Have you ever needed to share a link, but the URL is so long that it looks more like a version of ‘War and Peace’?  There is no need to worry, as there are very clever services available online called URL Shorteners.  These services that will create a new short link for you, which then directs people that really long ‘War and Peace’ URL you have. Now you can share the link with anyone you feel like, without having to worry about jamming up your email message, post or tweet.

Shorten URL's

Here is a quick guide on how to shorten a URL:

1: Copy the URL that you want to shorten. You can shorten any URL, it doesn’t matter on the length. Simply highlight the URL in your address bar and copy it to the clipboard by pressing Ctrl+C (Win) or Command+C (Mac).

2: Go to a URL shortener service. URL Shorteners are the websites that provide the abbreviated URLS for you. These URLs typically hide the destination due to shortening. There is a huge variety of free URL shortening services available.  Here are a few of them; Bitly (bit.ly).  Google URL Shortner (goo.gl).  TinyURL (tinyurl).  If you want to you can add premium features to shortening a URL.  For instance Bitly allows tracking of your shortened URL’s to see how many clicks they receive. AS this is a premium service they will attract a fee.

3: Paste the URL you want to shorten into the shortener field. Place your cursor in the text field on the shortener’s website and then just paste in the copied URL. Ctrl+V (Win) Command+V (Mac).  There are some services, like TinyURL, which allow you to create preview URLs. These are slightly longer but they allow viewers to preview what the site is before clicking it.

4: Click the “Shorten” button.  All the shortener websites have a button next to the URL field, when clicked; it will create the shortened URL for you. Your new shortened URL will be displayed.

That’s it – if you follow these simple steps you will have just created your short URL, to distribute by whatever means you see fit.

[Image via webtrends.about]