- Author: Dave Krause
The URL Squisher, our URL shortening system, received a facelift and a new feature today. We didn't want the old guy feeling left out as we formally announce the arrival of "Permafrost," the new, permanent link system.
Before shining the light on the new system, let's take a look at what's new with the Squisher.
The Squisher is now part of the "URL Tools" family, so we added a navigation bar to take you from section to section, cleaned up the design and added QR code creation to the squishing process. Now, when you create a new squish, the system will automatically generate a QR code that you can view and save for use on printed materials. If you're not familiar with QR codes, check out this post by local blogger Mike Poe.
Also, all existing squishes now have QR codes! Just go into the squisher and click on the squish to edit it, and you will see a brand, new code waiting for you.
QR codes creation is something we added to the Portal when we quietly rolled out the "Permafrost" system a few months ago. The Squisher was designed to make pretty, short URLs for various things. It wasn't meant to be a long-term link replacement system. For example, when the state site (ucanr.org), moved to Site Builder 3, a few pages were created that disabled Squishes. Fortunately, these pages were replacing squishes, so no harm really came from the transition.
Permafrost answers the need for permanent linking. It's not as pretty as the Squished URLs can be, but it's sturdy. Also, you must have two owners for every Permafrost link, helping ensure that the upkeep on these links continues beyond our time with ANR web tools. Permafrost will also generate QR codes.
Both the Squisher and Permafrost will only accept ANR controlled URLs for linking. If you need a QR code for a non-ANR site, we have another new feature to help!
On the home page for URL Tools, you see a simple QR code generator on the right. Enter your URL, and the system will quickly create a QR code for it. Download the code and you're ready to go!