Branding attempts have reached an all-time high thanks to social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. Another way you can take branding a step further is by using URL shorteners. Sure, this is something that has been around for quite a while, but custom short URLs are actually a lot better, since you don’t completely lose your blog or website’s identity even if you shorten your URL.
A custom shortened URL is great for your branding efforts, as your readers will know exactly where they will be directed to. When they see your shortened URL being shared on social networking sites, it’s easy to identify the shortened URL as yours. This article shows you how you can get your own customized, shortened URL for your WordPress blog. Here are the steps you can follow to get custom branded url shortener domain to use as url shortening:
1. Purchase a short URL.
Since all URLs are quite long by default, you’ll need to buy a short URL of your own. You can use Domai.nr to help you find cool domain names. When you type in the word that you want to be included in your short URL, this website will generate different ways you can incorporate that word with a variety of domain extensions to choose from. Domai.nr will even show you if that domain is available for purchase; you just need to ensure that your domain is less than 15 characters.
2. Set up your Custom Domain in Bit.ly
For the next step, you need to sign up for an account at Bit.ly which is free. Bit.ly will allow you to manage and track your branded short URL. Once you log in to your Bit.ly account, click on the Advanced tab, and then follow the process so you can add your short domain in Bit.ly.
3. Set your DNS Host to Point to Bit.ly
Here you will need to set up an A Record, or a DNS Host so that your short URL will point to the IP address of Bit.ly. For example, if you’re using Godaddy as your domain, you can find the A Record under the tab labeled Total DNS. You will need to add the IP Address of Bit.ly at this point (IP 126.96.36.199). If you’re using a subdomain, you’ll need to set a CNAME record, and direct/point it to cname.bitly.com
4. Verify your Website
The changes you’ve made can take up to 48 hours to propagate. You can check if your DNS has been set up properly if you can set your custom short domain as your default domain in the settings of Bit.ly. When your setup is complete, all of the URLs you will shorten from your website will make use of your custom branded domain.
There is now a Bit.ly WordPress plugin, the WP Bit.ly plugin that will allow you to create short URLs for all of your WordPress posts and pages.