

Even if you are not sharing a malicious or spammy link, due to the fact user do not realize where you're sending them, this can less click on your links.

Reason 2: As you are using third party website or tool, you have no controls on their database or servers. There is a possibility that website will be closed for some reason (leading URL shortener sites might be  disable either temporarily or permanently, might be somewhere in spam list). In such case your all short links will shows error and of-course they are no more. You have to replace or remove the short links from all your places.

Reason 3: Sure, many times people use URL shorteners because they are need of analytics. There are many other ways to get analytics and data.

As short URLs hide the final destination, spammers have opportunity to hide harmful links in shortened URLs so that user will end up on undesired landing page. This make scene bad to shortened links as user who have already experienced spamming will never trust one again. However, you can use a URL extractor site/tool, if you want to be sure before clicking on any short links.

Some Random Facts
  • Microsoft is not allows OneDrive users to share files using shortened URLs.
  • Google can block shorted URLs by automated scanning.
  • On 13 April 2018 Google announce that anonymous users and users who have never created short links before, will not be able to create new short links via the goo.gl (URL shortner website by Google).

Attention: Be aware of spammers and hackers, people are trying to manipulate and inject virus, spywares etc through shorted URLs. You can expand any short URLs using free online tool such as urlex.orgcheckshorturl.com and wheredoesthislinkgo.com even without clicking on it.

Final concision: In my opinion, shortening the URL is still worthy and useful in 2020.

How free URL Shortener Sites earn money!

Even you can say why someone is hosted (spending money) such websites on Internet for free?
There is a saying - If you are not paying money for something, you are the asset. At first look, generally people can say URL shortener sites are free to use, but not really!

(1). Most of these websites contains multiple levels of advertisement, they have lots of traffic and daily visitors - they are earning well from it.

(2). Paid plans: Many URL shorteners websites have their paid plans, this is exactly how they earn. They have monthly and early paid plans (subscription model), on behalf of paid plans they will give more features in your dashboard, such as custom domains, detailed analytics, link modification etcetera.

(3). Also they have lots of user and URL data, they might selling to third party. You should read the privacy policy of their website.

Note for Affiliate Marketers: Some URL shortener sites (e.g. bit.ly in their free plan) add cookies into their short URL, this can harm your earning. You might miss out commission for shortened affiliate link. Before using any URL shortener website, make sure to do check.

List of top 11 best URL shorteners websites or online tools!

Read this first: Here I have written about many tools, remember that all the tools are unique in themselves. The given number does not represent any series.

1. bit.ly
This URL shortener is very popular and best for enterprise level businesses and individual use. You can short unlimited links anomalously (without login/sign-up). This site can monitor clicks of your shortened URLs, the location of the click etc, even with free account.

Features Highlight
  • Login/Sign-up - Optional
  • Free plan: Yes
  • Custom Domain - Yes
  • Custom URL Slug - Yes
  • Change Destination URL - Yes
  • Link Analytics Dashboard - Yes
  • Short link example: https://bit.ly/3ciGgB0 (Created anonymously)

Pricing: Free account allows you to create and track up to five hundred branded URLs and Ten Thousand non-branded links. Premium plans start from $29/month while, anyone can create unlimited short links anonymously using bit.ly domain.

Official website: Bitly.com

2. Rebrandly.com
This URL shortener site is really great for heavy marketing usage. If you are searching for features that are centered around link branding, social sharing and link management, this tool will be a great option for you. Even small businesses who have focus on their branding can use this tool.

Features Highlight
  • Login/Sign-up - Optional
  • Free plan: Yes
  • Custom Domain - Yes, you can purchase directly on their website or add another available one.
  • Custom URL Slug - Yes
  • Change Destination URL - Yes
  • Bulk link creation - Yes
  • Emojis on short links - Yes
  • Link Analytics Dashboard - Yes, number of clicks, frequent clicking times, demographic etc.

Pricing: Free plan of Rebrandly.com allows you to create and track up to One thousand branded links, using up to five custom domains and their premium accounts start from $29 per month. (Starter - $29, Pro - $69, Premium - $499 and Enterprise - you need to talk to buy)

Official website: Rebrandly.com

3. Clickmeter
This tool is very similar to Rebrandly but with an even more robust set of tools to optimize and analyze your short links, it is a great solution for affiliate marketers, advertisers, and companies that are looking for something a little bit more technical. The User Interface is not really good, but manageable.

