2 January 2023

UT.onl: URL shortener for students and staff

WE'VE built A UT URL SHORTENER to create your own UT-branded short URL. 

We receive many requests to shorten URLs to pages on utwente.nl, especially for posters and flyers but also for easy-to-remember links on the web. To make the shortening process quicker, less work, and more fun we now let UT members create their own short personalised UT URL, including facilities for advanced measuring. 

What is a URL shortener?

A URL/link shortener is an easy-to-use tool that makes a long URL short. Basically, the shortener gives you a shortened URL and it "remembers" the full address. When other users use your shortened URL, they will be automatically redirected to the full address. 

  • 6 very good reasons to use a URL shortener!

    1) Character / space limits

    Certain applications (UT brochure tool for study programs), printed materials (posters) or platforms (e.g. Twitter) have character limits and space. You can only include a certain number of characters before it gets cut off or does not fit your design template. URL shorteners reduce the number of characters in a link to make sure your content fits.

    2) Tracking performance

    URL shorteners carry data that allow you to track the number of link clicks: put your unique shortened link on a poster and you can measure the effectiveness. 

    3) Branding

    URL shorteners convey a message, a brand, or at least a memorable part that belongs to a certain oraginsation (like ut.onl or bit.ly).

    4) Link sharing

    Shortened links are easier to share e.g. on social media, emails, chats, documents, etc. If you want to get your URL out into the world, a shortened link can be a great way to make things easier. 

    5) Internal Knowledge sharing 

    All companies have huge amounts of data, dashboards, and important information that their employees need to know. Shortened links make it easier to organise and access that data and information, which saves time and energy and can help increase productivity.

    6) Control and repair links

    From time to time URLs change and links are not working anymore. With a shortened URL administered by you, it's easy to fix a link. You just need to go to your URL shortener dashboard and update the destination location. The initial short URL stays the same!

    Need more Inspiration on how to use a URL shortener?

    Check this page for 101 reasons to use a URL shortener  https://blog.rebrandly.com/101-ways-to-use-a-custom-url-shortener/

The UT Shortener

UT now offers the ut.onl shortener that generates a short url starting with ut.onl/xyz comparable to the worldwide used bit.ly service. Our service can only be used by UT members and only supports specific UT domains.

Get rid of long links and make them short!
Use ut.onl

Find more details and tips for the ut.onl service on our UT service portal page about ut.onl.


For the introduction of the shortener, we set up a small competition, which you automatically enter when using the ut.onl URL shortener. Here's the deal:

  • The main goal is to save as many characters as possible.
  • The person who claims the longest destination URL and reduces it to a short version wins the competition! We count the number of characters saved.
  • Example: utwente.nl/im-a-really-long-and-daunting-url-i-do-not-like (58 characters) is shortened to ut.onl/short (12 characters); 46 characters saved!  
  • The contest will run until 5 March 2023
  • In case of a tie condition the timestamp for creating the short URL is used: first come first served :-)
  • Insinuating URLs will be excluded and deleted (administrators will inform you by email)
  • Only existing and supported websites can enter the contest (page creation date is older than challenge start date: 1 January 2023)


  • 1st place: SEO copywriter training (45 minutes) offered by our marketing specialist.
  • 2nd place: UT hoodie


For questions or comments, please contact onlinemedia-mc@utwente.nl

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