How I made my own URL shortener for free

URL shorteners are great. You can take a long URL and make it 6–8 characters, you know the drill.

And the free URL shorteners are pretty nice too! bit.ly is what I used, and it did its job pretty well, but free public shorteners have a few issues:

  • Finding the perfect short URL is hard: most of the short ones that make sense, are usually already taken.
  • the URLs are hard to update: (and I don’t know if this is a bit.ly specific issue), but you can’t change the URL the short link points to, once it has been…