Technical Information

How long will shortened URLs be?

The short answer: 18 characters or less, including the beginning https://

The long answer: It depends how many URLs have already been shortened by the service. All generated URLs will be of the form[code], so are 14 characters long plus the length of the generated alphanumeric code. The alphanumeric code takes a varying amount of space based on how many URLs we have already stored, as shown below: -

Realistically, it is highly unlikely that the system will ever have so many URLs stored that the generated alphanumeric code will be more than 5 characters long. As such, shortened URLs generated by are basically guaranteed to be 18 characters or less (11 or less not counting the https:// scheme declaration).

This is usually considerably shorter than the URLs that rival shortening services generate for two reasons: -

  1. The domain name for our service itself is shorter
  2. In many cases our encoding scheme is superior
  3. How long do the new shortened URLs last?

We never remove shortened URLs, as long as they are created in accordance with our terms & conditions. As such we expect them to last forever excepting technical issues beyond our control and other difficulties covered in the terms.

How does work?

When you shorten a URL, stores the long version in our database, and assigns the URL a unique alphanumeric code. For example, if you shorten the URL and the link you get back is then the unique code that your URL has been assigned is "tjFqo".

When somebody visits your new shortened URL, takes this unique code, looks up the original long URL in our database, and then redirects the visitor to the original destination. All of this happens automatically and extremely quickly, so it appears as if the shortened link took the visitor right there.

What is the longest URL that will shorten? will shorten URLs up to 2,000 characters in length. This is an arbitrary limit we've imposed to limit misuse. We've never seen a valid URL approaching this length and hopefully never will.

What action does take to prevent spam?

We take spam complaints very seriously and do our utmost to ensure shortened URLs are not used to circumvent spam filters. All submitted URLs are automatically checked against the SURBL combined blacklist of known spam sites. We also blacklist links to other URL shortening/redirection services to prevent spammers creating "chains" of shortened links for abusive purposes.

In addition spam complaints (see contact page for complaint email address - will be investigated and any links found to be used for spam will be promptly disabled and removed from our database.