The Simple Affiliate Links WordPress plugin has the ability to “cloak” your links.
There are a number of reasons why people want to do this, many of which are based on myth and urban legend, but it is still something that many wish to do.
Problem: Affiliate links can be long and complex, often bouncing off an affiliate network’s server and including various tracking codes. These links are impossible to remember and look unappealing to visitors.
Solution: The Simple Affiliate Links plugin can create cloaked links that are easy to remember and have a simple, logical structure.
Creating Cloaked Links in WordPress
Creating a short name for your affiliate links is easy, when entering a new link into the link manager you simply enter a short code that will be used in the link.
For example, I have created a link with a short link “wordpressbook”, so my link becomes:
As you can see, this link is now easy to remember, can be placed on external sites, and has a short clean professional look.
Compare this with the target link:
Configuring Your Link Structure
The plugin allows you to select any base structure you like, for example:
Note: To use “pretty URLs” like the above, you will need to be able to setup rewrites on your web server. Typically this will involve setting up a modrewrite rule in your .htaccess file.
Do I need to use Link Cloaking?
I have heard lots of myths and rumours about the benefits of link cloaking. Some people do it to prevent “leakage” of page rank, and some want to hide links to exclusive deals.
Personally I only do it to create more attactive looking links that I can easily remember.
It just seems to look more professional and it makes referencing your links whilst typing content on your site and elsewhere very easy.
Want to try it yourself? Download the Simple Affiliate Links Plugin