Shorty: Self-hosted URL Shortener

Shorty: Self-hosted URL Shortener

Only available for WordPress-powered websites, Shorty is a minimalistic plugin for creating a self-hosted URL shortener service.  Long URLs can be automatically shortened (ideal for social sharing), 301 redirected to the appropriate page and also tracked (includes a simple click counter).

Features include:

  • Embed an URL shortener form.
  • Adds a manual URL shortener form to the admin area.
  • Ability to use via a shortcode, PHP API, or a widget.
  • Stores different users’ shortened urls and stats privately.
  • Users don’t need to be logged in to track their shortened URLs.
  • Automatic post URL shortening
  • Configurable REFERER tracking available
  • Can redirect users to an advertisement page before showing shortened URLs.


Shorty is your typical premium WordPress plugin (available from CodeCanyon), but it’s certainly not the only show in town.  Here are a few alternatives to Shorty worth discussing.

  • YoURLS – Free, self-hosted URL shortening service with open API
  • Bitly – The premium version is externally hosted (and supported) and offers a wonderful open API
  • CLIQUED – A simple web app for creating Google Analytics campaign tracking links and shortening them with Bitly.

For the casual user, we often recommend Shorty if they’re using WordPress as it keeps everything in one database (the WordPress database).  That means one login to do everything, which is often ideal.

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