Wikipedia URL Shortener: Shorten, Track and Share Links

Introduction to Wikipedia URL Shortener

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Wikipedia URL Shortener is a free service that allows users to shorten long URLs into more compact aliases. This handy web tool has become an essential part of link sharing across the internet.

What is Wikipedia URL Shortener?

A URL shortener is a simple web-based tool that takes a long URL and turns it into a shorter, more readable link. The shortened URL redirects to the original link when clicked. Wikipedia URL Shortener specifically creates shortened URLs that point to Wikipedia articles. It was developed by the Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit organization that runs Wikipedia. The tool allows users to easily share Wikipedia links on social media, in emails, presentations, documents, and anywhere else a long URL would be inconvenient. 

For example, the Wikipedia article on Albert Einstein has a URL that is 75 characters long: 

Using Wikipedia URL Shortener, this unwieldy link can be shortened to:$C 

The shortened link redirects to the original Wikipedia URL.

The History of Wikipedia URL Shortener

Wikipedia URL Shortener was launched in 2013 to make sharing Wikipedia links simpler. It was initially developed as an experimental project by Wikimedia Foundation engineer Neil P. Quinn. At the time, URL shorteners were growing in popularity across the web. Services like TinyURL and offered to shrink any long link. However, these generic tools generated random strings of characters that gave no indication where the shortened URL led. Wikipedia URL Shortener was created to provide more intuitive and recognizable shortened links specifically for Wikipedia content. The tool appends the letters "" to the beginning of all shortened URLs it generates. Over the years, Wikipedia URL Shortener has been expanded and improved. It now supports shortening links to Wikimedia sites in over 300 languages. The tool also uses a more efficient short URL format. Today, Wikipedia URL Shortener processes over 4 billion requests per month. It has become an essential service for Wikipedia readers and editors worldwide.

The Benefits of Using Wikipedia URL Shortener

There are several key benefits to using Wikipedia URL Shortener:

  • Readability - Shortened URLs are easier to read, type, and share. The compact aliases generated by Wikipedia URL Shortener are ideal for use on social media with limited character counts.
  • Recognizability - The "" prefix makes it easy to identify a shortened link as pointing to a Wikipedia article. Users know exactly where they will end up when they click a link shortened by Wikipedia URL Shortener.
  • Reliability - Short URLs from Wikipedia URL Shortener are permanent. Once created, they will continue to redirect properly as long as Wikipedia exists.
  • Convenience - Wikipedia URL Shortener is fast, simple, and completely free to use without sign up required. Shortened links can be created on the fly as needed.
  • SEO Value - Short URLs typically have marginal SEO value over normal URLs. However, the Wikipedia association of shortened links from this tool may provide a slight edge.
  • Analytics - Wikipedia URL Shortener provides usage stats and traffic data for each shortened link. This allows tracking of how frequently a shared Wikipedia article is accessed.

The Limitations of Using Wikipedia URL Shortener

While highly useful, Wikipedia URL Shortener does have some limitations:

  • Only works for Wikipedia links - URLs from other sites cannot be shortened using this tool.
  • Limited customization - Users cannot pick a custom shortened URL alias. The aliases are randomly generated.
  • No password protection or privacy options - Anyone with the short link can access the redirect.
  • Not optimized for printed use - The URLs work for digital sharing but are long for print.
  • Transient nature - If Wikipedia article names change in the future, old shortened URLs may break.
  • Shortened URLs flagged by some security filters - They may need to be whitelisteded to work properly.

Despite these drawbacks, Wikipedia URL Shortener remains one of the most popular domain-specific shorteners available today. The benefits of shorter, more usable Wikipedia links outweigh the limitations for most use cases.

How to Use Wikipedia URL Shortener

Wikipedia URL Shortener is extremely simple and straightforward to use. The tool makes it effortless to shorten Wikipedia links on the fly.

How to Access Wikipedia URL Shortener

To access the tool, go to: This is the base URL for Wikipedia URL Shortener. It can be bookmarked for quick access later. Alternatively, install the Wikipedia URL Shortener browser extension. Extensions are available for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. The extension provides shortcut access to generate shortened URLs right from your browser toolbar.

How to Create a Short URL Using Wikipedia URL Shortener

To shorten a Wikipedia URL:

  1. Go to
  2. Paste the full Wikipedia URL into the input box.
  3. Click "Shorten URL".
  4. The shortened alias will be displayed below the input box.

