protect your privacy with one-time-use shortened URLs

once.ly version 0.00000manyzeroesbeta1 - use at your own risk!


Optionally redirect the user to this URL when the shortened link is expired.


Hi I'm 12 and what is this?
It's a URL shortener, a la bit.ly, goo.gl, and tinyurl.com. It takes your long, clumsy URLs and turns them into short, nimble versions, suitable for sharing with others in chat, email, smoke signals, etc.
Why once.ly instead of e.g. bit.ly?
Other URL shorteners are great if you want the shortened URL to stay around forever. We're semi-unique (like Miley Cyrus) in that we allow you to expire it after a certain number of clicks or certain amount of time. Also, bit.ly's web site is extraordinarily hard to use. No, it's not.
What would I use this for?
You could send someone a "secret" link that would be useless (and untraceable) after they click through. You could run a "first 10 people to click" style contest. You could use it to find out if a link is ever followed, like James Bond putting a hair on his closet door. I don't know, man, be creative with your bad self.
What should I definitely NOT use this for?
It doesn't make any kind of sense to use this service if you want your shortened URL to have any permanence. And if any maintainers of URL-unshortening libraries are reading this, please don't add support for us. We're very shy. Also, it would be dumb.
Why once.ly instead of e.g. clockurl.com?
Honestly, no reason whatsoever. Their product is much more mature. But they charge money for some features.
Is it safe to use?
Nope. We might lose your link, someone else might guess it, or we might screw something else up. This is definitely a caveat emptor type situation. Fortunately, we purge expired links once a day, so at least your privacy is protected.
Is there anything else I should know?
If you plan to share your shortened URL via a channel that provides a link preview (e.g. Facebook), please be aware that this will consume at least one "click." You should increase the resolve number to compensate for this. Your mileage may vary.
Why does it look like a dumpster fire?
The original programmer is from a parallel universe where CSS was never invented. Also, he is a barely-functioning mentally-challenged person. Who's had a lot of wine tonight. Fortunately, the co-founder will soon be jumping in to clean up this hot mess.
What other ancient technology are you rocking back there?
Redis, with a splash of jQuery. Scalability, here we come!
To whom shall I address my complaints?
Please email us at support at once dot ly. We'll get back to you as soon as probably never.
Why lambda?
In nuclear physics, it represents the constant of radioactive decay. I know, we're so clever.