The 7 Best URL Shorteners for Your Website and Social Platforms

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Shortbread. Shortcrust pastry. Danny Devito. Often, the best things come in the shortest packages.

And we have another thing to add to that list – your URLs.

Forget adding long, clumsy, convoluted links to your social media ads or posts. URL shorteners help you cut them down, clean them up, and present a simple, user-friendly experience to your audience.

But what is a URL shortener – and which one should you choose?

Below, we’ve rounded up the 7 best URL shorteners. From Bitly to BL.INK, these URL shorteners are at the top of their game – and can help take your social media and marketing efforts to a new level of poise and professionalism.

What Is a URL Shortener?

A URL shortener is an online tool (sometimes free, sometimes paid) which turns long, cluttered “raw” links into short, easy-to-read, and manageable ones.

Let’s say, for instance, that we’re trying to share a link to our article on how to create a social media strategy. We could share it like this:

https://www.websitebuilderexpert.com/grow-online/how-to-create-a-social-media-strategy/.

But, that link is lengthy, laborious, and doesn’t inspire trust. Now, look what happens when we plug that link into free link shortener cutt.ly:

https://cutt.ly/f0Asvvv

See the difference? Beautiful!

Why Use a URL Shortener?

URL shorteners offer plenty of benefits, including:

  • User-friendliness: shorter, cleaner-looking links are easier for users to understand and click on.
  • Social media compatibility: most social media platforms (Twitter being the most obvious example) impose limits on the amount of characters your posts can have. Shortening those long links frees up characters for the important stuff – your message!
  • Analytics: link shorteners usually allow you to track the performance of your links – making it easier to understand who’s clicking on your links, where those clicks are coming from, and how much engagement your content is getting across multiple platforms.

Now you know why you need them, let’s dive into the best URL shorteners your business can tap into.

The Best URL Shorteners

Ready to go short? Let’s explore the 7 best URL shorteners in 2023:

  • Bitly
  • TinyURL
  • BL.INK
  • Sniply
  • Ow.ly
  • Rebrandly
  • Linktree

1. Bitly: Best URL shortener for SMBs

One of the URL shortening world’s powerhouses, Bitly (also known as Bit.ly) services half a million paying customers around the world, and boasts almost six million monthly active users.

Bitly infographic of a globe next to a list of statistics, including active users and app integrations
Bitly has almost six million monthly active users – half a million of those paying customers.

Through Bitly’s real-time analytics dashboard, you’ll get to grips with your clicks, top referring channels, and geographic data. While its wealth of app integrations – more than 800, including Salesforce, Adobe, Twilio, and Sprinklr – means Bitly will slot straight into your business’ existing marketing toolkit.

Bitly five pricing plans alongside the features of each plan
Bitly's pain plans start at $8/month.

Better still, you can get started for free – you’ll pay nothing to shorten up to 50 links per month.

Pros

✔️ Paid plans start at a reasonable $8/month, and include support

✔️ No need to lock yourself into a paid plan – you can get started for free

Cons

❌ You’ll need to be on at least the Basic plan ($29/month) to benefit from Bitly’s “Branded links” feature

2. TinyURL: Best URL shortener for user-friendliness

When it comes to ease of use, TinyURL tops our list of the best URL shorteners. You can start shortening your URLs from the moment you land on its homepage, and – when you create a free account – can do so at no cost.

TinyURL homepage - blue background, with a form to shorten a URL
TinyURL is super simple to use – and setting up an account is seamless.

Despite the no-frills, no-nonsense nature of the platform, though, it’s still packed with features. With full-scale link management, you can manage thousands of links, all from a centralized, cloud-based location. And, with its branded and customized links feature, ensure your links aren’t just short – but reflect your brand to a tee.

TinyURL three pricing plans billed annually
TinyURL’s pain plans start at $9.99/month.

If you want more than what the free plan offers, you can upgrade to TinyURL’s Pro plan for $9.99/month. For enterprises, the Bulk 100K plan, $99/month, will fit the bill.

Pros

✔️ Extremely easy to use

✔️ Swift sign-up process

✔️ Feature-rich

Cons

❌ Free plan comes with a lot of limitations – on it, you’ll only be able to store one active URL at a time

❌ Display ads take the shine off the platform’s user experience (UX)

3. BL.INK: Best URL shortener for customer support

BL.INK (also known as BLINK) has an impressive client base. Airbnb, Comcast, Coca-Cola, Best Buy; thousands more. And why shouldn’t it? With comprehensive analytics, attribution and parameter tracking features, and a whole host of social media and SMS integrations, BL.INK is one of the best URL shorteners on the market.

BL.INK webpage with blue background inviting users to get started with link management
BL.INK is a feature-rich URL shortener popular with the world’s biggest brands.

What we love most, though? BL.INK’s commitment to customer service. On top of a huge Help Center – a knowledge base containing a wealth of videos, how-to guides, FAQs, and articles – you can easily submit a ticket for support. Or reach out to them via Facebook or Twitter.

BL.INK five pricing plans and the key features each provides
BL.INK isn’t the most affordable URL shortener, with plans starting at $48/month.

In terms of pricing, BL.INK’s plans start at $48/month, going up to $599/month – and beyond, for a custom plan. Sadly, there’s no free plan – meaning BL.INK’s (admittedly enduring) appeal will likely only extend to larger, more established businesses.

Pros

✔️ Incredible wealth of features

✔️ Impressive knowledge base, backed up by strong social media support

Cons

❌ No free plan

❌ Not the most affordable URL shortener available

4. Sniply: Best URL shortener for industry-specific solutions

Flaunting strong customer support, affordable pricing plans, and one of the simplest – yet most effective – URL shorteners around, Sniply is a vital tool in every marketer’s kit.

