On the World Wide Web, a Uniform Resource Locator (URL) can be significantly shortened while still pointing to the desired page by using the URL shortening technique. This is accomplished by utilizing a redirect that points to the lengthy URL web page. For instance, the URLs "https://example.com/Foo" and "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/URL shortening" can be abbreviated to "https://w.wiki/U" and "https://example.com/assets/category B/subcategory C/Foo/," respectively. Often, the domain name used to redirect traffic is shorter than the original. If the reader is copying a URL from a print source, a friendly URL may be wanted to reduce the amount of typing required, to make it simpler to remember, or for messaging services that have character limits (such as SMS).
The use of URL shortening has many benefits. Regular, unshortened links are frequently not visually appealing. A lot of web developers include descriptors in the URL to indicate data hierarchies, command structures, transaction pathways, or session data. As a result, URLs may reach the hundreds of characters mark and feature intricate character patterns. Such URLs are challenging to type down, remember, and disseminate. Therefore, for reliability, long URLs must be copied and pasted. Short URLs may therefore be more practical for websites or print media (such as a book or magazine), as the latter frequently require that excessively long strings be split into numerous lines (as is the case with some e-mail software or internet forums) or truncated.
Last but not least, URL shortening services offer comprehensive data on the clicks a link receives, which can be easier to set up than a robust server-side analytics engine and, unlike the latter, does not necessitate server access.