If you glance at the address bar of your browser right now, you will see that the URL of this web-page is: http://www.stylus.co.za/url-shortening/
There are a number of reasons why a URL might be shortened in this manner:
- The shorter URL is easier to type should this be required
- It is often difficult to type long, complex URL’s
- It simplifies complex links that are customised to carry extra information/data
- It is possible to customise, or “beautify”, links (for marketing purposes and so on)
- A URL encoded in a barcode or QR code is often shortened in order to reduce the printed area of the code, or allow printing at lower density in order to improve scanning reliability.
- URL shortening services also often offer additional services such as tracking details of clicks for the URL.
Investigate the following two links for further practical experience of this concept: