By Kimberly Abrams
Hyperlink management is critical to website functionality because a site with dead links is not fully operable for the end user. In educational institutions, links used for marketing, course materials, library resources, social media, and other uses can be laborious to maintain in a consistent fashion. Often links are long and unreadable. In order to streamline link maintenance and improve readability for end users, an open source short link manager called YOURLS was implemented at an academic library. In contrast to proprietary shortening services like bit.ly and ow.ly, YOURLS also operates as a link database manager. Long URLs are shortened into compact readable formats on a hosted short domain, http://cityte.ch. With YOURLS, URL updates for existing resources can be done in one place, negating the need to update all instances of a URL on different platforms. Short links are easier for the user to remember and can be used and tracked through various forms of promotion on social media, email, and printed material. This workshop demonstrates how to implement a short link domain and server, as well as the benefits of this service.