YOURLS is an URL shortener, just like bit.ly or goo.gl, but it’s open source and so you’re able to install your own private instance. Thus, you can diminish the tracking of these big platforms ;-) This piece of software is an extension for the browser Chromium that let’s you quickly shorten the URL of the website you are currently visiting. All you need is an installation of YOURLS. You can also find this plugin in Chrome’s Web Store.
Before you can start shortening URLs you need to do some configuration. Open the configuration page by right-clicking the icon next to your address bar and choose Options, or open
chrome://extensions/ and click the Options link of the YOURLS entry. You’ll see a page similar to the screenshot in Figure 1.
Following settings can be configures:
If the form is filled correctly save your settings and give it a try!
The extension provides two different ways for interaction:
Click the icon to shorten the URL of the web site you’re currently visiting and a popup will appear, see Figure 2. It shows the original (source) version and you may provide a keyword. A click on shorten sends the job to your YOURLS server and shows you the resulting short URL in the lower text field. The result can be copied to the clipboard. Two more buttons provide quick access to the extension’s settings page and the YOURLS admin interface.
If you right-click selected text in the current page the extension adds a context menu entry Shorten URL to shorten the page using the selected text as keyword, see Figure 3. (The selection will just appear in the textfield for the keyword, you still have to press the button to start shortening.)