TightURL - A PHP/MySQL-based Blind Redirection Service

 If you want or need to run your own version of TightURL, TinyURL, MakeAShorterLink, or Shorl, you've come to the right place. If you're running a redirector like lilURL and need some relief from phishing and spamming abuse, you've also come to the right place.

This is the homepage of the TightURL Project. The primary purpose of TightURL is to take a very long URL as input, and return a very short URL within the TightURL namespace.  For example, this URL:


Can be shortened down to something like:


The URL returned by TightURL returns a HTTP Redirect to the browser, which causes it to load the original very long URL.  The original purpose of TightURL was to allow people to shorten very long URLs that would otherwise break when pasted into e-mail messages.  Today, most people seem to use it for Twitter, Identi.ca and IRC.

Features of TightURL:

  • Written in PHP, uses MySQL to store URL table. May be adapted in the future to allow use of PostgreSQL and/or SQLite.
  • Highly customizable by editing configuration variables and HTML templates.
  • All browser output is template-based. (except the fatal error screens)
  • Checks submitted and accepted URLs against SURBL and URIBL to prevent abuse by the Bad People of the Internet.
  • TightURL is Free Software, licensed under the GNU GPL.

Features under consideration:

  • Squish Engines: different methods of shortening URLs


Any LAMP server.

  • Linux (or probably any of the BSDs)
  • Apache Web Server, ability to edit httpd.conf or use .htaccess files.
  • MySQL Database server
  • PHP scripting language.

TightURL has been reported to work on a WAMP (Windows/Apache/MySQL/PHP) server, but is untested on this platform at this time.


2011-03-15: There is now a devblog for those who wish more insight into TightURL development. Work has been progressing on issues related to running tighturl.com, ie, anti-abuse code, and on an integrated task scheduling system (cron). There is likely to be an April or May release. I will try to include localization. There will be no new API support in this release.

2009-12-16: Preparations have begun for work on a 0.1.4 release containing some bug fixes, localization, and at least one implementation of the long-rumored API.

2009-11-02: I have been away from TightURL's code for an extended period of time now.  The version I run publicly is pretty active though, and it's basically the same one in release with the addition of the "killbot" which I use to re-check URLs.  My intent is to release a new version of TightURL in 2009 that at least contains the killbot.  I may start over on the "major update" code, which I've been a bit unhappy with.  The other feature I hope to include soon is translations.  A number of people have asked about them, and I'd like to try and accommodate users who wish to run a non-English version of TightURL.

2008-07-24: TightURL version 0.1.3 has been released to address some bugs and other user requests. This version contains a new barebones installer script that sets up or upgrades your database, and several features backported from the mmajor update of TightURL that is still under heavy development. This includes a speedy new anti-abuse system, the Bad Behavior anti-abuse plugin, URL existence verification and more.

Project Status:

TightURL is about to be re-written based on what's been learned over the last five years of operating a public installation of TightURL over at http://tighturl.com .

Source code:
Nightly tarballs (when produced) will be found at:  http://tighturl.com/sourcecode .  The experimental version of TightURL corresponds to the developer's code in sourcecode, and is used to produce any nightly tarballs.  The experimental version has its own database, and will frequently be wiped out and recreated with no prior notice.

The Code Repository can be browsed at http://tighturl.com/git and the URLs to the repository for Git clients can be found there.  The code found in the repository is, at this time, more stable than the code that can be found at http://tighturl.com/sourcecode .

REMEMBER:Nightly tarballs are simply a snapshot of the developer's version of TightURL taken at a random moment in time. This version is not guaranteed to work at any given time.

A beta version, TightURL v.0.1.3 was released July 24, 2008.
An alpha version, TightURL v.0.1 was been released on Tuesday, December 2, 2004.

Please keep in mind "alpha" and "beta" software is not considered bug-free.

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