Some websites you go to can have an extremely long website address (aka “URL”) and you need to shorten them. It’s not usually the home page of the website that has a long URL, but once you start using the site, that’s when you run into trouble.
-the URL for google maps is:
http://maps.google.com (that’s short enough already)
-but once you start looking up directions, the URL will change to something long and ugly like this:
http://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=ucla&daddr=Los+Angeles,+California+(University+of+Southern+California+-+Park+Campus)&hl=en&sll=34.052659,-118.243103&sspn=1.397204,3.556824&geocode=FQ7qBwId3bXw-CE3SBNcWJOpJQ%3BFYqYBwIdm77z-CkT2ifcXcfCgDH0CEYlb98v4g&vpsrc=0&mra=ls&t=m&z=12 (*note: the shortened version of this would be http://goo.gl/pQbl5 – see below)
what a mess! it’s ugly to look at, and how could you send something like that to someone in a chat or post it on your wall. it’s just offensive! but more importantly, when you’re dealing with situations where you can only use a limited # of characters per message (ex. twitter, facebook posts, etc), then you need to shorten the URL so that it will fit.
That’s where url shortening comes in. Here’s how to do it…
1. Go to goo.gl
2. put the long and ugly URL into where it says “Paste your long URL here”
3. click the “shorten” button
4. then just copy and paste that shortened URL wherever you want!
*note: another great use of URL shorteners is to hide the true website. once you shorten the URL, the person clicking on it can’t tell what the website is until they open it. great for keeping websites a secret or playing pranks on friends by making them open up NSFW websites unsuspectingly! just kidding, dont do that!