How does a URL shortener work?

The Planck Length
The Planck Length Published on December 18, 2022


A URL shortener is a tool that creates a shortened version of a long URL (Uniform Resource Locator). When a user clicks on a shortened URL, they are redirected to the original, longer URL.


Here's how a URL shortener works:

  1.  A user enters a long URL into the URL shortener tool.
  2. The URL shortener generates a shortened version of the URL, which is typically much shorter and easier to share.
  3. The shortened URL is stored in a database, along with the original, long URL.

  4. The shortened URL is then made available for the user to share

  5. When a user clicks on the shortened URL, the URL shortener looks up the original, long URL in its database and redirects the user to that page.

  6. URL shorteners work by using a combination of algorithms and databases to generate and store shortened URLs. Some URL shorteners also offer additional features, such as tracking and analytics, custom branding, and link redirect management.


Overall, URL shorteners are a useful tool for making long URLs more manageable and easier to share, and they can also be used to track the performance of content and simplify link management.

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