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How-to: Run your own URL shortener with YOURLS

URL shorteners have become quite a thing over the past couple years. The ability to shorten an unwieldy URL can be really helpful in a variety of situations, be it in a Tweet, sharing via email, or to maintain a more obvious link to a favorite site or posting.

There are no shortage of options available across the Web, from bit.ly to is.gd to u.nu among others. But perhaps you want to take matters into your own hands. Enter YOURLS.

YOURLS – Your Own URL Shortener – is a free, open source solution for anyone looking to host their own shortener service. Once you install YOURLS on your server, there really isn’t much to the app. It provides the choice between maintaining a public or private service (which is a much better idea for security and bandwidth reasons), along with the ability to add a bookmarklet to your browser for easy shortening, and a useful suite of stats.

As an added bonus, er make that double-bonus, YOURLS also has a corresponding WordPress plug-in as well as an API, both of which provide for better and deeper integration with other projects and platforms.