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Character set

In user/config.php the setting YOURLS_URL_CONVERT defines what characters short URLs will use.

36 or 62, nothing else​

This rather cryptic setting defines the character set used for your short URL "keywords" (the abc12 part in https://sho.rt/abc12):

  • with 36: lower case alphanumeric, i.e. allowed characters are 0123456789abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz
  • with 62: mixed case alphanumeric, i.e. allowed characters are 0123456789abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyzABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
Nerd explanation

The number represent the "base" a sequential or random number will be converted in. Base 36 has 36 characters (10 digits + 26 latin alphabet letters), base 62 has 62 characters (10 digits, 26 lower case and 26 upper case latin letters)

Short URLs will comply to this character set​

When you create a new short URL with a custom keyword, any character not in the list will get removed. Examples:

  • with 62, if you create a short URLs with keyword OMG@🤒ozh♛! it will become OMGozh (non alpha numeric stripped)
  • with 36, short URL keyword OMGozh will become ozh (non lower case alpha numeric stripped)

But I want to use a custom character set​

You want to restrict your short URLs keywords to, say, 12345abcde? No problemo. That's why YOURLS has a plugin architecture, so you can use and make plugins to make it work the way you need. See Plugins.


We suggest you:

  • do not change this setting after you're created some short URL
  • use latin character for your keywords