As of April 21, 2014, BudURL has made a change in the way we deal with links from non-paying account holders. While this may have a short-term negative impact for some of you, we hope you'll read through our reasoning and understand our intent in this decision.
BudURL is quickly approaching our 5 year anniversary. During this time, we have allowed our customers to downgrade to a free account and maintain their link redirects, but we stopped providing analytics. The goal was always to allow people to try the service without fear of creating a link that wouldn't be around long-term if the trial didn't work.
Unfortunately, over time, we have seen an increase in spam-related behavior, abandoned accounts, and activity that, when left idle, ultimately creates a negative impact on the BudURL eco-system.
After months of deliberation, we realized that in order for us to provide the absolute best service to our customers, we needed to focus on creating the best eco-system for our customers; present and future. Since we have always believed in letting our customers pay for our service (rather than monetizing your data through third-parties, ads, or other means), we approached the dilemma with the simplest solution possible. We focused on our paying customers who trust us to use their investment to create added value now and in the future. Our basic plan is $8 per month and our logic is that if your links aren't worth $8 per month, you probably won't care much if they are no longer active or will invest a bit of time to update them. Our goal is not to penalize any user of our service, but to ensure that those who are actively investing in the platform receive the greatest experience possible.
Our sincere hope is that this change will purge the bad URLs from our eco-system, improve our domain reputation, allow our legitimate users to step up with a reasonable investment to either maintain their account or transition their links elsewhere, and allow us to improve our domain reputation in advance of our upcoming major platform upgrade.
The reality is that we probably won't be able to find the perfect solution for everyone, but we hope this is a reasonable path forward. We welcome your feedback either through this thread or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.