For example, inputting: 

Will output: 

The alias can now be copied and shared anywhere a shortened link is helpful.

How to Reuse a Short URL Created Using Wikipedia URL Shortener

Any short URL generated by Wikipedia URL Shortener can be reused indefinitely. To reuse a short link:

  1. Go to
  2. Paste the previously created short URL into the input box.
  3. Click "Shorten URL".

This will simply output the original short URL again. The alias can be copied and resent as many times as needed - it will not expire. The short URLs also work across desktop and mobile, so they can be shared from any device.

Tips for Using Wikipedia URL Shortener Effectively

Here are some tips to use Wikipedia URL Shortener efficiently:

  • Install the browser extension for easy access to the tool.
  • Shorten URLs right before sharing them rather than in advance. The aliases remain active indefinitely.
  • Paste long Wikipedia URLs into messaging and social media posts first, then shorten them in place.
  • Double check that shortened URLs do in fact redirect properly before widely sharing them.
  • Use the custom link display option to set a readable link text descriptor.
  • Review the traffic analytics for popular shortened URLs to see engagement.
  • Shorten Wikipedia URLs from desktop and mobile to ensure cross-device compatibility.

The Security of Wikipedia URL Shortener

Security is an important consideration with any URL shortening service. Wikipedia URL Shortener was designed with a focus on safety and reliability.

How Wikipedia URL Shortener Ensures the Security of its Short URLs

There are several key ways Wikipedia URL Shortener keeps its links secure:

  • HTTPS encryption - All shortened URLs use HTTPS secure connections by default.
  • SSL certificates - The domain is protected by a valid SSL certificate to prevent spoofing.
  • No redirects - Shortened URLs link directly to Wikipedia, with no intermediary redirects.
  • In-house service - Wikipedia URL Shortener is run entirely by the Wikimedia Foundation, not an outside party.
  • Link scanning - All original URLs entered are scanned for malicious content before shortening. Dangerous links will generate an error instead.
  • Analytics - Usage metrics let suspicious traffic spikes be detected early.
  • No sign-up required - Not needing accounts prevents credential leaks and exploits.

Combined, these measures ensure shortened URLs from Wikipedia URL Shortener are as secure and reliable as the Wikipedia articles they point to. Users can feel safe clicking any link beginning with "".

The Restrictions on the Types of URLs that can be Shortened Using Wikipedia URL Shortener

To further enhance reliability, Wikipedia URL Shortener only works for URLs from Wikipedia domains. Attempting to shorten a link from any non-Wikimedia site will result in an error. This prevents the tool from being misused to create shortened redirects for malicious third-party sites. The only URLs that can be successfully shortened are those linking internally on Wikipedia sites, such as:

  • Articles - The core encyclopedia pages found at
  • Project pages - Links for Wikimedia projects like Wiktionary or Wikibooks.
  • Help pages - Wikipedia help and policy pages.
  • User talk pages - Pages for discussions between Wikipedia editors.
  • Special pages - Special administration and tool pages.
  • Data item pages - Pages for database entries like media files.

This extensive but closed domain support makes Wikipedia URL Shortener suitable and safe for broad public use while still restricting misuse.

The Rate Limit for Using Wikipedia URL Shortener

To prevent abuse and overuse, Wikipedia URL Shortener implements a reasonable rate limit. Each IP address can create a maximum of 300 shortened URLs per hour. Beyond this limit, further attempts will be temporarily blocked. This prevents malicious parties from repeatedly bombarding the tool. The rate limit ensures fair usage across all users. In practice, this allowance is more than sufficient for normal use cases. Most users will never reach the hourly 300 URL threshold. By restricting usage at scale, the rate limit helps Wikipedia URL Shortener maintain stellar uptime and performance. The tool can handle billions of requests without stability issues.

The Importance of Using Wikipedia URL Shortener for Secure and Reliable Short URLs

While other popular URL shorteners exist, Wikipedia URL Shortener stands out for generating the most trustworthy and safe shortened URLs due to its security and reliability mechanisms. Short links created by the tool lead precisely where they claim to - verified Wikipedia content. Users never have to worry about a "" link redirecting anywhere dangerous or spammy. This peace of mind catalyzes the widespread ongoing use of Wikipedia URL Shortener.

Wikipedia URL Shortener and SEO

URL shortening can impact a webpage's search engine optimization (SEO) in both positive and negative ways. Wikipedia URL Shortener specifically optimizes shortened URLs for readability rather than SEO.

