[Publish] Setting up your own custom link shortener

Link shortening with buff.ly is available on all plans. However, the ability to change your link shortener, is only available on our Pro, Premium and Business Plans. More information on our plans can be found here.

As well as being able to choose between buff.ly, bit.ly, and j.mp, you might also choose to connect your own custom link shortener to Buffer Publish. This is possible if it's registered with Bit.ly.

If you have multiple custom link shorteners, registered under different Bit.ly accounts, and you'd like to connect different ones to different social accounts within Buffer Publish, please log out of your Bit.ly account before going through the steps below. You'll then be prompted for authorization, at which point you can ensure you're logging into the Bit.ly account you'd like to use.


Register the domain you'd like to use

It’s important to note that this domain can only be used for shortened URLs. Your short domain name needs to be 15 characters or less (including the dot and extension), or your links won’t display your custom URL.


Add your domain to Bit.ly

You need to sign in or register for a Bitly account. Once you’ve logged into Bitly, you’ll need to go to Settings in the top right hand corner, and then click on the Advanced button.

Under the Branded Short Domain header, select if you’re using your short domain for personal or business use. Bitly should then ask you to verify your email address.


Create a DNS record for your domain name

The next step involves changing your DNS information. A DNS is what makes a browser point to a website, so this is where you’re telling your custom short domain to point to Bitly. To update your DNS information, you’ll need to go to the website where you registered your domain name.

Updating your DNS is typically pretty simple and should be very similar to the instruction below, even if you don’t use Name.com. For Name.com customers, you would log into your Name.com account, click on your short URL, and then click on Update DNS records.

You would then need to edit the A record for your site. You can do this by changing the IP address to If there isn’t an existing A record, add a new one. Where you see host, you can either leave it blank or add an @ sign. Either option works because they do the same thing. It’s also important to note that you should only have one A record. If you have more than one A record, you should remove all of them that don’t point to Bitly’s IP address.


Verify your domain ownership

Now that your A record has been added to your domain name you need to go back to the Branding Domains Settings on Bit.ly and click the Verify button. When you do this, your domain should then be connected to your Bit.ly account.


Connect your Bit.ly account to your Buffer Publish account

Next, log into your Buffer Publish account, select the social account on the left hand side that you'd like to update link shortening for, and then head to Settings. Under the Link Shortening section, click Connect Bit.ly. Follow the steps to authorize Buffer Publish to connect to your Bit.ly account.


Try it out!

Finally, schedule a new post, paste a link into the composer, and make sure it's shortened using your new custom link shortener!

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