List of URL shortener websites

5 Best URL Shorteners of 2023 For Customized & Free Links


Aasif Khan
By Aasif Khan | Last Updated on February 26th, 2024 8:28 am

A URL is the primary means of navigating between website pages, however, they have been becoming increasingly complex and long, as more subdomains, subdirectories and tracking codes are being added to it. If you create a website, URL shorteners can turn out to be very useful apps as they allow you to decrease the length of your website’s address, making it easier to share. These apps help you convert a long and complex URL into a short and manageable link. In this blog, we’re going to explore some of the best URL shorteners that you can use for sharing links easily, and moreover, can be integrated with other apps using Appy Pie Connect. Appy Pie Connect is a popular integration software, that allows you to sync and connect two applications and have them share data with each other automatically. Have a look at Connect, if you want to explore its unique features.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a URL Shortener

  1. Customization options
    • Branded domains: A URL shortener that offers the option to use a custom domain allows businesses to reinforce their brand identity. By incorporating their own branded domain in the shortened links, businesses can create a consistent and recognizable online presence.
    • Vanity URLs: Vanity URLs are personalized and memorable links that can be created using a URL shortener. These customized URLs can be tailored to specific marketing campaigns, events, or promotions, making them more engaging and easier for users to remember.
    • Link aliases: The ability to customize the tail end of the shortened link can be valuable in terms of branding and user experience. It allows businesses to create meaningful and relevant link aliases that reflect the content or purpose of the destination page, further enhancing user engagement and trust.

  2. Pricing and free options
    • Free plans: Many URL shortening services offer free plans with basic features, making them accessible to individuals, small businesses, and those with limited budgets. Free plans provide an opportunity to explore the capabilities of a URL shortener before committing to a paid plan.
    • Pricing tiers: URL shorteners often provide various pricing tiers to cater to different needs. These tiers offer additional features, such as advanced analytics, increased link volumes, or dedicated support, at different price points. Users can choose the plan that aligns with their requirements and budget.
    • Value for money: Evaluating the cost-to-feature ratio is important when selecting a URL shortener. It's essential to assess whether the features provided in a paid plan justify the cost and whether they meet the specific needs of the user. Comparing different pricing options can help find the best fit in terms of affordability and desired functionality.

  3. Analytics and tracking
    • Click-through rates (CTR): Detailed analytics on link clicks provide insights into the effectiveness of marketing campaigns or content. Users can analyze CTRs to measure user engagement and make data-driven decisions to optimize their strategies.
    • Geographic data: Understanding the geographical distribution of link clicks helps businesses tailor their marketing efforts to specific regions or target audiences. It enables them to create localized campaigns or assess the success of international marketing initiatives.
    • Referral sources: Identifying the platforms or websites that drive traffic to shortened links is crucial for understanding the effectiveness of different marketing channels. Users can track referral sources to focus their efforts on the platforms generating the most engagement and adjust their marketing strategies accordingly.
    • Device and browser information: Analyzing device and browser data allows businesses to optimize their content and campaigns for different platforms. By understanding user preferences, they can ensure an optimized user experience and increase the chances of successful conversions.

  4. Integration possibilities
    • Social media platforms: Integrating a URL shortener with social media accounts allows for easy sharing of shortened links. It simplifies the process of sharing content on platforms like Twitter, where character limitations are a constraint.
    • Marketing tools: Integration with marketing automation platforms or email marketing software enables businesses to streamline their campaigns. They can automatically generate shortened links for marketing materials, track engagement, and gain insights to refine their strategies.
    • APIs and developer tools: Providing APIs and developer tools allows developers to integrate URL shorteners into their applications or systems. This enables businesses to incorporate link-shortening capabilities directly into their websites, mobile apps, or other software solutions.

List of the Top 5 URL Shortener Websites

Now that we’ve answered the question - what are URL shorteners - let’s check out which of these are the most popular ones that you can use on a regular basis.
  1. Bitly

  2. Perhaps the best free URL shortener in this list is Bitly. Not only is it free, but also quite easy to use and understand. Users can access customizable back-half links with link history and reporting capabilities in the free version. For premium users, the platform offers branded links, bulk URL shortening, QR codes, a UTM builder and lots more. It also provides comprehensive analytics on link performance metrics such as device types, demographics of link users, and more on its dashboard. The best part is that you can create links directly from other business tools that you might use via the Bitly integrations on Appy Pie Connect.
  3. Rebrandly

  4. The next entry in this list of URL shorteners is Rebrandly. It is a popular link management platform that allows users to create branded links using a custom domain name. These links can be tracked and used to enhance brand visibility by enabling users to place their brand names on each link. On Rebrandly, users can access the UTM builder, enjoy GDPR privacy, build custom reports for improving marketing strategies and campaigns, and even add business logos to reports. Furthermore, Rebrandly can be easily integrated into an existing marketing stack, using the Rebrandly integrations on Appy Pie Connect.
  5. Short.io (formerly Short.cm)

  6. Short.io is perhaps the best URL shortener for affiliate links. It is better, offers more features and is quite advanced too! It enables users to target website or app visitors based on their locations, or the devices they use. This is a useful strategy to ensure users in different countries receive the right kind of link, suitable for their location or region. Short.io is an excellent URL shortener, and its versatile features have made it a very popular option for many. Apart from that, there are plenty of Short.io integrations with Appy Pie Connect, which means that you can create short links directly from any other application or software you might use.
  7. Sniply

  8. Sniply is a URL shortener best known for its feature that allows users to add a CTA button over any link they share. Depending on the subscription plan you opt for, you can make text, forms, and even image CTAs for a link on Sniply. Apart from that users can also access URL shortening and click-tracking details for the links they share. Being a marketing service, it is slightly more expensive than other software, however, you can expand its capabilities significantly with the help of Sniply integrations on Appy Pie Connect.
  9. Google URL Shortener

  10. The Google URL Shortener used to be a full-fledged free website to shorten URL, which also allowed users to keep an eye on the traffic coming from each link. It has now been merged with Firebase Dynamic Links. Its dashboard displays the most trending links and their associated statistics, with a dedicated analytics tab that lets you analyze the traffic based on the device, location, and other parameters. If you are a regular user of the Google URL shortener website, then you can easily use the Google URL shortener integrations to link it with any app or software that you might use, with the help of Appy Pie Connect.

Conclusion

Now that you’ve got the answer to the question - how do URL shorteners work - and also explored some of the most popular ones, we believe you’re now in a better position to select the right kind of app or website for your needs and requirements. Moreover, all these applications can be easily integrated into other apps with Appy Pie Connect. You can seamlessly integrate and sync thousands of popular applications and software with each other using Connect. If you haven’t yet begun using it, now is the right time to do so.

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Aasif Khan

Head of SEO at Appy Pie