Howto create your own url shortening service (Video)

Earlier this week you might have read my post about why it might be time to create your own URL shortener. Today I am responding to several reader comments and providing a detailed video on how to do it. If you are looking to create your own URL shortening service you may want to watch both of the videos in this post, this video is simply a test drive of the URL shortening service interface. I suggest you watch this one and decide if it is worth the trouble, or if you’re already convinced just skip it and view the second video below.

If the service passed muster and has the features you need, you will want to make sure you meet some pre-requisite items:

  1. Hosting account somewhere that supports MySQL databases and PHP (almost every host does).
  2. Domain name (the shorter the better, in this case I use 0b0.us)
  3. FTP Client (I would recommend Filezilla to Windows users)
  4. Will power to carefully watch the video below and potentially adapt the procedures to your own hosting companies MySQL setup.

Now that you’ve covered the checklist and without further ado, the goods:

I would love to hear if you completed this process yourself, let me know how it worked out. If you still need help feel free to post your questions in the comments below.
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10 comments
livewirefilms
livewirefilms

Thanks Joe, for those using the Wordpress YOURLS plugin, do I still need to follow the steps you laid out in the video to install the file structure on my new short domain?

DavidBennett
DavidBennett

Great - worked like a charm.

One thing, I deleted the second line - the one that has 'user2/password2' - just in case that was 'live'.

You can check my link out at http://qll.me/here

Thank you for a truly excellent tutorial.

yagelski
yagelski

I hadn't seen this tutorial before I created my own URL shortener with YOURLS, but I can attest to the process being relatively pain-free and simple. The most difficult part was finding an appropriate, short domain name.

I decided to make my shortener publicly available (http://yag.me/) as well, and spent more time fidget-formatting the PHP / HTML / CSS to make the form look nice across browser and platforms then what it took to install YOURLS!

It is convenient to use your own custom shortener with Tweetdeck for automatic shortening. Unfortunately, Hootsuite doesn't support that capability. Since I use Google Chrome and sync my browser features across several different machines and operating systems, I was very pleased to find a Chrome Extension that allows the use of custom shorteners. If you create your own URL shortener, you may be interested in using ChromeMUSE (http://yag.me/f). It works like a charm.

livewirefilms
livewirefilms

 @livewirefilms NEVERMIND! I got it figured out. I aded the WP plugin then followed your tutorial and it worked perfectly! Another question... someone mentioned using ChromeMUSE, I tried that but it won't work, anyone had luck with that?

DavidBennett
DavidBennett

@hackmanj Yes, probably a good idea to tell people to take out that line.

We've been making ecards and art prints for a little while. Thank you for the compliment :-D

hackmanj
hackmanj moderator

@DavidBennett awesome yes, you should delete the un-used account, thank you for mentioning that. Do you think I should add a notation to the video about that? Certainly don't want a simple dictionary attack to compromise anyones YOURLS service. Great site by the way, stunning imagery. How long have you been doing e-cards?

hackmanj
hackmanj moderator

@yagelski Hi Yagelski - I am anxious to check out ChromeMUSE, thanks for the tip and the comment! I saw your shortener yesterday when our mutual friend @daliburgado shared it on Twitter, awesome work.

livewirefilms
livewirefilms

Wow, more things keep coming as I learn more about this. I just discovered that bit.ly will allow you to use your custom url, I just entered my info into that. If that works than I am wondering why I would need the YOURLS wordpress plugin? Maybe plugins using bitly will do it all? Has anyone done that?

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