I know what you’re thinking. We have enough URL shortener’s already, right? Despite that fact, URLAO has come along looking to introduce some new features into the mix. urlao pronounced (“earlao“), is a project that was created by pooliestudios.
Under The Hood:
urlao works like any other url shortener service. They give you a box to place your ugly URL in, and out comes a beautiful looking url. However, there are some useful features hidden underneath the ADVANCED link.
In this example, I used the following ugly URL;
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&hl=en&saddr=Cupertino,+Santa+Clara, +California,+United+States&daddr=new+york,+ny&sll=37.0625,-95.677071&sspn= 52.152749,73.300781&ie=UTF8&cd=1&ll=39.571822,-98.085937&spn=50.61825, 73.300781&z=4&om=1
Without using any of the advanced features, URLAO spits out http://urlao.com/5sqm6 which if you ask me, is pretty, but far from what I’d like to see. Now let’s dig into the advanced features using the same URL I provided above.
The advanced options give you the ability to customize the URL output, password protect the redirect, cloaking the URL which only shows the shortened URL text within the address bar of a user’s browser and finally, a url preview function. When someone clicks on your shortened link, the user will be shown the redirect and will be asked to click a link to confirm their destination.
In my opinion, for a preview feature, why couldn’t it be automatic by simply copying the Title text of the webpage being linked to into the “ALT” attribute for the shortened link. This would allow me to hover over a shortened link with my mouse cursor and at a glance, preview the destination. Seems pretty simple to me yet, none of the URL shortening services that I know of do it.
Becoming A Verified Owner:
Once you create and save your shortened URL, you become a verified owner for that link. This means you can log into URLAO to check on the total amount of hits for a specific URL, or you can change any of the settings for that URL in case you change your mind or the URL that you linked to has changed.
I like how URLAO has added in features that I haven’t seen in TinyURL or URLtea. If these guys could implement my idea of making the links automatically descriptive via the “ALT” attribute within a link so that all anyone has to do to preview a link is to hover over it, then you’ve got yourself a URL Shortener service that is damn worthy of using. All of the other bells and whistles of URLAO make it a viable alternative to URLTea and TinyURL.
If you happen to use the service, be sure to chime in your thoughts below.