How To Create URL Shortener With Your Domain : HOSTED : It’s time to check out some of the best and easiest ways of setting up your own URL shortener so that your links can look as professional as the best of them. Now that all URLs posted to Twitter take up either 22 or 23 characters regardless of their actual length, the main point of a URL shortener is to make the links in your tweets and other social media postings look neater and bestow an air of professionalism upon them.

Other benefits to having your own custom short URL are things like consistent branding and increased link trust– no one likes clicking on random links, so knowing it comes from a trusted source goes a long way towards increasing the likelihood that users might engage with it.

If you’re looking for help in finding the perfect domain name, look no further than here for some tips. Now, onto the tools to actually manage the automatic shortening of the URLs you share.

YOURLS (Your Own URL Shortener) is what we’re talking about. It’s a free PHP script created by Lester Chan and Ozh Richard that allow you to create something similar to TinyURL and We’ve installed and played around with it for a while, and here are our thoughts:

  • Easy to install – If you’ve got no problem installing WordPress, then setting YOURLS is a piece of cake.
  • Customizable links – You can customize the links instead of the random characters that make no sense.
  • Statistics – An admin page that allows you to manage and keep track of details like date of creation, IP, clicks, etc.
  • Public/Private links– You control whether this service is available for public to use or yourself only.
  • Bookmarklet – Easy bookmarklet to create your own short URL on the fly.

YOURLS also comes with developer API as well as WordPress plugin. If you like the idea of owning a private url shortening services, please read on. We’ll cover a simple guide on how to setup YOURLS.

How To Create URL Shortener With Your Domain : HOSTED

What is YOURLS

YOURLS stands for Your Own URL Shortener. It is a small set of PHP scripts that will allow you to run your own URL shortening service (a la TinyURL or bitly).

Running your own URL shortener is fun, geeky and useful: you own your data and don’t depend on third party services. It’s also a great way to add branding to your short URLs, instead of using the same public URL shortener everyone uses.

First and formost

Here are some things you’ll need before the installation:

  1. A domain – A short one would be perfect but it’s hard to get these days. If you are thinking of getting a really short domain name, we suggest you try your luck on country code top-level domains like .at, .lv, .ly, etc with
  2. PHP Supported account – YOURLS runs on PHP, so you will need to make sure the server (dedicated or shared hosting) supports PHP 4.3 and MYSQL 4.1 and above with mod_rewrite enabled.

Read more about YOURLS requirements.

1. Download

Download the latest version of YOURLS. Unzip it and fire up your favorite text editor. We are about to do some configurations.

2. Configure

  1. Look for includes/config-sample.php, rename it to includes/config.phpand open up in editor.
  2. Mandatory settings you’ll need to change are: YOURLS_DB_USER,YOURLS_DB_PASSYOURLS_DB_NAMEYOURLS_SITE. Last but not least, change your password for username and username2. The rest of the settings are optional. We suggest you go through the entire thing, it’s pretty self-explanatory. Please drop us a comment if you have problem filling this, or check out the YOURLS configuration guide.
  3. Create a database – Create a database with the name you’ve inserted forYOURLS_DB_NAME. If your web hosting account provide you with cPanel, login and find “MySQL Database” under Databases column.

3. Upload

Upload all files and folders in the exact same structure to the root folder of your web hosting account. Your root folder name might varies from public_html,wwwhtml, etc.


4. Install

We are almost done now. Fire up a browser, type in your domain name as url, follow by /admin/install.php. For example:

If everything is setup correctly, you’ll see these following messages with the link to your admin page at the end of the line.


5. Done!

Go on, login and start creating your very own short URL. Make sure you check out the Tools too, if you’d like to make a bookmarklet. Here’s a sample of how our YOURLS admin page looks like.


Hope it works for you, drop us a comment if you have any questions 🙂