what is bitly link shortener

What is bitly link shortener? Will it benefit or hurt my business?

In this article I am going to answer the question:  What is bitly link shortener?  I’m going to go a few steps further, however, because bringing you top quality and complete information on every aspect of your online business is what I’m all about.  This is no exception.  I’ve discovered a few things during my time online, and I want to share what I’ve learned on to you.

Therefore, this article will answer the following questions:

  1. What is bitly link shortener?
  2. What are the applications provided by the bitly link shortener?
  3. How can my business benefit from using bitly?
  4. What are the dangers of using bitly?
  5. What are the alternatives to bitly?

1. What is bitly link shortener?

Have you ever looked at a link for some web page and it was a mile long?  Inside the link were a bunch of symbols and slashes and numbers and it just went on forever?  Sometimes even standard links can be long and cumbersome.

The link for this article for example.  The actual link is this:

You may be wondering, what is the difference how long a link is?  Well, there are a few times when you want a shorter link.  One of the main reasons is social media.  Twitter, especially, has a strict limitation on the number of characters a post can contain.

A while back it was 120 characters, which was just horrible to stay within.  I mean, if you posted a link like this one above, that link would take up almost 100 characters!  That would only leave 20 for your thoughts.  Not too easy to post that way.  Now, Twitter does allow 140 characters, but they are experimenting in certain areas with a 280 character limit.  

Regardless, a shorter url link only means more characters for you to express your thoughts, which is good news for marketers.  That being said, you need to choose wisely the way you will shorten your links.

2. What are the applications provided by the bitly link shortener?

The main application is, obviously, a shorter link.  You can go with the standard url that bitly will assign to your link, or you can actually customize the link to read the way you would like.

So let’s take a look at the platform.  You can sign up for a free account, no charge.  There are other levels which carry other benefits, and there is a charge, but I have always used the free version.  

So here is a screenshot of the platform.  You simply click the “Create” button:

What is bitly link shortener

Next it will ask you to input the url that you wish to shorten.  I’m going to enter the link from this article as our example:

what is bitly link shortener


Once you paste in your link, you’ll be given their short link for you to use, or you can customize it yourself, and add a title also, which is a pretty cool feature:

In our case, let’s customize our new link.  I’m not fond of bit.ly/2XHNh79 – I mean, what is that?  Let’s make a nicer looking link that explains this article, like about-bitly or something along those lines.  Therefore, let’s try that:


The customized link was available.  (Sometimes when you try a customized link, it’s not available because someone else used it.  This one was available!

Now, instead of that long link, I now have a link with only 18 characters!  That leaves a lot more characters for my actual tweet!

what is bitly link shortener




Which looks better to you?  The answer is clear – the bitly link is much better!

Track your links

Another benefit of the bitly program is that you can see how many clicks your shortened link is getting.  That’s valuable for any marketer to know!

3. How can my business benefit from bitly?

Here is what the platform has on their website regarding their mission and vision:

what is bitly link shortener
what is bitly link shortener

I think using the bitly shortener is fun and easy.  I really like it.  I like the customization and the tracking feature.  That being said, continue reading, because there are things about bitly that you need to know.

4. What are the dangers of using bitly?

There are some things that have been brought to my attention about the bitly platform, but to be completely transparent with you (which I always am), I don’t 100% understand all of this, and I don’t pretend to know if any or all of it is true. 

I am not an expert in all things bitly, nor do I understand foreign government control over any parts of the internet, so what I will do is tell you what I’ve heard and reference some websites where you can read more information, and then you can make up your own mind, as you should in all things regarding your business!

Here’s an article I was directed to by a fellow marketer who saw that I was using the bit.ly links.  He had concerns that he shared with me, and frankly I found it a bit disconcerting.  However, I do not use my links for my affiliate links, but instead I use it for my article links.  Therefore, I would not be affected by this.  You can click below to be taken to the full article:

This information below came as a surprise to me.  I have no idea about Libyan domain space or Sharia Law, so I don’t understand this at all.  I had never heard of any of this until my friend pointed it out to me, and to be fair to you as my readers, I wanted to make sure you had this information as well.

I enjoy the bit.ly link shortener, and I get great value from it, and since I don’t ever cloak my affiliate links with it, I don’t worry that my commissions would be compromised.

Here is the article about the .ly domains below.  You can click on this to be taken to the full article:

5. What are the alternatives to bitly?

I’m going to give you my personal favorite way to cloak my links, although it makes them shorter, it’s not quite as short as the bit.ly links are.

This program is called Pretty Links.  It’s used on the WordPress website platform.  It’s a plugin.  The way it works is it will use your website url and words of your choice after it.

