Productivity Tools

7 Best Free URL Shorteners for 2021

Link shorteners are used to make links shorter. Small URLs are easier to use and share, making them more appealing to clients. Additionally, many URL shorteners include features such as enhanced security and custom branding to make links safe to use and attractive to marketers and customers alike. As such, link shorteners are an important tool for sales teams, customer service agents, small businesses, and others who are looking to attract customers or service clients safely and efficiently. Many online services also provide free URL shorteners so that you can shrink URLs without cost.

However, with so many free link shorteners out there, it can be difficult to decide which best fits the needs of your company and clients. That’s why we at Droplr have compiled a list of the 7 Best Free URL Shorteners. Read on to compare seven free link shorteners and determine which one is the best URL shortener for you.

Picking the Best Free URL Shortener


How to shorten a link using the TinyURL maker

As the first free URL shortener to gain traction online, TinyURL is one of the better-known and most accessible free link shorteners. To use, simply input a URL in the box on the front page and click “Make TinyURL!,” as shown in the above video. TinyURL also includes a free link preview service, where users can preview links before clicking on them in order to avoid bad or dangerous redirects, as well as a toolbar button that you can attach to most web browsers. URL shortener

Like TinyURL, is a quick and easy free URL shortener where you paste a long URL into the box on the front page, add an optional custom link ending, and click “shorten.” With a free account, you can view your created short URLs alongside traffic statistics as well as edit or delete your links. These URLs can also be turned into a QR code or exported into an Excel document or printout version. 


bitly generator

Bitly is well-known for its paid link shortener that allows businesses to create and monitor custom short links. But did you know that there’s a free version too? Bitly’s free URL shortener includes link tags that allow users to sort their links as well as simple analytics that track the total number of clicks, top referrers, and the location of clickers. All you have to do to access these great features is create a free Bitly account that can be connected to your email, Google account, or company SSO account. Then, you can start to create Bitly links for free!


rebrandly URL shortener

Like Bitly, Rebrandly is primarily known for its paid plans and custom URLs. Also like Bitly, it includes a free URL shortener with several outstanding features. Rebrandly’s free plan offers an unlimited number of short URL links, 500 branded URLs, 5 custom domain names, and tracking for up to 5,000 clicks per month. You can create a free account using Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google, or business email. 


custom URL shortener

YOURLS stands for Your Own URL Shortener. It is a free, open-source set of PHP scripts that lets you create and run your own custom link shortener. Using YOURLS’ open-source custom URL shortener, you can add your own link management services such as branded links and traffic statistics without paying a third-party. You also own your own data. The installation process is fairly simple, though you do need experience with software coding to design and implement your own custom link shortener. Still, YOURLS is the best free custom URL shortener for anyone with programming experience who wants to customize and own their short URL links. 

Firebase Dynamic Links

firebase dynamic links

Firebase Dynamic Links is the new replacement for Google URL Shortener, though with very different features. It is specifically focused on promoting mobile apps; their smart URLs are meant to transition users from desktop and mobile web users to a company’s mobile app. After they’ve installed the app, the short URL link will direct them to the same page on the app that they were viewing in-browser. Firebase’s free link shortener includes a number of features such as analytics, app indexing, 1 GiB of stored data in the cloud, cloud messaging, and unlimited dynamic links. If you go over storage limits, however, you will begin paying as you go.

For more information on the switch from Google URL Shortener to Firebase Dynamic Links, check out this post on the Google Developers Blog. Do note that if you have used Google’s link shortener in the past, your links will continue to redirect to the correct location. However, nobody can create new short links.

BL.INK URL shortener

BL.INK is similar to Bitly and Rebrandly in that it offers both paid and free plans for its URL shortener. Its free plan includes one user, 1,000 links, one custom domain, and tracking for 1,000 clicks per link. It also includes exciting features typically reserved for paid plans such as branded links, smart links, link editing, API access, and a Zapier integration. Signing up is easy with Facebook, LinkedIn, Google, or email.

Learn More about the Best URL Shorteners

Unfortunately, free URL shorteners do not include the same services as paid ones, such as extensive custom branding options and detailed analytics. If you need more control over your short URL links but don’t want to break the bank, then check out our article on the 5 Best URL Shorteners for paid options for businesses. Enterprise customers should look over our article on Picking the Best URL Shortener for Enterprises.

If you want to learn more about how to shorten a link, then check out our article How to Create a TinyURL.

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