Short URLs

With all the discussion around URL shorteners, Diggbar, blocking it, and the rev=canonical proposal, I decided to implement a URL shortening service on this blog with the least effort possible. This probably won’t impact you just yet, but when tools become more popular and sophisticated, it would hopefully eliminate the need for tinyurl, bit.ly, etc.

Since the blog runs on WordPress, every post has an ID. The short URL for any post will simply be http://www.s-anand.net/the_ID. For example, http://s-anand.net/17 is a link to post on Ubuntu on a Dell Latitude D420. At 21 characters, it’s roughly the same size as most URL shorteners could make it.

The code is easy: just one line added to index.php:

<link rev="canonical" href="http://s-anand.net/<?php the_ID(); ?>">

… and one line in my .htaccess:

RewriteRule ^([0-9]+)$ blog/?p=$1 [L,R=301,QSA]

Hopefully someone will come up with a WordPress plugin some time soon that does this. Until then, this should work for you.