Some time ago I created a WordPress plugin that can cloak affiliate links automatically. Today I’m releasing a new version, with all-new feature(s)!
The main improvement I’ve implemented is “static link cloaking”. The previous version of the plugin could only cloak links that you’ve actually used in a post, which is inconvenient if you want to use the cloaked link anywhere else, like forums or e-mails, because the cloaked URL might change or stop working if you edited the post. This is still true for automatically cloaked links, but now there’s a new feature available – static links.
Static Links Are Different
- Independent from the rest of your blog’s content – add any links and use them anywhere!
- No numbers tacked on the end.
- The number of hits is tracked!
Here’s an actual example of how a (static) cloaked link’s URL looks –
http://w-shadow.com/goto/GTrends/ (goes to my keyword research tool).
Using Static Links
You can add, remove or view the links in the Manage -> Cloaked Links tab. This page contains a form for adding new links and a list of existing cloaked links, if any. The list also shows the number of hits for each link. Note that the plugin counts all hits, including those generated by search engines and the like. This means that the number will probably be a bit higher than the actual amount of clicks the link received.
A link is defined by a name and a destination URL. The name is what you’ll see in the cloaked URL – in the example above it’s “GTrends”. The name shouldn’t contain any special symbols, like spaces, question marks, non-latin characters and so on. For best compatibility, use only latin letters, numbers and underscores in the name field. The name is case-insensitive and must be unique for each link.
The destination URL indicates the address to which the visitor will be redirected when he clicks the link. No surprises here – just make sure the URL is correct.
Adding static cloaked links is easy – just enter the name and URL in the corresponding boxes and click “Add”. The resulting cloaked URL will look similar to this – http://your_blog_address.com/more/MyLink/. “more” is a prefix that you can set in Options -> Link Cloaking and “MyLink” is the link’s name. You can also view the cloaked URL by clicking the “show cloaked url” thingy near each links destination URL.
To delete a cloaked link, click the “Delete” link in the corresponding row.
Download : WordPress Link Cloaking Plugin, ver. 1.1 (9 KB)
After you’ve uploaded and activated the plugin, you must go to Options -> Permalinks and click Update Permalinks. This is necessary even if you have the previous version installed. The cloaked links won’t work if you don’t do this! Complete installation instructions and more information about this plugin are available in the original post.