What is a URL? A URL is the address of a webpage in the world wide web or internet. It’s short for Uniform Resource Locator. No need to go into what that means.
For example, to get to Pueblo High School’s website you have to type the URL http://www.pueblowarriors.org in the web address box in your browser.
It’s a short and simple address so that our visitors can memorize it easily and return to our website.
From time to time we are on a website we would like to share with our students or colleagues that unfortunately looks like this:
That’s the web address for driving directions to Pueblo. What you normally do is copy and paste the URL into an email or document. Unless they all have photographic memories, they will not be able to memorize that URL for future reference. That’s where URL Shortening comes in handy.
What basically happens is that these online services assign a shorter, easier to remember URL to the long and complicated like the one above. I personally use bit.ly for most of my needs, but what I like about tinyurl.com is that I can personalize my own name to the address.
I went ahead and copied the long URL above and pasted into tinyurl.com since I wanted to personalize it and this is what it looks like now:
What a difference huh?
This comes in handy when you want your students to visit a specific URL on any given assignment or when you want to share a web address that you want them to easily remember.
There are many online website that offer this service for free and offer additional paid features that you don’t need. Here’s a few:
Here’s a link to the Top Ten with a nice breakdown of the services they offer.