Wednesday, July 3, 2013

How To Create Your Own Custom Short URL

You may have noticed that I use a custom short URL when posting on various social media sites (e.g. the tweet below); it's the acronym version of my main URL, ibittm.com! I've had a handful of questions about how it works and how others can set it up so I figured I'd just go ahead a do a post about it!






Find & Buy a Domain

The first thing you need to do is buy your domain. Think of some options for what you want and then check to see if they're available using a site like checkdomain.com or your domain provider. You may want to consider that foreign domains extensions can be different than just .com so be sure to see if any of those options work with your needs. For instance, I probably could have checked to see if ibit.tm was available and used that instead. Once you've found one that you like and is available, buy it from your favorite domain registrar!

Set Up Your Custom Short Domain

Sign up for a bit.ly account if you don't already have one. Once signed it, go your settings and find the advanced tab. This is the page where you will set up your short domain. Your default will be bit.ly. Click the blue link below to add a custom short domain.





From here, bit.ly will provide instructions on setting up your custom short URL. Once you tell bit.ly what your custom short domain will be, they'll want you to verify ownership. You'll do this by going to your domain's DNS settings at your domain registrar and changing the "A record" to redirect to bit.ly. Since you're using this domain for a short URL, you cannot use it for anything else so delete any existing records and create a new "A record" that points to 69.58.188.49, as directed on bit.ly’s site. I know this all sounds a little technical so please feel free to let me know if there is an easier way to explain this part!

Redirect Your Short URL

Bit.ly also allows you to redirect your short URL's root to your main URL. For instance, ibittm.com redirects to itsbecauseithinktoomuch.com. Try it! This is something I strongly recommend doing and it's really easy to set up. Just plug your URLs into the boxes on your advance settings page below the short URL configuration.


I know there is probably more than one way to set up a custom short URL, but this is the way I did it so it's what I'm familiar with! If you have any questions, additional advice or anything else, please leave a comment!


Special thanks to my brother Adam for helping me set up my custom domain originally and Sarah for inspiring this post!



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2 comments:

Adiel Cloud said...

Totally didn't know this!! Thanks! :) I don't think I'll be able to use it with my domain since it's pretty short already, but I'm sure it will come super handy in the future!

Adiel Cloud said...

Woohoo, thanks for answering my question and for the shout out :) I think I'm going to go ahead and set it up with my current domain since it'll significantly help shorten the code anyways!