There happens from time to time that you’ll want to know if someone has “clicked the link” that you’ve shared. Say, for example, you have concern that “a scammer” is up to no good, and you’d like to know where that scammer is. This article is going to show you some tools.
If you have a web site you’ll likely be using Google Analytics or one of the other “site visitor” trackers. That’s good stuff! But sometimes it isn’t a site visitor that you are looking to track.
In comes: Link trackers!
As always, we are only interested in the free link trackers. Here are a few.
Add a header to begin generating the table of contents
Bitly is one of the “original” logger/shortener sites. The free version is “generous”, with up to 1000 different tracked links per month, and a 30 day retention on click through. 2FA is available for those of you who are security conscious — which should be everyone who reads my posts! 🙂
Grabify IP Logger
works reasonably well. You provide a web url, and it creates a tracking url.
Grabify works great, and it provides detailed information on your clickers.
Pros and cons:
(pro) The results page is easy to understand.
(pro) As a bonus, if requested, Grabify will send you an email whenever anyone clicks one of your links.
(negative) Be aware, there are a LOT of advertisements on Grabify. One of the “benefits” to having a free service!
(negative) Also be aware that as of the time of this writing, the base domains are all “non normal”. This may or may not be a consideration for you.
(negative) there is a lot of delay before the link unwraps to the real URL. Your users may get tired of waiting.
IPLogger is another choice in IP Logging. The user interface is cluttered but functional.
Wow Link is another excellent choice in IP Logging. The dashboard is clean and modern.
Note though that Wow Link has a lifetime limit of 5000 links and 10,000 total visitors that can be monitored. For a casual user it will take awhile to get there, with a maximum of 25 links per month.
It was difficult to find the first few, but once I found a few (as in, replacing goo.gl), it opened up a river of options. My recommendations are to
- find one with generous Free allotments, and
- start using it.
Once you figure out if you really want to go to all the trouble, then consider doing more research to find a potentially “better” one. But nearly any of these will do.
Oh, and because there are a lot of scam sites out there, I’d recommend using a throw away email address.
Let’s be safe out there!