WordPress affiliate plugin – Besides from using AdSense ads, affiliate marketing is another common way for many bloggers to earn money to support recurring costs of blogging and other relevant stuff. In case you don’t know, affiliate marketing is nothing but you promoting or advertising the products and services you like or trust to earn a commission when there is a sale.
As good as it is, most of the affiliate links look kind of ugly and suspicious with all the weird characters and words. Moreover, as you add different affiliate links to your content, it will be quite difficult to manage all those links individually. This is especially true when you need to make changes to the affiliate link. There may be any number of reasons for this like the product developer changing the affiliate URL, removing the entire affiliate program, mistakes in the added affiliate URL, etc.
To deal with this, there are many best WordPress affiliate plugins which can cloak all your affiliate links while providing advanced features like tracking and link management. So without further ado, let me show you some of the best WordPress affiliate plugins to cloak and hide your affiliate links.
Best WordPress Affiliate Plugins
ThirstyAffiliates is my favorite and one of the best WordPress affiliate plugins that come with a ton of features while still being easy to use. In fact, I personally use it to manage all of my outgoing links, download links, and other temporary links. The good thing about ThirstyAffiliate link manager is that it utilizes the native WordPress custom post types and taxonomies to create the cloaked affiliate links. This makes it easy for you to import or export your affiliate links.
Moreover, ThirstyAffiliate link manager will nicely integrate with the WordPress editor making it easy to add or create new affiliate links. ThirstyAffiliates plugin comes both in free and paid versions, where the core plugin is free to use.
The core features of the ThirstyAffiliates affiliate plugin include but not limited to:
- Customizable link prefixes
- Link categories
- SEO optimized link redirection [301, 302, and 307 redirections]
- Do-follow and no-follow options
- Full importing and exporting via native WordPress options [navigate to “Tools > Export” in WordPress dashboard]
- Ability to add banners and images to affiliate links
- Add additional rel attributes
- Option to configure links to open in new window
- Handy link picker integrated into WordPress post editor
- Create affiliate link directly from WordPress post editor
and much more.
Pros: The plugin is very easy to use and native exporting and importing via WordPress is a welcome feature. Moreover, the plugin is lightweight on your hosting resources.
Cons: There is no click tracking or Google Analytics integration. If you want these features, you need to purchase the add-ons. Of course, if you really want to, you can always use Google Tag Manager to track affiliate links.
Price: The base plugin is free. However, for added features, you can choose from one of their three plans or buy individual add-ons as required.
What you get with the PRO version: With the PRO version, you can enable extended features like click tracking, Google Analytics integration, automatic link insertions, geolocations, split testing, etc.
2. Pretty Link
Pretty Link is another famous affiliate link cloaking plugin for WordPress with some of the best and useful features like 301 and 302 redirections, link tracking, forward parameters, link groups, etc. As the name implies, the Pretty Link plugin can make your affiliate links and any other links you want to cloak pretty with custom slugs. Just like ThirstyAffiliates, Pretty Link plugin comes in both the Pro and Lite versions where the lite version is free and limited in terms of advanced features like Google Analytics integration, conversion reports, keyword replacement, URL replacement, advanced URL tracking statistics, etc.
Notable Features of Pretty Link Plugin:
- SEO optimized redirections [301, 302, and 307 redirects]
- Auto generate random slugs with three or four characters
- Ability to add custom slugs
- Basic and advanced click tracking for clocked URLs
- Exclude your IP address from link tracking
- Add nofollow or no-index to the URLs
- Organize links to groups or categories
- Ability to pass custom parameters
and much more.
Pros: The plugin is very easy to use. The basic click tracking and SEO optimized redirection features in the free version are pretty useful. In fact, the free version is sufficient for most bloggers.
Cons: Pretty link has no support for custom or built-in link prefixes.
Pricing: Just like ThirstyAffiliates, the base plugin is free. To unlock additional features, you can upgrade to one of the three available plans.
What you get with the PRO version: With the pro version, you get additional and useful features like the ability to auto-create pretty links, advanced redirect types, auto link keywords, etc.
3. Easy Affiliate Links
Easy Affiliate Links plugin is a relatively new plugin but offers a simple yet effective way to quickly cloak your affiliate links with just a few clicks. Being a simple plugin, Easy Affiliate Links plugin has all the basic and necessary features such as link target options, custom slug, redirection options, link categories, etc. The good thing about the plugin is that it integrates well with the WordPress post editor so that you can easily add affiliate links or create one on the fly if you don’t have the affiliate URL created before hand.
Of course, being a free plugin, it misses some of the advanced features like link tracking analytics, broken links checker, etc. But according to the description page of the plugin, all the advanced features are coming soon. Do give the plugin a try and see if it fits your needs.
Features of Easy Affiliate Links plugin:
- Options to insert cloaked affiliate links directly from WordPress post editor
- Organize cloaked links into categories
- Import and export affiliate links in XML format
- Track monthly and lifetime clicks on cloaked URLs
- Insert cloaked links directly from WordPress post editor
and much more
Pros: The plugin is free with the minimal user interface and has all the basic features you’ll ever need.
Cons: Easy Affiliate Links plugin lacks some advanced features like geo-targeting, Google Analytics integration, auto-linking to keywords, etc.
Price: Free. You can download Easy Affiliate Links plugin from WordPress plugin repository.
