Shortening links with via.dj

With bit.ly’s recent announcement that they were making bit.ly Pro, the service they launched in 2009 for hosting short links on their server using your own custom domain, free, I decided to make a switch I’d been planning for some time, and switch to using via.dj, the Djibouti-registered domain I recently purchased, for shortening all my links—at least those posted in applications that still support using a bit.ly account to shorten links: to its shame, the Twitter clients no longer do so, for instance.

The latter is one reason why I’ve recently switched from the Twitter iPhone app to Tweetbot as my mobile client for tweeting: in addition to bit.ly Pro, you can set Tweetbot to post images and videos to pretty much your choice of cloud/web sharing site (I use Posterous).

Using a custom domain for shortening your shared links on bit.ly (in my view the best solution because, providing you ensure you constantly renew your custom domain, it means your links will remain accessible as long as bit.ly stays around) is actually childishly simple. You just set an A (or CNAME if you’re using a subdomain) record in your DNS to point to an IP address provided by bit.ly. Just to be sure my shortening domain, which I obviously won’t be using for email doesn’t get abused by spammers, I also added a SPF record to inform anyone who neede to check that email purporting to come from my shortening domain is never legitimate [i].

_______________
  1. This is done by associating the following TXT record, in your DNS zone, with your domain: v=spf1 -all []