Setting up a brand – ShortLinks and custom domains

Photo by REVOLT on Unsplash

I’m quickly heading down a ‘brand rabbit hole’.
One minute I was recording a how-to video to include in an email for someone at work (I still have the email open and ready to send, oops!). In the next minute, I’ve customised the shortlink to the video.

The setup

The process was relatively quick.

  1. In my screengrabbing tool, CleanShot, I went to the advanced area and clicked on custom domain.
  2. I opened a new browser tab, logged into my hosting platform, TSOHost and logged in to my C-Panel.
  3. I added a new domain to this, a sub-domain of a domain I already own. A subdomain can be a word before or after the central part separated by a dot or a slash. In this case, I added the word ‘share’ before my ‘ju5t.in’ domain to make: share.ju5t.in
  4. I navigated to my custom DNS panel and added the required CNAME entry to allow CleanShot to use the sub-domain. Tools and apps usually recommend allowing 24 hours for the DNS to set itself up, but in my case, TSOHost had this working in less than 3 minutes.

Once this was all working, I added the new custom shortlink to my email (I still need to send that). After that, I started thinking I wanted to make all shortlinks that I share with people a custom shortlink. I used to have this feature on Bit.ly even though I was using a free account, but I have not logged in for a while; when I did, I found that Bit.ly had removed the feature.

The Short Link

I started looking for a new shortlink provider that would offer this for free. As an aside, I suspect that Bit.ly needs to refresh its customer offering as my team at work has a long-running enterprise account with them, and something has not felt suitable or very modern for some time).

A search on Google revealed a few front-runners, and some further comparisons left me with two options: Cuttly and Rebrandly.

Whilst I’m keen on testing Cuttly, after reading this post, I decided to set up an account on Rebrandly.

Total time deleted from my life, doing this (including sending the email and publishing the first draft of this post): two hours.

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