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`
Bit.ly is one of the most popular link shortening services, and rightly so: it is stable, easy to use, and has pretty looking statistics. One thing Bit.ly does not do is export data. There is simple no other Bit.ly exporter out there.
This has been done many times by others, but just a quick tip on how to add or remove www. from your website’s address. This is helpful for URL canonicalization and user experience consistency. You can also achieve SEO-friendly canonicalization using rel="canonical". Oh boy, I’m getting too technical 🙂
Here’s the juicy part:
Add the following to the .htaccess file in your website’s root folder (often named public_html or www). If there’s not a file named .htaccess, you may create it. If you are creating the .htaccess file, set the permissions to 644. For security reasons, you don’t want others to be able to write to this file. Continue reading “How to Add www. – or Remove www. – From Your URL”