#URL shortener

Posted by Charles Edge on May 13th, 2015

Many choose a pretty long company name when signing up for Bushel. The Open Enrollment link is generated based on the shortened version of this company name. This link can then be supplied to your users to make it quick and easy for them to enroll (or add) devices into your Bushel. Some end up with a company name that’s difficult to tell others or difficult for others to type. Many of our customers would also like a link on their site that customers can be pointed to. There are a few ways of achieving shorter, easier, or custom links. We’ll go through two, but there are a lot of other strategies you can use as well.

Use A URL Shortener

The first and easiest way to get a short link to your open enrollment page is to use a URL shortening service, such as bit.ly. If you go to the bit.ly site, you can simply type in an address in the text entry field and click on Shorten.

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The page then shows you a shorter link. These links will usually difficult to verbalize, but shorter for sure. Click Copy to get the link into your clipboard and you can then email or text it to whomever you like.

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Redirect From A Page On Your Site

An easier item to tell people if you’re calling them and stepping them through adding their device to Bushel is a URL that is your site and then something like /bushel or /enroll. I find that many people misspell enroll, so I’d use something else, but the concept is the same. To do this, we’ll add to your bag of tricks a very little piece of code for redirecting a website to another place. 301 redirects are usually better, but a basic redirection page is also very helpful in a number of situations. The following example code can be saved as an index.html page and will redirect traffic from one site to another. A common use of this is to redirect an http site to an https site or to redirect from a page on your site to a page on another site, like ours. In this example, we’ll place this index page in the web directory for http://pretendco.bushel.com on your webserver server so when people go to enroll, they use the URL http://www.pretendco.com/bushel (switching out pretendco.com with your organization’s domain). When visited, the link will simply redirect users to the new site:

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN">
<TITLE>Bushel Enrollment Secure Redirect</title>
<meta http-equiv="REFRESH" content="0;url=https://www.krypted.com">
You will now be redirected to https://pretendco.bushel.com

Above, we create an HTML tag, a heading tag, a title tag and finally the meta http-equiv refresh. The content used between the body tag is simply to inform a user who might happen to see this site what is happening. Simply copy this into an html file and you’re off to the races. If using OS X Server, you can drop into /Library/WebServer/Documents by default, to redirect users elsewhere. For each web server, that location, which is relative to the root Apache folder of your site.