Link Cloaking Plugin for WordPress

This is a plugin for WordPress that can automatically cloak outgoing links in your posts and/or pages.

Download plugin
(Note: May not be compatible with the latest version of Eclipse Link Cloaker.)

Features

  • Choose what to cloak – all links, only the links you specify or no links at all.
  • Choose where to cloak – posts, pages or both.
  • Exception list – links pointing to domains in this list will not be cloaked. For example, this is useful if you have chosen to cloak all links but don’t want to cloak the links to your own domains.
  • Compatible with all browsers – the link cloaker plugin doesn’t use JavaScript so it will work even for visitors that have disabled JS.
  • “Smart” cloaking – relative, ambiguous or malformed URLs will not be cloaked. Better safe than sorry.
  • If desired, you can also add your own cloaked links manually.

Examples

Lets say you’ve got a link you want to be cloaked.

<a href="http://example.com/?affiliate=me">Cloak Me</a>

Once you install the plugin, it will automatically, without requiring any configuration, turn it into a cloaked link when it’s displayed to a visitor:

<a href="http://yoursite.com/goto/Cloak_Me/12/34">Cloak Me</a>

Here’s a live example: Cloak Me

As an alternative to the fully automatic cloaking, you can switch the plugin to “selective cloaking” and tag the links you want to cloak manually:

<a href="http://example.com/?affiliate=me">Cloak Me<!--cloak--></a>

Note: The plugin does not actually edit your posts or permanently modify your links. Instead, it switches them on-the-fly whenever someone views them on your site. When editing a post in the admin panel, you will see the original, uncloaked link.

Download

Version 1.8.4 : link-cloaking-plugin.zip (16 KB)

Requirements :

  • WordPress 2.8 – 3.3
  • mod_rewrite. If “pretty permalinks” work on your blog then you probably have this already.

(Note: May not be compatible with the latest version of Eclipse Link Cloaker.)

Installation

  1. Download the link-cloaking-plugin.zip file.
  2. Unzip the file.
  3. Upload the `link-cloaking-plugin` folder to the `/wp-content/plugins/` directory.
  4. Activate the plugin through the ‘Plugins’ menu in WordPress.
  5. (Optional) Go to Settings -> Link Cloaking and modify the default settings to your liking.

FAQ

Why are some of my links not getting cloaked?

The most common possibilities are:

  • Links in the sidebar, header, comment area and so on can’t be cloaked by the free version of the plugin. It only works on links in page/post body. Upgrade to the premium version to cloak links anywhere on the page.
  • Links added using other plugins, theme features or custom fields are also supported only in the premium version.
  • JavaScript links, as well as Flash and context-sensitive ads are not supported by any version of this plugin.

Why are none of my links getting cloaked?

  • If using “Seletive cloaking”, make sure you have actually marked some links with the <!--cloak--> tag.
  • Double-check that the links in question aren’t added or modified by plugins, the theme, or custom fields.
  • Contact me. You might have found a bug.

The exception list doesn’t seem to work. What could be the problem?

Make sure to enter only domain names in the “Exceptions” box. For example, given a link like “http://example.com/directory/page.html”, the domain name is the “example.com” part. So to prevent the plugin from cloaking that link, add “example.com” (sans quotes) to the “Exceptions” box. Entering the full URL or “http://example.com/” will not work.

Additionally, if some of your links point to example.com and some to www.example.com, you will need to add both of those to the exceptions.

Why do some cloaked links redirect me back to my homepage?

Most likely, your post(s) contain links created or modified by other plugins, the theme, or custom fields. Either remove those links, or upgrade to the premium version.

Why do some cloaked links redirect me back to my homepage?

See the previous question.

Why do cloaked links display a “Not Found” error?

  • Make sure you’re using pretty permalinks.
  • Your .htaccess might be out of date. To update it, go to Settings -> Permalinks and click “Save Changes”.
  • Your hosting company may be blocking browser access to PHP files in the /wp-content/plugins/ directory, usually as a security measure. The free version of the plugin is not compatible with these hosts. Consider using the premium version instead.

I have a question not addressed in this FAQ. What should I do?

Either leave a comment below, or email me directly. My email address can be found on the contact page.

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765 Responses to “Link Cloaking Plugin for WordPress”

  1. Jānis Elsts says:

    As far as I know Blogger does not support plugins, so you would have to use some kind of third-party service for this. Maybe you could just use an URL shortener like bitly.com or is.gd.

  2. Yin says:

    First of all, thank you for your time.
    I installed this amazing plugin, unfortunately I met 404 error page every time. Tried methods mentioned in the comments, for example, update permanent link, still does not work. My server is IIS, there is no htaccess files at all, what I can find is httpd.ini file only.
    Can you please kindly show me the rewrite rule for IIS? I have tried to transfer rules from htaccess to http.ini, but failed…

    I will appreciate it if you can do me this favor. Thank you in advance.
    FYI, my http.ini is like this:
    [ISAPI_Rewrite]
    # 3600 = 1 hour
    CacheClockRate 3600
    RepeatLimit 32
    # Protect httpd.ini and httpd.parse.errors files
    # from accessing through HTTP
    # Rules to ensure that normal content gets through
    # Link Cloaker Plugin BEGIN
    RewriteRule /goto/([^/]*)/([0-9]+)/([0-9]+)/? wp-content/plugins/link-cloaking-plugin/wplc_redirector.php?post_id=$2&link_num=$3&cloaked_url=$0 [L]
    RewriteRule /goto/([^/]+)[/]? wp-content/plugins/link-cloaking-plugin/wplc_redirector.php?name=$1&cloaked_url=$0 [L]
    # Link Cloaker Plugin ENDS
    RewriteRule /sitemap.xml /sitemap.xml [L]
    RewriteRule /favicon.ico /favicon.ico [L]
    # For file-based wordpress content (i.e. theme), admin, etc.
    RewriteRule /wp-(.*) /wp-$1 [L]
    # For normal wordpress content, via index.php
    RewriteRule ^/$ /index.php [L]
    RewriteRule /(.*) /index.php/$1 [L]

  3. Sara D says:

    Thank you for the great plugin!

  4. lowrie says:

    not word with Nginx, please help me

  5. franky says:

    just getting a blank white page!!!

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