There are numerous reasons to cloak (i.e. disguise) your WordPress links. You might want to shorten a long URL so it is easier to share or just hide your affiliate links. Regardless of the reasons why you need link cloaking, these are some of the best WordPress link-cloaking plugins to consider.
1. Easy Affiliate Links
Easy Affiliate Links is a great plugin not only for link cloaking but for managing all your links (cloaked or not). With this plugin you can create shortlinks, arrange them in categories, and track monthly and lifetime clicks. One of the most useful features of this plugin is that you can import and export links to and from an XML file. For now the plugin doesn’t offer link analytics, geotargeting, A/B testing for link text, or a broken link checker, but these essential features are expected in a future release.
2. Shortlinks by Pretty Links
Shortlinks by Pretty Links is probably the most popular link-cloaking plugin (200,000+ active installs), and this is for a reason – even its free version is really good. It has all the features you can expect from such a plugin, including categories, analytics (tracking and reports), and the ability to set nofollow/dofollow per link, as well as 301 and 307 redirects and custom parameters.
Its reports features are pretty solid – there are tons of filtering options such as tracking the number of hits per link (including unique hits only), IP address, remote host, browser (including browser version), operating system, referring site, etc. If this is not enough, the plugin has paid versions (starting from $57 a year) with even more features.
3. WP to Affiliate
It is a bit surprising to include the WP to Affiliate plugin on this list because it is in German. However, since quite a lot of the terminology in German is actually in English (and there is always Google Translate) and the plugin is the most beginner-friendly link cloaking plugin I’ve seen, I decided it has a place here.
The main advantage of WP to Affiliate is that it comes preconfigured with dozens of the most popular affiliate programs. It’s true most of the programs are German, so you may not be using them, but it also works for global names such as Amazon, Zanox, Affili.net, or eBay. All you need to do is simply enter your affiliate ID.
4. WooCommerce Cloak Affiliate Links
If you are using WooCommerce with WordPress, then you may want to check WooCommerce Cloak Affiliate Links. This isn’t a general WordPress plugin; it is specifically for WooCommerce. The plugin lacks some of the advanced features of other plugins, such as advanced reporting, but if you are fine with basic functionality, such as URL cloaking and redirects (301, 302 or 307), this plugin will work for you.
There are a few more link-cloaking plugins I didn’t include on the list. Some of them don’t have any unique functionality worth noting, and others haven’t been updated in years. However, if for some reason these five plugins are not good for you, you can search for alternatives. There are a few more to check, and who knows, maybe exactly the ones that didn’t make the list will work the best for you.
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