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Theory

URL shortening

URL shortening is a technique on the World Wide Web in which a Uniform Resource Locator (URL) may be made substantially shorter and still direct to the required page. This is achieved by using a redirect which links to the web page that has a long URL.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/URL_shortening

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/

Here is the same URL that has been shortened using Bitly (a URL shortening service): bit.ly/stURLs

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:

  1. https://www.google.com/search?safe=strict&sxsrf=ALeKk02wfOzyUJYaZ_L-CvqwcNOr5IquUA%3A1596610438154&ei=hlcqX9H-CJLwxgPusJMQ&q=url+short+service&oq=url+short+service&gs_lcp=CgZwc3ktYWIQAzIGCAAQBxAeMgYIABAHEB4yBggAEAcQHjIGCAAQBxAeMggIABAHEAoQHjIGCAAQBxAeMgYIABAHEB4yBggAEAcQHjIGCAAQBxAeMgYIABAHEB46BwgAEEcQsANQjdzlBliN3OUGYOyS5gZoAXAAeACAAfsCiAH7ApIBAzMtMZgBAKABAaoBB2d3cy13aXrAAQE&sclient=psy-ab&ved=0ahUKEwjR2YqwvYPrAhUSuHEKHW7YBAIQ4dUDCAw&uact=5
  2. bit.ly/2EUetMb

By MisterFoxOnline

CAT Educator

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