Features Highlight
  • Login/Sign-up - Required, they have not free plans.
  • Free plan: No
  • Custom Domain - Yes
  • Custom URL Slug - Yes
  • Change Destination URL - Yes
  • Link Analytics Dashboard - Yes, advanced compared to the rest

Pricing: Have paid plans only! Starting form $29/month for medium, large - $99/month and x-large - $349/month.  All plans offer a 30-day money back guarantee.

Official website: Clickmeter.com

4. Cutt.ly
Another good URL shortener site similar to tinyurl, but it has the click analytics for free. Cutt.ly is a user-friendly and easy to handle. It allows you to generate QR code for each short link.

Features Highlight
  • Login/Sign-up - Optional
  • Paid plan: No
  • Custom Domain - No
  • Custom URL Slug - Yes
  • Change Destination URL - No
  • Link Analytics Dashboard - Yes, number of clicks only (even without login/sign-up).
  • Short link example: https://cutt.ly/4yLTtaH and https://cutt.ly/types_of_SEO

Pricing: Absolute free and anonymous for all.

Official website: Cutt.ly

5. tinyurl.com
This URL shorter is really great and easy to use - simply paste the link into the URL box and click on short button, that's it. This tool is best for those people who need to shorten links quickly, without the need to track or change them after shorted.

It allows you to create a custom alias for your shorted link. But, you will have to use their domain (tinyurl.com), which poses risks associated with domain reputation in itself.

Features Highlight
  • Login/Sign-up - No, even you can't.
  • Paid plan: No
  • Custom Domain - No
  • Custom URL Slug - Yes
  • Change Destination URL - No
  • Link Analytics Dashboard - No
  • Short link example: https://tinyurl.com/types-of-seo (created anonymously)

Pricing: The services of tinyurl is completely free and anonymous to use.

Official website: Tinyurl.com

6. is.gd or v.gd
Another URL shorter for users who need of a quick and easy-to-handy URL shortener. Again similar as cutt.ly, you have to enter the URL in the given URL box and click the shorten button, and you are done.

You can check your link’s analytics, for this you have to check on the box at the time of shorting URL. This URL shortener also gives you the QR codes for your shorted links.

Features Highlight
  • Login/Sign-up - No
  • Paid plan: No
  • Custom Domain - No
  • Custom URL Slug - Yes
  • Change Destination URL - No
  • Link Analytics Dashboard - Yes, number of clicks only.
  • Short link example: https://is.gd/about_seo

Pricing: This link shortener is completely free for all!

Official website: is.gd and v.gd

7. bl.ink
Bl.ink is a full-featured URL shortener tool, they provide real-time analytic reports that can track clicks by date, location, time, language, referring pages, device. In addition, you can integrate with web analytic apps like Google Analytics, Adobe, and Facebook.

If you are looking for a full-service URL shortener of enterprise grade, then BL.INK is one of great options.

Features Highlight
  • Login/Sign-up - Optional.
  • Free plan: Yes
  • Custom Domain - Yes
  • Custom URL Slug - Yes
  • Change Destination URL - Yes
  • Link Analytics Dashboard - Yes

Pricing: free users can create up to 1,000 links, track up to 1,000 clicks per link, and create a custom domain to make branded links. For more you have to choose their paid plans that are (1). Expert: $12/month, (2). Small Business: $99/month, and (3). Team: $299/month.

Official website: Bl.ink

8. T2Mio
Another full-service URL shortener tool in my best URL shortener list is T2M. Easy to handy and tracking. They provides separate dashboards to manage links and analytics. It even generates a QR code along with the short URL.

You can create more advanced short links, like a password protected and a vanity URL with their paid plans, even you can decide where the link should work. It is a perfect choice for online businesses who want flexible, short URLs.

Attention: If you are searching a tool to short malicious link, t2mio might perform better than other.

Features Highlight
  • Login/Sign-up - Required
  • Spam policy - No
  • Custom Domain - Yes
  • Custom URL Slug - Yes
  • Change Destination URL - Yes
  • Link Analytics Dashboard - Yes
  • Bulk URL creation: Yes
  • Auto-generated QR code: Yes
  • Expiry of URL: No

Pricing: To use basic T2M tool, you have to pay $5 one-time free. This fee is just for verification and to cut down on spam - there are no ongoing fees. In free plan, there is no limit for the number of URLs you generate, nor how many clicks you are tracking.