The Impact of Using Wikipedia URL Shortener on SEO

In general, shortened URLs have minimal direct influence on SEO. Search engines place little weight on URL length or format. However, indirect SEO impacts include:

  • Link value - Inbound links pass more value if from a trusted domain. The Wikipedia association provides a minor boost versus random shorteners.
  • Click-through rate - Shorter/cleaner URLs tend to see higher click-throughs. This metric factors into search rankings.
  • Social shares - Compact shortened URLs are more readily shared on social media, improving exposure.
  • Security - Secure HTTPS and SSL increase credibility and rankings versus HTTP URLs.

So while the URLs themselves matter little for SEO, the peripheral effects of shortening via Wikipedia URL Shortener can provide marginal search visibility benefits.

How to Optimize a Short URL Created Using Wikipedia URL Shortener for SEO

The shortened URLs themselves require no specific optimization. However, best practices for link presentation still apply:

  • Use descriptive anchor text rather than just the short URL when hyperlinking text.
  • Include the article title or other contextual details alongside the shortened URL.
  • Hyperlink words and phrases relevant to the target page rather than random text.
  • Place shortened links prominently in content rather than buried or cluttered.
  • Ensure surrounding content relates closely to the linked page.

Proper contextual integration matters more for SEO than the URL details. Optimized external links point to credible authoritative sources and use keywords intelligently.

The Benefits of Using Wikipedia URL Shortener for Social Media Sharing

Shortened URLs created by Wikipedia URL Shortener make content much easier to share on social platforms. Key advantages include: More characters available - The shortened links minimize character usage, allowing more surrounding text. Cleaner look - Short URLs reduce link clutter and streamline shared posts and tweets. Recognizable domain - The prefix communicates a credible Wikipedia source at a glance. Built-in click tracking - The link analytics show social engagement, clicks, and traffic data. Link encryption - HTTPS links share more securely across social platforms. Consistent accessibility - Short URLs work consistently across desktop and mobile with universal redirection. These benefits enable more prominent, trackable Wikipedia links on social media to drive engagement.

The Role of Wikipedia URL Shortener in Online Marketing and Branding

For businesses, Wikipedia URL Shortener can be leveraged for subtle marketing and branding benefits through social media and link sharing. Specifically, shortened Wikipedia links:

  • Associate content with a trustworthy authoritative source.
  • Imply expertise and knowledge on a topic by referencing Wikipedia.
  • Allow tracking of Wikipedia click-throughs from shared content.
  • Get company domains on reputable external sites via outbound links.
  • Increase branded traffic and backlinks by getting readers onto relevant Wikipedia pages.

However, marketers should take care to use the tool appropriately and add true value rather than spam. With responsible use, shortened Wikipedia links offer brands extra credibility and visibility.

Best Practices for Using Wikipedia URL Shortener

Like any powerful technology tool, Wikipedia URL Shortener should be utilized properly as a force for knowledge sharing rather than harm. Here are some best practices to use the tool effectively and ethically:

How to Use Wikipedia URL Shortener Responsibly

  • Shorten and share links to provide key background information and context, not to mislead.
  • Redirect to factual pages reflecting consensus knowledge, not fringe theories.
  • Verify shortened URLs redirect properly before sharing widely.
  • Avoid overusing shortened links where regular URLs suffice.
  • Monitor traffic analytics for sudden spikes that may signal misuse.
  • Report inappropriate use cases to Wikipedia URL Shortener staff.
  • Do not attempt to overload or disrupt the tool's functioning through automation.
  • Abide by the usage rate limits without attempting to circumvent them.

The Importance of Verifying Information from Multiple Sources

No single information source - including Wikipedia - should be blindly trusted. Best practice is to:

  • Fact check articles against other reputable sources like encyclopedias, research studies, and major media outlets.
  • Look for consensus and corroboration of information across sources.
  • Note any factual disputes between sources for further investigation.
  • Evaluate the credibility of the sources being compared.
  • Use Wikipedia itself as a discovery tool to locate additional quality sources on topics.

Thorough verification protects against misinformation and provides a balanced perspective.

