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We see URL shortened and even use URL shortening services like TinyURL, Bit.ly, su.pr, etc. daily. These services are great, but have you thought about creating something similar to yours? Setting up such a service on your own is pretty easy, and if you’re using WordPress, it also comes with a plugin that works perfectly fine.
YOURLS (Your Own URL Shortener) is what we are talking about. It is a free PHP script created by Lester chan Y Ozh Richard that allow you to create something similar to TinyURL Y Bit.ly. We have installed and played with it for a while, and these are our thoughts:
- Easy to install – If you have no problem installing WordPress, configuring YOURLS is a piece of cake.
- Customizable links – You can customize the links instead of the random characters that don’t make sense.
- Statistics – An administration page that allows you to manage and keep track of details such as creation date, IP, clicks, etc.
- Public / private links– You control whether this service is available for public use or only for you.
- Bookmarklet – Easy bookmarklet to create your own short URL on the go.
YOURLS it also comes with the developer API and WordPress plugin. If you like the idea of having a private URL shortening service, read on. We will cover a simple guide on how to configure YOURLS.
First and foremost
Here are some things you will need before installation:
- A domain – A short one would be perfect, but it’s hard to come by these days. If you’re 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. domain.nr.
- PHP compatible account – YOURLS It executes in PHP, so you will need to make sure the server (dedicated or shared hosting) supports PHP 4.3 Y MYSQL 4.1 and higher with mod_rewrite enabled.
read more about YOURLS requirements.
the latest version of YOURLS. Unzip it and fire up your favorite text editor. We are about to do some configurations.
- Look for include / config-sample.php, rename it to include / config.php and open in editor.
- The mandatory settings that you will need to change are: YOURLS_DB_USER, YOURLS_DB_PASS, YOURLS_DB_NAME, YOURLS_SITE. Last but not least, change your password to Username Y username2. The rest of the settings are optional. We suggest you check everything, it is quite obvious. Drop us a comment if you have trouble completing this or check out YOURLS setup guide.
- Create a database – Create a database with the name you have inserted YOURLS_DB_NAME. If your web hosting account provides you cPanel, log in and search for “MySQL database” below Databases column.
Upload all files and folders in the exact same structure to the root folder of your web hosting account. The name of your root folder can vary from public_html, www, htmletc.
We are almost done. Start a browser, type your domain name as url, follow by /admin/install.php. For example: http://yoursite.com/admin/install.php.
If everything is set up correctly, you will see the following messages with the link to your admin page at the end of the line.
Go ahead, log in, and start creating your own short URL. Be sure to check out the Tools Also, if you want to create a bookmarklet. Here’s a sample of what our YOURLS admin page looks like.
Hope it works for you, drop us a comment if you have any questions 🙂
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