Shortlinks by Pretty Links (formerly Pretty Links Lite) is a free plugin that I use for 2 reasons: to make my own shortened URLs and to track clicks. I use it on most of my websites.

Shortlinks in action

There are 2 groups that should be using Shortlinks: marketers and speakers. Oh wait, in 1 way or another, that’s everybody.

For marketing, use it to create trackable links. That seems simple and obvious. Who doesn’t want to know which links are getting the most action? But you can create a bunch of URLs that link to the same page.

Example: Let’s say you have a sales page (or email) that has multiple “buy now” or “learn more” links. This plugin will tell you which links are getting clicked. And it doesn’t rely on cookies which might be blocked for any number of reasons. *cough* GDPR *cough*

For speakers, it serves 2 additional purposes. On a screen, complicated URLs are ok. You just click on it. But a spoken URL must be easy to say, easy to understand, and easy to remember. This applies to in-person speaking, podcasting, video, etc. Do you want your audience to try to remember yourdomain.com/more-info-something-conf-2018? Or bit.ly/5d73g7? (Bit.ly is a popular URL shortener.) Wouldn’t yourdomain.com/awesome be better?

The other benefit is that you will never forget a URL again. Or you can make it look like you don’t. This applies to those live situations when you want to share something but you can’t remember the web address.

Example: You’re speaking at a Meetup or in an interview and Tom asks you a question. There’s an article on your site that perfectly answers the question and you’d love to share it. But the URL is complicated and you don’t even remember it. No one is going to be upset that you can’t remember every URL for every article on your website. But there’s a better answer than “I don’t know.”

“Tom, I wrote an article that answers your question in depth. I don’t remember the web address off the top of my head. But tomorrow, go to mydomain.com/tom2018 and it will take you there.”

How professional is that!

Summary

Pros

  • Free
  • Easy to use
  • Does what it says it does
  • Basic click tracking doesn’t require cookies

Cons

I tried to come up with something for a con, but I couldn’t. This is a simple plugin that’s designed to do a few things. And it does them well.

More info

Download Shortlinks or get more information at the WordPress plugin repository