The Role of Wikipedia URL Shortener in Academic Research and Writing

In academics, responsibly using shortened Wikipedia URLs involves:

  • Using links to provide starting background information, not core facts.
  • Seeking out primary and scholarly sources to deeply understand topics.
  • Properly attributing Wikipedia via in-text citations and bibliographies.
  • Clarifying when information is directly summarized versus paraphrased from Wikipedia.
  • Not relying solely on Wikipedia pages as authoritative academic sources.
  • Checking university library databases for peer-reviewed journals on subjects.
  • Discussing with advisors and professors when Wikipedia use is appropriate.

With care and integrity, shortened Wikipedia links add efficiency and insight to academic work.

The Ethical Considerations of Using Wikipedia URL Shortener for Information Sharing and Dissemination

Some key principles to keep in mind when using Wikipedia URL Shortener:

  • Respect subject matter experts by fact-checking shared information.
  • Provide context alongside shortened links to convey nuance.
  • Avoid spreading misinformation or copyright violations via links.
  • Consider accessibility to ensure shared information is usable by all.
  • Remove or correct any problematic shortened URLs that arise.
  • Promote diversity of voices and perspectives in shared content.
  • Advance human knowledge by linking to substantive informational resources.
  • Build understanding between people of differing backgrounds.

Applied judiciously, Wikipedia URL Shortener becomes an engine for knowledge, progress, and public enrichment.

Deeper Dive: Advanced Use Cases for Wikipedia URL Shortener

Beyond basic link shortening, Wikipedia URL Shortener enables some powerful advanced use cases through its API and other functionality.

Wikipedia URL Shortener Browser Extensions

The browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, etc. unlock advanced shortcuts and capabilities:

  • Right-click any Wikipedia link to immediately shorten it.
  • Shorten multiple URLs at once through the extension toolbar.
  • View usage stats directly next to shortened URLs.
  • Options to copy new or reused short links with one click.
  • Shorten links without leaving the current tab open.
  • Create QR codes for shortened URLs to scan and share offline.

The extensions optimize and streamline access to Wikipedia URL Shortener for frequent use.

The Wikipedia URL Shortener API

Developers can leverage the tool through its full-featured API:

  • Shorten URLs programmatically in any application.
  • Generate billions of short links through automated processes.
  • Integrate customized shortening into websites and apps.
  • Build browser extensions, bots, apps, scripts, and tools powered by the API.
  • Access advanced analytics not available through the main interface.

The API opens up Wikipedia URL Shortener for large-scale creative implementations.

Using Custom Aliases

Unique customized short URLs can be produced using "wiki/Special:URLShortener" URLs:

This advanced technique assigns a custom alias while still redirecting to a Wikipedia URL. Usernames, brands, campaigns, etc. can potentially be incorporated into custom aliases where relevant. This expands branding and vanity use cases. However, these customized URLs are not immune to link rot if Wikipedia articles are moved or deleted. Some risk is involved when using static aliases.

Sharing Links to Specific Sections

Long Wikipedia links can be shortened to direct to a specific section within an article by adding a hashtag:

Shortening this link provides a simple way to guide readers directly to the "Seasons" section further down the page. This enhances Wikipedia as an educational research tool by pointing users to the most pertinent information.

Link Shortener Tool Comparison

Wikipedia URL Shortener has tradeoffs versus other popular tools:

  • Allows custom short URLs
  • Integrates with social media
  • Provides detailed analytics


  • Can shorten any long URL
  • Simple and intuitive interface
  • High reliability and uptime

  • Advanced social media integration
  • Built-in click tracking
  • User dashboard for link management

Google URL Shortener

  • Shortened links auto-update if destination moves
  • Safe and trusted tool from major brand
  • Seamlessly integrates with other Google services

Each tool has unique strengths and weaknesses. Wikipedia URL Shortener stands out specifically for trust and authority.

Potential Upcoming Features

Wikipedia URL Shortener may implement new capabilities in the future:

  • User accounts to save and manage links
  • Password protection for private short URLs
  • Advanced analytics and charts
  • Mobile app integration and shortcuts
  • Browser bookmarklet for quick access
  • Link management dashboard

Continued improvements will keep Wikipedia URL Shortener a relevant, competitive choice among URL shorteners. Wikipedia URL Shortener empowers seamless sharing of trustworthy information through shortened, readable URLs. This simple yet immensely useful tool has enriched link sharing for Wikipedia readers and editors worldwide. Used ethically, Wikipedia URL Shortener promotes the spread of knowledge both online and offline. The tool encapsulates Wikipedia's mission to provide free access to human knowledge to all. With responsible use, Wikipedia URL Shortener will continue enlightening millions worldwide for years to come.