Sniply get started for free page with website and mobile graphics
Sniply is one of the best URL shorteners money can buy, and has won awards from G2.

The best part about Sniply, though? That it doesn’t believe in a “one size fits all” approach. It offers tailored, industry-specific solutions to fit different types and profiles of businesses. Whether you’re a small business, large business, ecommerce site or enterprise heavyweight, Sniply can help. It even offers a customized solution for influencers and marketers, to help them get the most out of their campaigns.

Sniply four monthly pricing plans in squares displaying key features
Sniply’s pricing plans range from a highly affordable $9/month to $59/month.

As for price, Sniply doesn’t offer a free plan. What it does offer is 14 days for free, across any of its (non custom) paid plans. So you can try before you buy, then decide if you want to commit to its cheapest plan – which gets you 250 links per month, 500 CTA impressions, and one custom domain. Not bad!

Pros

✔️ 14-day free trial

✔️ Generous paid plan is also surprisingly affordable

Cons

❌ No free plan

5. Ow.ly: Best for social media marketers

Hootsuite’s own URL shortener, Ow.ly will endear itself to lovers of the popular social media marketing and management tool. But you don’t have to already be using Hootsuite to make the most of Ow.ly’s URL shortening abilities – this tool easily stands on its own two (taloned) feet.

Ow.ly green web page inviting you to test the features
Social media marketers will love Ow.ly’s slick, stylish URL shortening.

Ow.ly packs a bunch of high-flying features: including custom URLs, link performance tracking, and full compatibility with Bitly. There’s no free plan. Instead, you’ll benefit from a generous 30-day free trial – on both the Professional ($49/month) and Team ($249/month) plans.

Ow.ly four green boxes showing prices and different plan features
Ow.ly’s plans are tailored to the size and scope of your URL shortening needs.

Pros

✔️ Generous 30-day free trial, even on Ow.ly’s $249/month plan

✔️ Most basic plan, Professional, lets you add up to 10 social accounts

Cons

❌ No free plan

6. Rebrandly: Best URL shortener with a free plan

Before we get into the nuts and bolts of Rebrandly, we have to talk about its finest feature first – that free plan. Rebrandly offers 500 branded links, lets you track 5,000 clicks every month, and provides a custom domain name. All. Completely. Free!

Rebrandly sign up page with video bubble of man wearing Rebrandly shirt
We love Rebrandly’s free plan.

And, for a URL shortener with such a generous free plan, Rebrandly certainly doesn’t skimp on the features.

Though you will have to pay a little extra to unleash the full force of Rebrandly’s functionality, it’s well worth the money. You’ll unlock top-quality link management and advanced analytics and traffic routing, plus ever-increasing levels of collaboration, training, and support. (To help you make the most of everything Rebrandly has to offer!)

Rebrandly five pricing plan squares with features listed
Although Rebrandly’s free plan is hard to look past, its paid options – which range from $24/month to $417/month – are worth considering.

Pros

✔️ Impressively wide breadth of features

✔️ Best free URL shortening plan on the market

✔️ Save up to 27% when you pay annually

Cons

❌ Paid plans get expensive, fast – particularly the Teams plan, at $417/month

7. Linktree: Best URL shortener for customer approval ratings

Trusted by over 30 million brands (and Trustpilot – at the time of writing, it has a laudable 4.5/5 rating on the review site), Linktree is the people’s choice.

Linktree purple web page for creating and customizing bio links
Linktree has impressive Trustpilot ratings, and is trusted by more than 30 million brands.

With a slick lilac look and feel and a dynamic, shifting UX, Linktree’s design flavor is sure to win many hearts and minds among a modern audience. And why not? Its URL shortener is easy to set up, simple to use, and even less of a hassle to manage – you’ll keep tabs on all your links from a central real-time repository.

So how much does it cost? Well, that depends on your needs. Solopreneurs and small brands can get away with the free or Starter plans – growing businesses should aim for at least the Pro plan, with one eye on Linktree’s Premium offering.

Linktree four pricing plans in four purple and white boxes
Linktree doesn’t offer as many features as some of the other URL shorteners on this list, but that’s reflected in its highly affordable pricing plans.

Pros

✔️ Flexible pricing plans for a range of different business types and sizes

✔️ Free plan offers unlimited links and welcome scope for customization

Cons

❌ Not as feature-rich as most of the other URL shorteners we’ve showcased here

Summary

Well, there you have it – a whirlwind tour of the 7 best URL shorteners today. To recap, these are:

  1. Bitly
  2. TinyURL
  3. BL.INK
  4. Sniply
  5. Ow.ly
  6. Rebrandly
  7. Linktree

Thanks for reading! And be sure to let us know what you think of our recommendations in the comments section below. Got your own URL shorteners to suggest? Get in touch!

And, for more top content, stick around. On our site here at Website Builder Expert, we have guides to just about every corner of the internet – from digital marketing advice to simple – yet powerful – SEO backlinking tips.

FAQs

It is! Shortened URLs act as 301 redirects, funneling people in the direction of your website. Because of this, they essentially serve as backlinks – which can help improve your site’s SEO efforts.
While free plans are well-suited for solopreneurs and micro-businesses – they’re free, after all! – we don’t recommend them for ambitious brands looking to grow.

While Rebrandly’s free plan is excellent, most free URL shortener plans cap the amount of links you can shorten, the number of clicks you can track, and the extent of the features you’ll enjoy access to.

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