In our example, the first part of the link is my website name, and the second part of the url is the post title name, making the whole thing very long.

You can use the Pretty Links plugin to change the second part to anything you want.  So I could name it “Bitly” instead of “what-is-bitly-link-shortener-will-it-benefit-or-hurt-my-business like this:

What is bitly link shortener

The new link has 45 characters, which are a few more, but you own this link through your website.  You are not at the mercy of a third party for your link.  

I’ve been using bit.ly for many, many, many years with great success.  I, personally, have confidence in the services of the platform and their longetivity, but if you want total security, the Pretty Links free plugin is your better option!

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Thank you so much for stopping by!  I hope you found this article of value!  

I’ve been marketing online for many years, and I pride myself in providing you with the most up-to-date, relevant information to start and grow your affiliate marketing business!

Please leave me a comment below, or if you prefer to contact me personally, you can email me at Babs@CoachingforInternetMarketers.com.

I look forward to hearing from you!

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Babs Wagner

Born in Texas, raised in upstate New York, I have been marketing for my entire adult life.I have decided to share all the information I have gathered on what works in affiliate marketing, and what doesn't because I want to let the world know that working online gives you the freedom to work from anywhere, and that is exactly what I do!

Starting out can be tough, I know, so I will also be sharing lots of free resources to get you going.I am dedicated to providing this information to my readers, and I hope you always feel free to reach out to me.

Thanks for visiting my page!


  1. I have always used some other url shorteners, few days i made bittly account. Now, when I read your article.. i’m not so sure about it haha.. Still, tracking and making custom links is a great thing. But I may consider installing plugin for shorting urls, the only thing about plugin you showed is because link is still a bit too long, but I have to admit that it looks more profesionally like that, even if it’s a bit longer.

    Thank you very much for your article.



  2. Great post Babs! Bitly is a great product. I can say that I use it mostly to shorten my links on Twitter. I also like how bitly provides data to go along with these shortened links. It can be difficult to trust links for the reader, especially if it’s a newer website with less favorable Google ranking trust. A shorter link helps to develop that trust with the reader, and anyway to develop trust as quickly as possible is just dandy in my book! Thank you for another great post and best luck to you out there.

  3. I love using Bitly in shortening links to be posted in Twitter and in Facebook. I like the feature where I could shorten a link and post it to these social media networks without leaving Bitly website, something that can save a lot of precious time. But after I read about the Libyan connection, I think I will stop using it now and rather choose Pretty Links. From now on, it will be my link shortener and will no longer use Bitly. It pays to be safe these days especially in sharing things online.

    1. Yes, I keep track of all my shortened links, so if a problem arises, I would be able to adjust my posts accordingly.  It is a personal choice, and I wanted to make sure my readers had all the correct and full information on it.  ~ Babs

  4. Very detailed information on all things bit.ly! I was surprised to learn about the Affiliate arrangement with Viglink.  I would definitely want to know more if this means that if you have an Affiliate link yourself encoded in the bit.ly link if the Viglink cookie will supersede it.  

    Thanks to this article I’m going to do some more research on this subject and see if any affiliate markets have run into this problem. 

    1. I never use it for my affiliate links, only for my posts on Twitter, so I’m cool with that, but I do know some people like to cloak their affiliate links with bit.ly, so I wanted to make sure you all knew that they were doing this so you could use the tool wisely.  ~ Babs

  5. This is exactly what I was looking for because I do not like the long link. Actually, Bitly link shortener came in very handy. I like it because it is easy to use and I can track my links. 

    Pretty links are very useful too. I think I will just use pretty links since it is a free plugin and used on WordPress website platform.

    Thank you for sharing the information on bitly link and pretty link.

    1. I enjoy bit.ly and do not use it for affiliate links, so I am not worried about losing commission per that article.  I just wanted to make sure I presented all the information so my readers would know what is going on.  Pretty links is awesome also, although the links do come out a bit longer there.  ~ Babs

  6. Hey, This is exactly what I was looking for because I do not like the long link.  I was surprised to learn about the Affiliate arrangement with Viglink.  I would definitely want to know more if this means that if you have an Affiliate link yourself encoded in the bit.ly link if the Viglink cookie. Thank you for sharing the information on bitly link and pretty link.

  7. Many thanks to you for sharing such an excellent article with us .The bitly link shortener application is a short link .The bitly link shortener is fun and easy to use .I use this to shorten my links on Twitter .The links are very difficult to gain the reader’s trust for, so I think they need to be detailed in order to gain trust. Although it saves a lot of my time .But I stopped using it to gain readers’ trust and I looked for some alternatives .But of course I would like to thank you for securing us through your article and hopefully sharing your new experience with you by surviving the right link shortener .

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