Why Go.USA.gov does not currently create custom URLs

We get a lot of requests for vanity URLs on Go.USA.gov. For instance, someone may want to shorten a URL to information about wildfire preparedness and give it a custom name like Go.USA.gov/wildfires. This is a feature of other URL shorteners like bit.ly and TinyURL, but we’re still not sure if we want to implement this on Go.USA.gov. Here’s why:

1,000 Users and 1,000,000 Clicks

This week Go.USA.gov reached two exciting milestones:

  1. We now have over 1,000 registered users on Go.USA.gov.
  2. Go.USA.gov URLs have been clicked over one million times.

We are extremely excited about this growth because it’s helping us get closer to our goal of providing real-time data about what’s popular across government. Because Go.USA.gov is being used by 1,000 people working in different agencies across all levels of government, we’re tracking clicks on links about an astounding variety of information.

1,000 Users and 1,000,000 Clicks

This week Go.USA.gov reached two exciting milestones:

  1. We now have over 1,000 registered users on Go.USA.gov.
  2. Go.USA.gov URLs have been clicked over one million times.

We are extremely excited about this growth because it’s helping us get closer to our goal of providing real-time data about what’s popular across government. Because Go.USA.gov is being used by 1,000 people working in different agencies across all levels of government, we’re tracking clicks on links about an astounding variety of information.

Stability Issues and CSV Export

You may have noticed that Go.USA.gov has been going down for short periods of time lately. While the service has only been offline for 5 to 10 minutes at a time, this is unacceptable to us and we know it's been a frustration to many of our users.

We've spent the past few weeks scouring our server logs to figure out the cause of the outages and finally found our answer this week: exporting user data as a CSV file. When a user with a large number of URLs clicks the "Export to CSV" link, it places a ton of unnecessary strain on the database.

Stability Issues and CSV Export

You may have noticed that Go.USA.gov has been going down for short periods of time lately. While the service has only been offline for 5 to 10 minutes at a time, this is unacceptable to us and we know it's been a frustration to many of our users.

We've spent the past few weeks scouring our server logs to figure out the cause of the outages and finally found our answer this week: exporting user data as a CSV file. When a user with a large number of URLs clicks the "Export to CSV" link, it places a ton of unnecessary strain on the database.

Go.USA.gov Open for Business!

In case you missed our first announcement in September, Go.USA.gov is a URL shortener created by USA.gov in coordination with the Drupal community. It only shortens government URLs – that is: .mil, .gov, .fed.us, and .si.edu URLs. People can click on Go.USA.gov URLs and know that they will be taken to an official source of government information.

Go.USA.gov Open for Business!

In case you missed our first announcement in September, Go.USA.gov is a URL shortener created by USA.gov in coordination with the Drupal community. It only shortens government URLs – that is: .mil, .gov, .fed.us, and .si.edu URLs. People can click on Go.USA.gov URLs and know that they will be taken to an official source of government information.

Ensuring the Quality of Go.USA.gov URLs

We created Go.USA.gov to let government employees create short, trustworthy URLs for use on Twitter and other online services with character restrictions. It is extremely important to us that individuals who click on these short URLs know that they will always be led to trustworthy government information. To accomplish this, we employ two security restrictions:

Ensuring the Quality of Go.USA.gov URLs

We created Go.USA.gov to let government employees create short, trustworthy URLs for use on Twitter and other online services with character restrictions. It is extremely important to us that individuals who click on these short URLs know that they will always be led to trustworthy government information. To accomplish this, we employ two security restrictions:

FIXED: URLs Not Shortening Properly

NOTICE: This bug has been fixed.

example of bug

We're currently experiencing problems when shortening new long URLs. When you enter a long URL, it returns an incorrect shortened URL in the "Shortened URL" field. The correct shortened URL is, however, available in the list of "Your Recent Links."

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