Link Cloaking Plugin Update

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 – (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 – “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)

Installation Notes
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.

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104 Responses to “Link Cloaking Plugin Update”

  1. Joy says:

    Great plugin, but I do have one quick question….

    I really don’t want or need to cloak all out-bound links on my site, just those from one particular affiliate program:

    Is there a way to use the static links feature in a way that allows me to cloak every link from the top-level domain: even though every instance of that link after the “.com/” is unique?

    Basically, I don’t want to auto-cloak everything, I just want to auto-cloak every link for… but every link is slightly different with the exception of the “primary” domain.


  2. White Shadow says:

    Unfortunately that’s not possible in free version. The closest thing would be to switch to selective cloaking and tag each link you want cloaked with <!–cloak–>.

    The premium version does have an option to cloak only links to specific top-level domains (the inclusion list).

  3. Joy says:

    I will HAPPILY pay more for the premium version if it will allow me to use that feature. So basically, if I upgrade, I uncheck the “cloak” everything option… and then I have the option somewhere to only cloak links that have a specific top-level domain (regardless of the variations that exist in this link…


    and so on….

    I will go ahead and buy the premium if I can simply say:

    cloak everything for but leave everything else alone.

    Is this the case?


  4. White Shadow says:

    Pretty much. Specifically, here’s how you could do it in the premium version :

    1. Switch cloaking mode to “Selective cloaking”.
    2. Enter the domain name(s) in the “Inclusion list” textbox.
    3. Click “Save Changes”.

    I even whipped up a quick screenshot to illustrate.

  5. Joy Miller says:

    That’s perfect!! I’m sold. 🙂 Thanks for the help!

  6. rishil says:

    Was using the plugin happily – and was working fantastically until the last WP upgrade which borked it. Tried reinstalling it fresh, but still 404’s all content – checked HTA and all seems fine. Any ideas?

  7. White Shadow says:

    Update permalinks & make sure that the plugins code is at the top of the .htaccess. I’d have to see your site to suggest anything more specific.

  8. mugger says:

    I clicked your demo link, found full display of target url in the address box. That is NOT “cloaking”. The more tedious frame redirect shows the calling page in the final address box. How can I achieve this more directly in WP?
    By the way, meta refresh, PHP redirect, 301 redirect all reveal full url in final address box. Frame rdr is the only open source method I have found that does not.

  9. White Shadow says:

    “Cloaking” can mean more than one thing.

    The paid version has an option to use frame redirects. Or you could manually modify the free version to output the necessary frame HTML instead of redirecting.

  10. DevilSlayer says:

    hi.. @rishill or for those who having error page 404 here is the solution.. u may try it..

    add this to your .htaccess file :>
    BEGIN WordPress

    # Link Cloaker Plugin BEGIN

    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteRule ^goto/([^/]*)/([0-9]+)/([0-9]+)/?$$2&link_num=$3&cloaked_url=$0 [L]
    RewriteRule ^goto/([^/]+)[/]?$ http://yourbloglink.comt/wp-content/plugins/link-cloaking-plugin/wplc_redirector.php?name=$1&cloaked_url=$0 [L]

    # Link Cloaker Plugin ENDS

    thanks.. 😉 do visit me at myblog sometime.. and thanks for this great plugin!! btw its also work on WPMU.. i already test it 😉

  11. Suddenly my cloaked links don’t work anymore. I don’t get a 404 as some have said, I just get a blank page. Any ideas?

  12. solar power brisbane says:

    static links are the only way in my book

  13. Linda says:

    Cloaked links not working in WP 3.0… will the plugin be updated or is it dead now?

  14. White Shadow says:

    Working fine here. You may need to re-save your permalinks.

  15. Linda says:

    Did that… also tried htaccess fix… everything suggested… NOT working… using ver 1.8 also, on Hostgator with multi site install

    Will not work.

  16. mavra says:

    I cut & paste the htaccess code for link cloaker at the top to .htaccess, now its working fine 🙂

  17. Linda says:

    @mavra – tried that… still doesn’t work… get error pages
    guess this plugin is history… tired of wasting my time

  18. jokes says:

    its don t seems to be working the cloaking is no more

  19. […] noget jeg stødte på da jeg læste Darren’s blog hvor han henviser til det pågældende cloaking plugin. Umiddelbart ser det ud til at det er en gammel opfindelse, men da jeg ikke var stødt på den […]

  20. Good job.. it’s some great plugin to help my adsense revenues, how about Adsense Daemon plugin?

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