Simple Link Cloaker

UPDATE December 14, 2010. Because some days are better than others, I managed to upload the wrong zip file of the link cloaker plugin. That error has been corrected. This is the correct download link for the Simple Link Cloaker plugin.

UPDATE December 12, 2010. Since WordPress has seen fit to not offer this plugin from the repository, it is now available for download. You’ll have to install it the old fashioned way: download the zip file to your computer, unzip it in an empty directory, then upload the entire plugin folder to your wp-content/plugins directory. You can download the plugin here: ilwp-simple-link-cloaker. Thank you all for your support.

UPDATE 7-23-09. Apologies for having one release right on top of the other. Fixing one problem (malformed ‘from’ addresses were causing .htaccess file problems) caused another – slashes being stripped from ‘from’ addresses. Both issues have been fixed in the 1.3.2 release.

PLEASE be aware that the plugin will ‘sanitize’ your ‘from’ address. It will strip out any illegal characters, convert spaces to dashes, and convert the address to lowercase. You will need to use the finalized version in your post links.

Update: have fixed a couple of issues that users have pointed out ( thanks very much Geoff and Francisco! ). New version is uploaded to the repository as of 4pm today; should be available for upgrade within 45 min or so. Thanks for your patience!

So here it is, the Simple Link Cloaker plugin for your affiliate WordPress blog. Or for whatever  you want to use it for.

While its usage is simple, explaining it is not. I will attempt to document how to use it below, but it might be easier to scroll to the bottom and watch the short video tutorial I made (rather, was going to make – coming soon as soon as I get software to work. ugh).

Download the plugin here: Simple Link Cloaker for WordPress

In general, this is what you do:

  1. Write your post, highlight your anchor (link) text, then click the ‘link’ button (assuming you’re using the Visual Editor).
  2. In the Link URL box, enter the link address without your blog URL, starting with a slash.
  3. Add your other link goodies like ‘target’ or ‘class’, click Insert.
  4. Finish and publish your post.
  5. Go to Settings -> Simple Link Cloaker.
  6. In the Add New section, enter the Link URL you just used into the left box.
  7. Enter your affiliate link in the right box.
  8. Click “Add Cloaked Links”.
  9. Done.

Example: suppose we want to link to a Clickbank product, and we want to use the URL http://ilikewordpress.com/go/i-like-this-product, and the Clickbank hoplink is http://myclickbank.twitterlist.clickbank.com. In the left-hand box, we’d enter <strong>/go/i-like-this-product</strong>. Notice there is no ‘http://’ or other URL parts in this box, just the part of the URL <strong>after</strong> your regular blog address. Then in the right box we’d type the Clickbank hoplink. Click the “Add Cloaked Links” button, and the redirect code will be added to your .htaccess file.

Super easy.

Here is a screenshot of the settings page after I added a redirect (click the image to view full-size):

slc-management-page

If you notice an error after you’ve added a redirect, repairing it is easy. Just click in the box that needs correction, make your edit, then click the Update button. You can also delete the whole redirect by clicking the checkbox, then the Update button.

Finally, you can, if you wish, delete ALL of your stored redirects by clicking the button at the bottom. You’ll get one chance to change your mind, then *poof*, they’re all gone.

Download the plugin here: Simple Link Cloaker for WordPress

Here’s a short tutorial video: (well, there will be as soon as my screen cap program starts working 🙁 . Stay tuned)