Productivity Tools

Enhance Your Link Shortener with Custom URLs

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URL Shorteners built for enterprises typically come with a number of customization features. This lets business teams promote their own brand by including it in the URL of their short links. Customization features may include a URL shortener custom domain, subdomain, link ending, or shortener. These features are important for enterprises as they advertise their brand to potential customers and ensure clients that their links are associated with their name and thus safe to use.

Let’s go over each of these features in more detail and identify URL shorteners that include them.

1. Custom Domain

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A short link with a custom domain will display your chosen domain name in the place of the URL shortener’s domain. For example, if you use a custom domain on Droplr, you replace Droplr’s domain “d.pr” with your domain on links. This does not change where your URLs redirect to. However, it does increase your URL’s click-through-rate; according to Bitly, branded links raise CTR by an average of 34%. If you are an enterprise aiming to increase brand awareness and trust, then you need to use custom links.

Most URL shorteners provide the option to include your custom domain name on your short links. For the best bargain, choose Droplr, BLINK, or Rebrandly. Droplr includes an unlimited number of custom links as part of its URL shortener. BLINK, meanwhile, includes an unlimited number of custom domains on any paid plan, so you can try out different brand names or run short link campaigns for several brands on the same account. Rebrandly likewise offers a high number of custom links and domains on its plans, including a whole 5 custom domains on its free plan.

2. Custom Subdomain

Like a custom domain, a custom subdomain includes your chosen brand name in your links. However, these links will still include your URL shorterner’s domain name. For example, if you purchase a subdomain on Droplr, your links will include a branded subdomain before the domain d.pr. Since custom subdomains are cheaper and easier to set up than domains, you can use them to advertise your brand quickly and without expense. 

The best URL shortener for custom subdomains in Droplr. Droplr offers the option to set up a custom subdomain for a lower price than a custom domain. Additionally, to add this subdomain to Droplr, all you have to do is type it out on your account. No third-parties or complex steps necessary!

3. Custom Link Ending

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Free and paid link shorteners alike typically offer custom link endings. This feature lets you customize the section of the URL that comes after the domain name at the end of the link. Custom link endings come free-of-charge as long as the ending has not been used by someone else. These links keep the domain name of the URL shortener, so they are not as effective as custom domains or subdomains. Still, custom link endings offer a way to customize your link without paying for a domain name.

Most link shorteners offer custom link endings. Both TinyURL and Tiny.cc, the two most popular free URL shorteners, include custom link endings. For enterprises, Bitly and Rebrandly both include custom link endings on all plans.

4. Custom URL Shortener

Finally, if you want complete control over your links, you can design your own custom URL shortener using YOURLS. YOURLS, which stands for Your Own URL Shortener, is a free open-source set of PHP scripts that you can use to create and run your own custom link shortener. You get to decide what your links look like in their entirety, free of charge. You also own all of your data. YOURLS includes private and public settings, link tracking, and plugins that can turn your custom shortener into an enterprise-level tool. The scripts are easy to download and install, though you do need experience coding to set up your own custom URL shortener. Still, if you have the necessary skills, YOURLS is an excellent choice for complete control over your links and data.

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Learn More About URL Shorteners

For more information on the best URL shorteners, check out our articles 7 Best Free URL Shorteners in 2020 and 5 Best URL Shorteners in 2020. You can learn more about branded links in our article Using Custom Domains and Branded Links.

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