URL shortening service support

(Ronteras) #1

Continuing the discussion from Please make category url shorter:

inspired by this topic.

What about optional support for url shortening service(s)?
Especially handy for the forums with long urls and topic names.

3 things I badly want Discourse to have by default!
(Sam Saffron) #2

Hmm can you explain what problem built-in is.gd or bit.ly or whatever integration would actually solve over our existing share dialog?

I am inclined to suggest this kind of experimentation belongs in a plugin.

(Jeff Atwood) #3

Could make sense as an option, but there are so many services that do this, and the links they generate can be so brittle… I recommend only http://goo.gl since I know that will be around in 30 years, the rest of them, I’m not sure.

(Ronteras) #4

It’s not for solely solving the problem but to have short link for different purposes. SMS? sharing via mobile? click data and history? Current existing share is good for desktop but takes extra efforts to share from mobile site. Having the short link for the topic is not gonna hurt the reading/sharing experience but to add very useful option.

(Juffin) #5

any update on this?

(Jeff Atwood) #6

This is a great area for community pull requests. The first one I would want to see is goo.gl as it is the only URL shortener I trust to be around in 25 years.

(Michael Brown) #7

Really? I actually find it easier share via the mobile interface:

I hit the :link: button, then the ‘Share’ triangle icon:

(ugh - 23 open tabs? I just cannot help myself)

Mobile users are actually an argument against URL shortening IMO - it involves another HTTP(S) connection that has to be made before getting to the destination which makes getting there just take longer.

(Jeff Atwood) #8

In any case the URL shortening would be something that is off by default and can be enabled.

I agree that shortening is not something you want to do “just because” but only when you have a specific reason to need a shorter URL.

(Ronteras) #9

Well I get far less sharing options in iOS. Besides, clicking on the facebook/twitter etc icons won’t launch the native app for sharing but the browser, which will require login to the relevant service:

And I don’t know how it look on WinMo. Well I can always copy the link and switch back to the fb/twitter and paste it, but one click less copying is always better :D.

Again, I’m not saying that this is a must have feature or something. It just could make a nice addition to the sharing options for pure aesthetics:




plus the click stats for non-forum owners.

(Bill Ayakatubby) #10

I believe @supermathie was referring to his browser’s built-in share function, which uses his smartphone’s share feature, not the share feature built into Discourse.

(Michael Brown) #11

Right. Is there a way to trigger the native sharing functionality in iOS that we need to handle? It just happens automatically on BlackBerry.

(g0st) #12

I’d like to offer another option. Agree upon an open source self hosted URL shortening application that we can then build support for into discourse.

The goal here being to create the ability for us to shorten urls for easy sharing across social media while linking it to a domain that we the forum owners also own and control the access to the click data/metrics.

So if I own both:


You click the share link, it creates a chtn.io/hrTiy link via API.

(Razaq) #13

Any progress on this? A plug-in for URL shorteners e.g. Yourls (self-hosted, open source, GitHub - YOURLS/YOURLS: 🔗 Your Own URL Shortener ) has an API that can automatically shorten a url and provide benefits of stats and very useful for space-limited text sites like twitter

(Michael Howell) #14

There is an option to disable the “slug” part of the URL. Even if the forum normally has them turned on, you can trim the slug out, resulting in this probably-short-enough URL:


And that URL does work. Go ahead and click it.

(Paul W) #15

+1 up vote, as I run my own YOURLS installation on my own short domain