How many social media channels do you have now? At least three, I bet. Likely more.

The funky part about all of social media URLs is that they’re usually inconsistent. Just take a look at a few of mine. Try reciting those to prospects without making their heads spin.

So, I’ve decided to consolidate. Imagine how simple and pretty the following business card draft looks! Simple and minimal.

worlds simplest business card

Want to learn how to create link redirects like this? This is the only beginning. You could redirect anything!

(this tutorial is for Apache (Linux server), which is probably most of you)

301 htaccess Redirect

It requires a minimal bit of server knowledge, but I’ll walk you through it. There are WordPress plugins that do 301 redirects, but this is how you code it.

1. View Hidden Files

You need to change your viewing settings on your computer to be able to see an .htaccess file (because they’re hidden by default).

  • Instructions for PC
  • Instructions for Mac

htaccess file2. Download / Create .htaccess File

Login to your server via FTP. If you see an .htaccess file (e.g., image below), download it and open it with a notepad / text pad application. Otherwise, download this file. Use this file if you’re on WordPress.

Unzip the file, then we’re going to edit it.

3. Edit .htaccess File

Once you open the file with Dreamweaver or equivalent, change the links to fit your profiles. The following codes are written within the general file. If you’re using WordPress, skip to the next example.

(a) First, change the prefix to what you want the shortcut to be. For example, “http://tofurious.com/t” or “http://tofurious.com/twitter” or whatever you want.

(b) Next, change the suffix to the destination URL. For example, “http://twitter.com/tofurious” or even “http://www.google.com/” if you want.

For WordPress users, use the following as a reference. Remember to put all of this before the WordPress htaccess calls!

RewriteRule ^t$ http://twitter.com/tofurious [R=301,L]
RewriteRule ^f$ http://www.facebook.com/tofuriouspage [R=301,L]
RewriteRule ^p$ http://pinterest.com/tofurious [R=301,L]

(a) First, change the prefix to what you want the shortcut to be. For example, “^t$” means “http://tofurious.com/t.” You may change it to “^$twitter” if you’d like, which would mean “http://tofurious.com/tofurious.”

(b)Next, change the suffix to the destination URL (link before “[R=301,L]”). For example, “http://twitter.com/tofurious” or even “http://www.google.com/” if you want.

4. Save and Upload

I would suggest changing your existing .htaccess file to .htaccess2, so that you have your original file. This way, you could revert back to the renamed file if anything goes awry. Afterward, upload your newly saved .htaccess file to the root directory of your website.

Test! If it doesn’t work, then either the .htaccess was not edited correctly or wasn’t uploaded to the correct directory on your server.

Cheers,

Lawrence Chan

P.S. I recently saw a business using this same concept. My friend invited me to John’s Incredible Pizza (suped up Chuck E. Cheese’s) and I saw their social media card. Look familiar?

johns incredible pizza

P.P.S. Spring is here! I found some rabbits in this field of mustard flowers! I felt a bit like Katniss Everdeen.

spring