In my last post, I wrote about the benefits of using YOURLS, a self-hosted link-shortening service. I’m finding that YOURLS is great, but it’s not perfect. Some of the issues I have experience are part of what you get using most URL shortener services.
Some of the downsides of using link shorteners are:
- Google Analytics doesn’t always capture the original referrer (and I have no clue how they do the rest of the time!).
- When generating links using the bookmarklet (or in this case, also the Yourls installation), there’s no easy way to add campaign, source, medium, content, and term tags for Google Analytics to track.
- Yourls doesn’t allow query strings on URLs by default, making overriding existing campaign tags difficult/impossible. For example: `http://katz.si/t?utm_source=2300`
I’m not the only one who wanted these things, so I’ve created a plugin that adds Google Analytics tracking to Yourls. It’s very cool.