My GoCodes Redirection Plugin has been added to the directory at WordPress.org, and I’ve been shamelessly promoting it wherever I can.
But what can the plugin be used for? Why would you want to to use a URL shortener?
Here are some examples:
- Podcasting. If you’re recording a podcast, and you want to mention a few blog posts you found, you can’t just read them all out very well. It would be too awkward, and you’d likely lose a few points off your “professionalism level.” If you use an URL shortener, the URLs are much easier to read (and much easier for your listeners to remember). If you use GoCodes, you can just go a step farther. Just say that you’re going to mention some shortcut codes over the podcast, and to use them they just need to visit yourdomain.com/go/[whatever code you mention].
- Printed Media. Long URLs and the printed word do not go well together. Print publications like PC World and PC Magazine use custom-built URL shorteners so they can refer to web pages when writing for their magazine. Maybe you want to print-up some flyers or TopicCards, maybe you run a print magazine.
- Affiliate Programs. As Ben Cook from BloggingExperiment.com has said, “affiliate programs will from time to time change their URL’s. Whether it’s switching the name of the campaign or changing the offer or even in this case switching to TinyURLs, there will come a time when you need to change your links.” Using a URL shortener, like GoCodes, you can set-up a redirect, like yourblog.com/go/tla/, that forwards to the affiliate link. This has the added benefit of making it easier to add affiliate links to your posts (and stopping the passing on of PageRank).
- Email and Chat. Some email clients mangle long URLs, and chat clients can choke on them too. Using a URL shortener, you can send people links without causing problems. This is becoming less and less of a problem, since most modern email clients handle long URLs just fine.
Those are just a few ways to use URL shortening systems. Chances are, there are plenty more.