As it turned out, I was making a mental mountain out of a miniature molehill. I do that sometimes, get all caught up in a non-meaningful detail. This was easy, it wasn’t super complicated, and it was fast. On the scale of things where WordPress is the easiest (1) and MediaWiki is the hardest (8), this landed next to Zenphoto (4) and was about the same (3 or 4, depending on your skills). It requires more RTFM than WordPress, and I had to do some things manually.
Setting Up Your Domain
First buy the domain. This part is obvious, I hope. Since I’m on cPanel, I added my new domain as an addon domain to the master. This let me have the short domain (do4.us let’s say) hosted off the main domain.com site, without making a separate account. If I’d wanted to map a domain, I would have parked instead of addon-ing.
To add an addon domain in cPanel:
- Enter the domain for the new addon domain into the New Domain Name field.
- Enter the main FTP username for the addon domain in the Subdomain/Ftp Username field. You can use the one you use for the mani account if you want.
- In the Document Root field, enter the directory that will contain the addon domain’s files.
- Enter the password for the addon domain into the Password field.
- Make sure you use a secure password.
- You can have cPanel generate a secure pasword for you using the Generate Password feature.
- Confirm the password in the Password (Again) field.
- Click Add Domain
- To add files to the addon domain’s home directory, click the File Manager link, or use FTP/SSH like normal people.
Once I did that, and DNS propagated, I was ready to go.
Installing the App
I decided to use Yourls for this, since my friends use it, and I know (in that internet way) the guys behind it. Hi, Ozh.
That said, their install doc was screwed up. For 1.5, it says to edit a file that apparently isn’t included in the build. That’s okay, since I just used SVN anyway. The directions are very much geeky. This is not a simple WordPress install.
What I did was first make a database
domain_yourls and added my DB user account to it (I never use my domain FTP account). Then I ran an SVN checkout from googlecode to grab the files into the root of my add-on domain:
svn checkout http://yourls.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/ .
After that, it’s the manual editing of the config file (the sample of which is not included in the 1.5 zip) and then I went to myurls.com/admin/ to finish setup. I had to grab the .htaccess file sample, since mine didn’t copy down (my own fault there).
Configuring the App
Install the YOURLS: WordPress to Twitter plugin. Even if you don’t plan on using the auto-tweet function, this is the easiest way to get your URLs made. The “hard part” here is setting up a Twitter ‘app’ for the first time. If you’ve done it before, it’s not terribly hard, but with all new things, it’s scary. Ozh’s directions are painless, thankfully, and then … you’re done. And you have your own Short URLS!
Two things, and neither are YOURLS fault!
1) Twitter doesn’t know that three different URLs (domain.com/postname, domain.com/?p=2 and do4.us/2 for example) are all the same URL. That means if you use those Twitter Rewteet buttons on posts, it doesn’t show up the same way, and the ‘count’ is off.
2) There isn’t an easy way to tell Jetpack to use my short URLs instead of my site’s full one. Edited to add: By this I mean only in the ShareDaddy links. Like the ‘tweet/email/facebook’ ones. Actual shortlinks work perfectly.
I suppose a third is ‘Damn it, Twitter, stop shortening a short URL!’ but that’s a different rant.
Should you do this?
I think so, but then again, I’m weird.
Otto – Using YOURLS with WordPress
Rev. Voodoo – How I Set up Vudu.me URL Shortener With Yourls