My own short URLs

A little while ago I setup my own short URL service on I already know there are tons of free services that already do this and there are even a few open source alternatives of projects aimed at this kind of thing…so why then did I decide to write my own? There are actually a couple reasons:

  • Full control of the data – I can get at it wherever, however, and whenever I want to. I can also move it into different formats and systems at will.
  • Full control over the service – I can add whatever features I want in whatever interface I want and not have to worry about the 15 other features I’ll never use that clutter up my UI.
  • Full control over the URLs themselves – I don’t have to worry about the domain shutting down, remapping my short URLs some time in the future, or what type of header redirect they’re using to make sure I get my Google juice.
  • It was fun – Perhaps the biggest reason I wanted to do this was because it’s such a simple project and it was kind of a fun exercise for me.

Anyone that is code savvy and is considering doing this – whatever your reasons – I definitely recommend doing it. It was simple and something I enjoyed, and it gives me the control I want in such a simple application. Not every problem makes sense to roll your own solution for, but this is one that does in my mind since it’s so simple.

I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if we see more web services offering their own custom URLs. It allows a bit more brand recognition and all the control issues I mention above. It also seems that short URL services aren’t going away anytime soon.

Do you have any thoughts on the merits of short URL services? Have you written your own or considered doing so?

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