Review: Shortlinks by Pretty Links (WordPress plugin)

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Tired of trying to share URLs that are impossible to remember - much less say? Need a way to share links you can't even remember? I have the tool for you!

Picture this. You’re talking with someone – maybe it’s just chit-chat, maybe it’s an interview – and you want to share a link with them. You’re immediately faced with a few complications.

  1. Is the link pronounceable?
  2. Is the link rememberable?
  3. Is the link confusing?
  4. Do you remember the link?
  5. Does the link exist?

What if there was a way to share easy-to-say, easy-to-remember links?

What is Shortlinks?

Shortlinks is a free WordPress plugin that creates redirects for specific URLs. And it tracks their usage.

In other words, when someone follows a URL (whether it’s a link they click or type in), they get sent to a different URL.

Use cases for Shortlinks

I’m going to use an interview as the context for these use cases. That is the worst possible situation for sharing links.

Case 1: Confusing URLs

Have you seen my social media accounts? Every one of them has a different name. There’s a “_JoshRobbs”, a “joshuarobbs”, a “josh.robbs”, and a “joshwrobbs”. I can’t keep my own accounts straight. How could someone else?

Shortlinks to the rescue!

When I want to share my social media accounts, they’re all the same: my main domain followed by the platform.

  • Twitter: joshrobbs.com/twitter
  • Instagram: joshrobbs.com/instagram
  • LinkedIn: joshrobbs.com/linkedin
  • Pinterest: joshrobbs.com/pinterest

That’s easy to remember and share.

Case 2: You don’t know the URL

Sue, the interviewer, asks you a question and you have the perfect resource. But you can’t remember it!

Would you rather say, “I’m sorry, Sue. There’s a great resource for that. I’ll email you the link.” or “Sue, I have a great resource for that. You can find it at www.yourwebsite.com/Sue.”

Of course, you prefer the second solution. (The first isn’t bad, but it isn’t nearly as powerful.) All you have to do is remember to create the link in Shortlinks.

Case 3: The URL doesn’t exist

This is a less common situation. I only run into it when I want to share a specific section of a YouTube video. Creating a Shortlink for it makes it easy to share. Plus, I won’t have to hunt for the exact spot in the video. Find it once, create the link, done.

Case 4: What links are actually getting clicked?

In Case 1, I showed you the links to my social media accounts. But the social media links in the sidebar are a little different.

What’s the difference? There’s an extra “/s”. The Twitter link went from “joshrobbs.com/twitter” to “joshrobbs.com/s/twitter”.

Why create the variation? So that I can track clicks. When I re-add the links in the footer, I’ll use yet another variation.

What I like about Shortlinks

There are other redirection plugins available. For example, I often use Redirection if I need to use fancy RegEx and formulas to create bulk redirects. I still use Shortlinks for these kinds of redirects.

Why? The user interface is super simple. And that’s an incredibly important factor if I’m working on a client site. This is something a nontechnical person can use.

There’s not much else to say. This free plugin solves a lot of problems with a very clean interface. Not extra, confusing or even scary options.

What I don’t like about Shortlinks

Shortlinks just had a big update. One of the changes is that categories are now a premium feature. If you make a lot of links, your interface is going to become a mess. I probably wouldn’t have mentioned it except that I’m used to it being in the free version.

This is more of a wish than a complaint. But I wish that you could duplicate existing links so that you could quickly create variations of existing links.

Shortlinks by Pretty Links

FREE
9.3

Value

10.0/10

Ease of use

8.5/10

Pros

  • Very easy to use - for the most part.
  • Make memorable and shareable URLs on the fly!
  • Requires no technical expertise.

Cons

  • No groups/categories in free version
  • I wish you could duplicate links

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