If you've ever tried to copy and paste a link, only to find part of the URL
is lost and the link doesn't work, then you need to try a free website that allows you to shorten URLs
. If you microblog on Twitter
, and so on, and you have trouble fitting your comment and link in the 140 character limit, then you need to try a free website that allows you to shorten URLs. Following are four of the top websites where you can shorten URLs for free. Also, be sure to read How Short URL Shorteners Really Make URLs
Tinyurl.com is the most commonly used website to shorten URLs for free. It's easy to use, requires no registration, and reliable. You can also download the Tinyurl toolbar to make shortening your URLs even easier. Even better, you can customize your URLs, so they're easier to remember and more meaningful.
Bitly.com gives users two options for shortening URLs. You can shorten URLs by simply pasting the link and clicking the Shorten button with your mouse, or you can register for a free account and access more powerful tools. For example, when you log into your account, you can post directly to your Twitter account from Bit.ly, track the clicks on your shortened URLs, and more. There is also a bookmarklet you can add to your browser toolbar to make shortening URLs quick and easy from any web page. If you use Firefox as your web browser, there is a preview plugin that allows you to see where shortened URLs lead to without having to actually click through. You also have the option to customize your URLs with Bitly.com.
Also called SnipURL, Snurl allows non-registered users to shorten URLs (referred to as 'snips'), but registered users have access to more tools including analytics to track clicks on your shortened links and an option to customize your shortened URLs. Snurl also offers a page of recent 'snips' that you can browse.
Tinypic.com allows users to upload images and videos, store them on the Tinypic site, and create shortened URLs for those pictures. Registration and login is not required to use Tinypic. Photobucket.com owns Tinypic.