I recently setup my very own short url, jimla.st, for shortening all of the links that I share on Twitter. Plus, it has the added benefit of automatically tracking the number of clicks my links get. Here’s a quick rundown of how to setup your own custom short url.
1. Take a look at the available TLD’s. You need to look through the list of available top level domains (TLD’s) to see what the options are. Some of the more popular ones recently are .ly, .me, and .in. Most of the TLD’s that would be suitable for a vanity short url are actually country code domains. Here’s a full list of the country code domains.
2. Pick your url. Using the list of available TLD’s you can start thinking about what url might make sense for you. For me, I just picked my Twitter username. Maybe you can your company name, remove all the vowels, and come up with something. The possibilities are endless.
3. Register your URL. The registration process for the domain is going to vary by TLD. Some of them are accessible through Godaddy, other’s have to be registered through the country’s preferred registrar. I chose a .st domain, which was registered through nic.st.
4. Configure your new url through bit.ly. I love bit.ly. It’s the url shortener of choice. Now they give you the ability to use your own custom short url on top of the bit.ly platform. All you have to do is point the A record for your new domain to bit.ly. Done and done.
That’s it. Using a custom short url let’s you give the links you share a little personality, plus it has to help push forward your own brand in some small way.