How to Shorten Forward-Worthy Links
How many times have you received an email from a friend with a link that’s “broken” onto 2 or more separate lines and it doesn’t work since the email reader program doesn’t recognize that the entire URL link spans more than 1 line? Thus the “live link” only links the 1st part of the URL text and not the rest — result: a link that is worthless.
Your only alternative to being frustrated is to copy the entire URL and paste it in sections into a new browser address bar. Even then, sometimes, you miss a character or the copy/pasting includes an extra space or character still making the link invalid.
Do your friends a favor when you forward links to them — shorten the URL’s so that they actually get a working link for which you took the time to send them.
HOW do you shorten URL’s you ask?
There are a few free and easy services on the web like www.TINYURL.com that basically gives you a URL “nickname” or shortcut. This re-direction then allows you to forward a very short URL to your friends that will not be broken when they go to click on it.
You can enter a long URL like:
And TinyURL.com gives you:
They now BOTH go to the same place! Now, which one is easier to read, use and forward?
A second option is to create a .htaccess file on your own web server if you own your own and host your own domain/website. Just use any text editor (or save as text file in Word) and literally name the file .htaccess (do not pre-pend the period with any text) and move it to you root directory. Here’s a sample line you can use to auto-redirect someone to another location:
Redirect /yourdomain/root/SHORT-NAME.ext http://www.forward-worthy-website.com/webpage-you-want-to-share/file-name.xyzLastly, you can use PHP if you wanted to get fancy:
Basically, same thing, but different — just create a text file that’s saved as a .PHP file and FTP it to your server:
< ?php header(“Location: http://www.1-866-mags-usa.com/order.cfm?CFID=26219818&CFTOKEN=65385194&sid=2&CX-S-V939&tid=10561”); ?> and that new file name/location will redirect automatically.
For example, if that file was saved as http://www.essistme.com/forward-this.php, it would automatically forward the visitor to the longer URL in the .php file: http://www.1-866-mags-usa.com/order.cfm?CFID=26219818&CFTOKEN=65385194&sid=2&CX-S-V939&tid=10561
Ah….there IS just one more way, but that wouldn’t really be “on-the-fly” at all: You can buy a new domain name for under $7 these days, and then just permanently have that domain URL forward to the target URL. This would work when you have a specific site (perhaps one of your own) that you tell people about often — it’s even better when you’re verbally telling people a lot about any specific URL.
So any http://www.ANY-CUSTOM-DOMAIN-NAME-YOU-BUY.com forwards to http://www.1-866-mags-usa.com/order.cfm?CFID=26219818&CFTOKEN=65385194&sid=2&CX-S-V939&tid=10561 or any other long URL you have.
Well, hopefully you’ve found at least one quick way to remember how to shorten those pesky URL’s in a way that won’t break!