Start Your Own URL Shortener

Are you thinking about running your own URL shortener? If you own a blog or a website, you should consider. There are many valid reasons why you should own your own url shortener.

#1 Branding

Having your own url shortener promotes your website and your blog. Your visitors will see your unique link. When you tweet or share a link with someone, the link you share is yours. It’s unique. It carries your own brand. The short url from bit.ly, tinyurl.com, is.gd, tr.im, cli.gs or from any other 3rd party service works great, but it’s not yours. My personal url shortener is uly.me. Every article on my blog has a short url. Check out the short url at the end of this article. You will see a Tweet This button below.

#2 Independence

There are over 100 url shortener services on the internet. Most of these 3rd party url shortener services are free. There is, however, no guarantee that they will keep their services up and running for eternity. You, however, have control of your own website and your own links. You can control how url shortener behaves. You’ll have the option to determine which hashing methods to use, from base36 to base64, from sequential to random. You call your own shots.

#3 Statistics

Another reason for having your own url shortener is you want to keep track of your statistics. Not every url shortener service has statistics. Every time you’ve send an email with a link, you want to know if your recipient has clicked on your link. If you sent a tweet, you would like to know how many people have clicked on your links. Statistics informs you of the effectiveness of your tweets.

#4 Security

Some people don’t trust short urls since they are essentially cloaked links. There is no telling where a cloaked link will take you. Cloaked links can lead someone to an untrusted or a phishing site. You could easily acquire a virus, malware, adware or spam when you land on an untrusted site. If you run your own website or blog and you use your own short urls, you establish trust with your own readers. On top of that, you are promoting your own brand.

How do I make one?

Ok. convinced. How do I get started? How do I make one? The good news is you can get it here. My url shortener script is available for only $49.99. See features below:

Try the Demohttp://uly.me

Features

  • Requires PHP, MySQL, .htaccess
  • Works with any domain
  • 1 configuration file.
  • 1 second install
  • Base36 encoding
  • Can be modified to use Base64
  • Sequential links from 10000 to zzzzz
  • Hashing can be set to random.
  • Supports up to 2 billion links
  • Statistics: display number of clicks
  • Statistics: display last 10 links
  • Search for partial keywords
  • API: simple integration with 3rd party software
  • API format: create.php?url=http://longurl…..
  • URL format of http://short.url/1z35sf
  • Seamless integration with WordPress and Twitter
  • WordPress: works great with Tweet This plugin
  • Creates short url link when publishing a WordPress article
  • Price includes installation, support and updates

Try the Demohttp://uly.me

Purchase for only $49.99

Posting Via Email

Posting via email is one of few features used sparingly by WordPress users. Most bloggers use the Admin – Dashboard interface to publish a post. Posting via email is a feature that has been around as long as I can remember, perhaps going back as far back as version 1.5. I’ve posted on via email once before and I don’t remember any details. To this day, I don’t know why I don’t use it. I thought I give this feature another try. Why not. The advantage of posting via email is you can work on an offline article with an email client. Another advantage is sending posts from a phone.

Ok, success. I was able to send a post via email. You are reading this article as proof. Just a couple of interesting things I want to add to the original post. You need to run wp-mail.php each time you send a post. That’s each time! Well, that sucks. I was hoping this whole process would be automated. You can however, install a plugin called WP-Cron, similar to the Unix command called cron, that will run wp-mail.php every 15 minutes or so. Better yet, if you have access to your server, just add a cron job to run wp-mail.php every 15 minutes.

If you need help in setting up your WordPress to send posts via email, you can read the documentation and installation setup here.

10 Useful Linux Commands

Here’s a good list of 10 Useful Linux Commands courtesy of TuxArena. I have used 5 of the 10 commands listed. Not bad at all. One thing I will say is, I learn something new every day with Linux. I can’t say the same for other OS, but then again I am a little biased.

Speaking of the command line, there are 687 Linux commands claimed by O’Reilley. I can’t say I know 50 of them. I don’t even know every option available from the `ls` command, or the list the contents of the directory command.

It’s one more reason I love Linux. It’s complex, powerful and stable. I wish more people use it.

Super OS

I’m trying out this new distro called Super OS. It is essentially Ubuntu. It even looks like Ubuntu. The difference is all codecs are pre-installed. It works right of the box. No more messing around making movies, flash and mp3s to work.

Super OS is similar to Linux Mint and Kiwi Linux, all based from Ubuntu Linux. It’s definitely worth trying. I’m even thinking of trying out Linux Mint again. There is a new version Linux Mint 8 I have yet to try.

Netbook 2.0

Intel just came out with its latest Atom processor for the popular netbooks, the Atom N450 which comes with it’s own built-in graphics processor. In addition, the power consumption for these processors are down by 20 percent, operating at only 5.5 watts in idle mode. These processors will power the next generation of netbooks. Not only will the latest Atom be good for the environment, it will also be good for design, that’s one less chip to deal with. Netbooks will most likely continue to sell. Sales is up this year at a whopping 264%.

JW Flash Video Player 5

If you like to post videos on your blog, one option is to use JW Player 5 from LongTail Video. It gives you the ability to play FLV, H.264/MPEG-4, MP3 and YouTube videos from your blog. You can install several WordPress plugins that support videos, but WordPress plugins tend to slow down your blog if you have several of them installed. Running the JW Player directly from your site gives you the flexibility. You can apply different skins and plugins to it. In addition, you can monetize it by running your own ads. How popular amd stable is JW Player? Well, a little company named YouTube used it as their first player back in 2005. JW Flash Video Player is free. Learn more.

WordPress Plugin: Drop Caps

Here’s another WordPress Plugin called Drop Caps. A Dropcap is when the first letter of a paragraph is enlarged to “drop” down two or more lines. It’s a very common typeset used in magazines and now a few blogs. I’m releasing this plugin similar in look to the Dropcaps article I wrote two years ago. Check out the first letter of this very paragraph. Download the plugin and place it the plugins folder of your WordPress install. Activate and that’s it. Enjoy.

[download id=”5″]

WordPress Plugin: Page Load Time

I am releasing a new WordPress plugin called Page Load Time. It’s a simple plugin that displays the amount of time it takes to generate a WordPress page. The output is displayed in seconds and placed in the footer section of a theme. The plugin uses a WordPress function called timer_stop(). Placing this function manually in the footer.php will do the same trick. The advantage of having this function as a plugin is, you’ll have the ability to turn on or turn off this feature at any time you want with a single click. There will be no editing or uploading required. This plugin is great for troubleshooting slow sites or for just showing off the speed of your web server. Please note, you need to have this code in the footer: <?php wp_footer(); ?> for this function to display.

[download id=”6″]

Black-Letterhead 1.6.2

I just released Black-Letterhead version 1.6.2. This latest version supports WordPress 2.9 scheduled for release within a week. WordPress 2.9 has a new feature called post thumbnails. It allows a thumbnail or an image to be displayed in each post. Previously, blog owners have been using plugins to have this feature available on their blogs.

Changes

Functions.php

To activate the post_thumbnail feature, the function has to be enabled in functions.php.

if (function_exists('add_theme_support')) add_theme_support('post-thumbnails');

Post.php

This entry is placed before the main content.

if (function_exists('the_post_thumbnail')) { the_post_thumbnail('post-thumbnail'); }

Single.php

This entry is the same as above, but in single page mode.

if (function_exists('the_post_thumbnail')) { the_post_thumbnail('post-thumbnail'); }

Index.php

Replaced navigation functions when viewing the home page.

 Footer.php

Edited copyright information to include year 2010. Users can modify footer.

Copyright © 2003-2010

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