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PHP: URL shortner using bitly

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URL shortening is a technique in which url made substantially shorter in length and still direct to the required page. This is achieved by using an HTTP Redirect on a domain name that is short, which links to the web page that has a long URL.

Short URL is convenient for microblogging which has a 140 character limit. Here in this article I am describing url shortner in PHP using

Step 1: get the key and username from (you may require to register) this will provide you the BITLY USERNAME and BITLY API KEY

Step 2: Now from your PHP code you need to pass the key and url which you want to shorten and the username.

function get_short_bitty_url($key, $url, $username)
      $ch = curl_init("$username&apiKey=$key&longUrl=$url");
      curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_RETURNTRANSFER, true);

      $result = curl_exec($ch);
      $json = json_decode($result, true);
      return $json['status_code'] == 200 ? $json['data']['url'] : false;

This function will return false if could not shorten the url for some reason else it will return the short url of the passed long url.

Note: This code is running at the QueryHome.

posted May 20, 2014 by Salil Agrawal

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Google has had a URL shortening domain for quite a while now. I took a few minutes to review their API and created a very basic function where you pass the URL and the key ( ) and it will do the magic for you.

PHP Function

function get_short_url($key, $url)
        $postData = array('longUrl' => $url, 'key' => $key);
        $jsonData = json_encode($postData);

        $curlObj = curl_init();

        curl_setopt($curlObj, CURLOPT_URL, '');
        curl_setopt($curlObj, CURLOPT_RETURNTRANSFER, 1);
        curl_setopt($curlObj, CURLOPT_SSL_VERIFYPEER, 0);
        curl_setopt($curlObj, CURLOPT_HEADER, 0);
        curl_setopt($curlObj, CURLOPT_HTTPHEADER, array('Content-type:application/json'));
        curl_setopt($curlObj, CURLOPT_POST, 1);
        curl_setopt($curlObj, CURLOPT_POSTFIELDS, $jsonData);

        $response = curl_exec($curlObj);

        // Change the response json string to object
        $json = json_decode($response, true);


        return isset($json['id']) ? $json['id'] : false;


$key - You API key 
$url - Long URL which needs to be shortened 

Return Parameter:

FALSE - if url is not shortened 
short url - if url is shortened 

Note: This code is a tested code and used to run at QueryHome before we moved to


Many a times we need to convert a url which is in to which requires the string to be converted in the following form <a href=""></a>.

Following are the steps to convert it without much effort -
Step 1: Suppose you are given a string called str which contains one or more URLs.
Step 2: Run the following command to convert URLs within the str to convert all URLs to hyperlink.

$newstr = preg_replace('@(https?://([-\w\.]+[-\w])+(:\d+)?(/([\w/_\.#-]*(\?\S+)?[^\.\s])?)?)@', '<a href="$1" >$1</a>', $str);

Step 3: If you need that your link should open into a new window/tab then

$newstr = preg_replace('@(https?://([-\w\.]+[-\w])+(:\d+)?(/([\w/_\.#-]*(\?\S+)?[^\.\s])?)?)@', '<a href="$1" target="_blank">$1</a>', $s);

Above steps covers only if your string is starting from http/ftp/scp what if the string is starting with www then

Step 2: Run the following command to convert URLs within the str to convert all URLs to hyperlink.

preg_replace('$(www\.[a-z0-9_./?=&-]+)(?![^<>]*>)$i', '<a href="http://$1">$1</a> ', $str);

Step 3: If you need that your link should open into a new window/tab then

preg_replace('$(www\.[a-z0-9_./?=&-]+)(?![^<>]*>)$i', '<a href="http://$1"  target="_blank">$1</a> ', $str);

Now there may be occasions when you want to add the rel=nofollow attribute to your links to indicate to the search engines that you don't "trust" the link. You can simply add rel="nofollow" to the second argument.

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