There are four ongoing plans, which use monthly or annual billing: (1). Standard: $9.99/month, (2). Pro: $29.99/month, (3). Premium: $89.99/month and (4). Dedicated: talk to sales.

Official website: T2mio.com

9. bit.do
Another URL shortener website similar to bil.ly. You can create unlimited free links anonymously with dit.do domain, even without login while with paid plan you can do a lot more.

Features Highlight
  • Login/Sign-up - Optional
  • Custom Domain - Yes
  • Bulk link creation and automation: Yes
  • Custom URL Slug - Yes
  • Change Destination URL - Yes
  • Link Analytics Dashboard - Yes, (click date, number of clicks, IP, country and more)

Pricing: Bit.do has free service as well as two paid plans (1). Basic: $85/month with up to 30,000 clicks/month. (2). Enterprise: $250/month with up to 200,000 clicks/month, secure server (domain with https) and more.

Official website: Bit.do

10. Smart URL
If you are searching for a tool that allows you to create a short link that redirects by country and device, Smart URL shortener might be a best option for you. It allow writing custom alias and a brief description of the context.

Features Highlight
  • Login/Sign-up - Optional
  • Custom Domain - Yes
  • Custom URL Slug - Yes
  • Change Destination URL - Yes
  • Link Analytics Dashboard - Yes

Pricing: This tool have a free plan and two paid plans that are (1). Basic: $49/month and (2). Advance: $249/month.

Official website: Manage.smarturl.it

11. Short.io
Short.io is really unique and advance URL tools, best for business and individual use. They provide qualitative service at an affordable price.

You can use custom domains, Bulk features, API for developers, Deep links etc in a single dashboard. Short.io integrates with Zapier, Google Analytics, GTM, Facebook Pixel, Segment, and AdRoll.

Features Highlight
  • Login/Sign-up - Required
  • Custom Domain - Yes
  • Custom URL Slug - Yes
  • Change Destination URL - Yes
  • Link Analytics Dashboard - Yes

Pricing: They have a free plan where you can manage 000 links, 3 d and you there is no limit on redirect. Have three paid plans (1). $20/month: 10 000 links, 10 domains, 1 user (2). $50/month: 100 000 links, 50 domains, unlimited user (3). $150/month: everything is unlimited. 

Official website: Short.io

Some URL shorteners tools for personalized use!

URL shortener by Godaddy
This URL tool is exclusive for Godaddy customers only (users who have a domain with them). By the help of this tool you can do temporary redirect, permanent redirect, masked (keep shortened URL in address bar) and masked with custom header.

Godaddy is a trusted brand and you do not have to worry about the dead link and kind of thing.

Official website: Shortener.godaddy.com

Tiny.cc is best for those users who are looking for temporary short links by simply pasting long URLs. If you are a free and anonymous user, your short link will be automatically expired while no in paid plans.

You can track link analytics anonymously, which include metrics based on returning clicks, location, browsers used, unique visitors etc.

The free plan comes with 500 short URLs. Premium plans start at $5/month and come with features like a custom domain, multiple users, more links and clicks etcetra.

Official website: Tiny.cc

Soo.gd is a short link generator tool. Easy to use and fully anonymous. You can also short links in bulk with the help of this tool.

Official website: Soo.gd

Sniply is a unique addition to best URL shortener list. Not only does the service shorten links, but every link will also include a call-to-action button on page.

That is right. If you share a link to a third-party website, you can include a call-to-action button on it that redirects to anything you want - a landing page, sales page etc.

Official website: Snip.ly

Prices start from $29/month and includes 5,000 clicks in a month and 2 brand profiles on the account.
Do and don't of URL shorteners

Things to Do's and Don’ts while using URL shorteners

1. Don'ts link your internal pages/post of your blog/website through short URL. (If there is a requirement to track the links, use Google analytics tool)
2. Do use short links to the third party websites or social media sites, this can help to track the performance of URLs.

URLs can have an impact on user experience. Using a best URL shortener website can help you create short cleaner, more user-friendly links and also track and analyze how those your links perform.

If you are getting more value with free URL shortner website, there is no harm in shortening them because the process is easy and quick.

Which URL shortener website are you planning to going with? Did I miss any great URL shorteners in this list? Let I know in the comments section!

I love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. Cheers!

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