Last Updated: October 12, 2015 4

Bit.Ly

Found In: Tools

According to https://bitly.com/, the homepage of bitly, bitly “helps you share, track, and analyze your links”. The main point of bitly is to allow you to shorten a URL so that you will be able to include it more easily in a message without it becoming broken up and without it taking up too much space. The way in which bitly achieves this is by using a 301 redirect. This is a technique whereby you can make a webpage available under many different URLs. If you want to engage in webpage redirection than a 301 redirect is the easiest, most effective, and most user friendly way to do so, which is why bitly opted for this option.

How to use bitly

The function of bitly is to help you shorten you URL links sop that they don’t take up so much space in an email or message. It also looks a lot neater and more professional if you shorten the link and will not make your message look so cluttered. Using bitly is extremely easy. Simply go to https://bitly.com/, the homepage of bitly. If you reach a page with an orange blowfish, then you’re in the right place. You will soon see that there is a bar in which you can enter a long URL. Once you have done this you can click on the “Shorten” button to see what your URL would look like if you shortened it. If you want to keep track of your search history and gain access to the bitly API then you will have to sign up.

How to sign up with bitly

  1. The first step in the sign up process is to go to the homepage of bitly. This can be found at https://bitly.com/. If you cannot click on this link directly then simply copy and paste it into the URL. Under the bar where you can automatically shorten URL links you will see that there is an option to sign up. Click on that.
  2. The information that you will be required to provide at this point is very basic. You will simply have to include your username, password and email address. The username and password will be made up by you at this point.
  3. Any links that you have shortened will appear at on the page once you have signed in and you will be able to keep track of them from then on.

Closing a bitly account

Unfortunately you will not be able to close your bitly account if you desire to do so. However, there are other options open to you in this regard:

  • Archive individual URLs from your website
  • Stop using the service

Sharing bitly links

If you want to share your bitly links with others (which is of course the point of bitly in the first place), you can do that in one of the following ways:
– If you are signed in to your account you can click on the ‘Share’ option below any one of your bitly links. You can also do this from any one of the info pages.
– Another option is to share from your Twitter, Gmail, Facebook, and your default email client.
– The third option is to use the bitly info bookmarklet when you are actually on a page. To find out more about this go to http://bit.ly/pages/tools.

Changing bitly links

Remember that bitly links are permanent and that they absolutely cannot be changed. This means that you need to be very careful when you copy and paste your long URL. If it is incorrect you will be stuck with a bitly link that will always redirect to that page. Make sure that the bitly link is accurate before you share it with others. You cannot delete your bitly links. Ever. But you can archive them to get them out of the way. To archive a bitly link you can go to ‘Options’ and select ‘Archive’ from the drop down menu. Even once you have archived a link it will still be fully functional. You need to be very careful about creating bitly links as they are permanent.

Unique URL links

Remember that all of the bitly links that you create are guaranteed to be unique. Once your bitly link is created and shared there will be no question that the person who clicks on the link will be able to access the correct website.

Link Rot

The bitly service has a redundant system and is never likely to go down. If your link already exists when the system does go down, you will almost definitely still be able to access it. Bitly is also working on a system that will allow for their links to constantly be available beyond the bitly system, which means that you do not have to worry if the system goes down.

Privacy

Remember that all links are publicly viewable by default. Basically anyone will be able to click on your bitly link and access the page that it redirects to. You will be able to keep track of your publicly viewable links and you will also be able to make your links non-viewable to the public by going to the Account section. Once you are in the Account section you simply need to click on your own name and follow the instructions to change your settings.

Advantages of using bitly

  • If you are interested in knowing how many people are clicking on your links, you will be able to do so by keeping track of your bitly account from your phone. The application is free to download, so it can’t hurt to give it a try. If you want to have access to this service, go to http://bit.ly.
  • If you are a regular Twitter user you will know that there is a 140 character limit so if you want to post a link to something else you will most likely use up or exceed that limit with a long URL. In order to avoid this you can use bitly to shorten your URL to a more manageable length so that you will have the freedom to post the link without having to worry about the character limit.