I really don’t remember how I found this program, but after using it for 24 hours, I love it. YOURLS is a very lightweight URL shortener platform that you can run on your own LAMP based web server. Install took about 3 minutes and consists of unzipping, entering server/db setting in a config and running the web based install script. Once setup you can create random or custom short urls based on your domain (may I suggest a short domain) I chose a short domain that I haven’t used in years aside from an old email server: hznet.us.
I’m always worried that a url shortener will shutdown and invalidate a bunch of links I’ve posted on forums and social media – I worry more about this since it’s happened before. No, I don’t expect bit.ly to die tomorrow, but if they do – I won’t notice. This program lets you define multiple users and even allows you to open the service to the public (don’t). You can also install a wordpress plugin to have wordpress automaticly generate a short url and tweet it.
After getting things setup last night I posted this link ( http://hznet.us/z ) which is a custom short url, to twitter asking for a quick test. The admin interface of YOURS gives you stats (number of clicks, locations, referrers) very similar to bit.ly and other popular services.
Only been using it for 24 hours, but so far, I love it.