4. Simple URLs
Simple URLs is yet another free plugin from the developers at StudioPress. The plugin is really simple and straightforward to use. Being a simple plugin, it has no customization features whatsoever. In fact, the default cloaked URL will be something like http://example.com/go/yourLink and there is no way you can change the slug prefix /go/ unless you edit the plugin itself. But for one, I really like this plugin for its sheer simplicity. if you want a simple plugin that can just cloak and redirect your affiliate links without any other additional bells and whistles then the Simple URLs plugin is the way to go.
There is one thing to keep in mind while using the plugin. After installing the plugin, head over to the Permalinks section in your WordPress dashboard(Settings > Permalinks) and hit the “Save Changes” button, no need to make any changes. If not, the Simple URLs plugin may not work as it should and gives you the generic 404 errors for the cloaked links.
Features of Simple URLs plugin:
- The plugin is very simple and minimal
- Create 301 redirects for your affiliate links
- Basic link click tracking and statistics
- Uses WordPress custom post type for better performance and usability
Pros: As I said before, the plugin is very easy to use with minimal features. Moreover, the Simple URLs plugin is optimized for speed and performance.
Cons: The plugin has no advanced features whatsoever. You cannot customize the slug prefix.
5. URL Shortener by MyThemeShop
URL Shortener by MyThemeShop is a new plugin to cloak and hide your affiliate links and other out-going links. Just like Simple URLs, URL Shortener is optimized for speed and performance. Moreover, you can easily create cloaked links with just few clicks and organize them in categories. If you want to, you can also use the built-in shortcodes to display the cloaked URLs.
Features of URL Shortener WordPress Affiliate Plugin:
- Organize link in categories
- Bulk replace links in posts and pages
- Add links using shortcodes
- Options to add nofollow and no-referrer tags
- Option to configure links to open in new window
- Support for Forward Parameters
- Basic link click tracking
- Hooks for developers
- SEO optimized redirects [301, 302, and 307 redirects]
Pros: The plugin is very simple to use and has all the features you’ll ever need. Moreover, the plugin also supports importing links from Pretty Link. This feature is really useful if you want to make a switch from Pretty Link.
Cons: There are no options to export links or to add links from WordPress post editor.
Price: The base plugin is free. To unlock additional features, you need to subscribe to MyThemeShop or purchase the plugin individually for $27. The good thing is, with the subscription, you will get access to all their premium theme and plugins.
Redirection is one of the most popular WordPress plugins. However, this plugin is not made specifically to be an affiliate link manager. As you can tell from the name itself, Redirection plugin is typically used to manage all sorts of redirections like modified posts, 404 errors, etc. As such, you can also use this plugin to cloak and hide your affiliate links, download links, and other out-going links. In fact, Redirection plugin does a good job of it and unlike other plugins, it can even manage all your other URL redirection needs.
Features of Redirection Plugin:
- Custom “Pass-through” redirections
- Full logs on all the redirects
- Organize redirection in categories
- 404 error monitoring
- SEO optimized redirection [301, 302, 307 redirections]
- Support for full regular expressions
- Fully localized
and much more.
Pros: One of the best plugins to create and maintain redirections on any WordPress site. Being a powerful plugin, you can easily cloak, manage, and log all your affiliate and other out-going links.
Cons: The plugin is not specifically designed to be an affiliate link manager. However, it does the job efficiently. That being said, even though you can create a category for all your affiliate links, there is no option to further sub-categorize the category to better manage the affiliate links.
7. WP Wizard Cloak
WP Wizard Cloak is also a free plugin that has almost all the features to enhance your link cloaking needs. The plugin has some of the best useful features like display URLs based on geo-location, real-time click reports, automatic keyword linking, etc. Moreover, just like the other plugins in the list, WP Wizard Cloak integrates nicely with the WordPress post editor for easy link insertion. If you want to, you can auto-link keywords and style them as required using available options. Moreover, you can add your own slug prefixes to better identify and manage your affiliate links.
Features of WP Wizard Cloak Plugin:
- Custom slug prefixes
- Basic click tracking statistics for any period of time
- Auto-link selected keywords
- Automatically add custom styles to auto-linked keywords
- Create redirects based on geo-location
- Support for Sub IDs
and much more.
Pros: The plugin is fully featured with all the options you’ll ever need. The auto-linking and redirections based on geo-location is a welcome feature.
Cons: The plugin has no option to categorize the affiliate links.
8. WP Cloaker
WP Cloaker is yet another plugin that lets you properly cloak and hide your affiliate links. Just like the other plugins, WP Cloaker has all the necessary features you need to create custom redirects for your affiliate links. The good thing about this plugin is that is very minimal and lightweight on your server resources. Moreover, the plugin also has some basic tracking capabilities like IP address, country, time and date, etc.
Features of WP Cloaker Plugin:
- Organize links in categories and sub-categories
- Basic link click tracking capabilities
- Ability to add custom slug prefixes
- Ability to generate link click reports with basic filtering capabilities
Pros: The plugin supports five different redirect types and has essential features like link prefixes and categories.
Cons: The plugin is pretty new and lacks some advanced features like auto-linking keywords, options to add nofollow tags and open links in new window, etc.
Each and every WordPress affiliate plugin shared here has its own pros and cons. However, one thing that is common among these affiliate plugins is that they can effectively cloak your affiliate links to get you more results and revenue. So, do give the WordPress affiliate plugin of your choice a try and see if it fits your needs. After all, the WordPress affiliate plugins you see this post are free and well developed.
Hope that helps and do comment below to share your thoughts and experiences about using the above WordPress affiliate plugins or to share your favorite WordPress affiliate plugin.