Bookmark: WordPress URL cloaking and redirecting

(Please bear with my bookmark posts a while longer, it’s part of my atttempt at playing catch-up for my One Page A Day challenge which I plan to complete by the end of Friday (today, yikes!))

I’ve been bloghopping through a huge number of affiliate marketing-related sites last month as I was preparing to launch another niche site based on the WordPress platform. One of the essentials I have to set in the new site is the ability to cloak affiliate links to improve the click-through rates. I found two… er, well… applications, if you may call it that, which I plan on using, though I haven’t really tried them and made a choice of which one I’d utilize.

W-Shadow developed a Link Cloaking Plugin for WordPress and is pretty much well-supported by its developer. I suppose it’s a nice alternative to other “affiliate link manager” (as they like to call themselves, but they’re just fancy words for masking or cloaking links! 🙂 ) scripts out there, and it seems pretty easy to install, although from reading the comments it also looks like you need to meddle a bit with your htaccess file to make it really work well.

After reading Kidino’s post on losing ClickBank sales, I followed a link through one of the comments which led to Ed Zivkovic’s URL Redirect Generator, a software that creates HTML files to redirect your affiliate links. Once these HTML files are created, you would need to upload them into your site, preferable to a dedicated folder for convenience sake, and then add a link from your proper site to that HTML redirect page. I thought it would be a hassle at first, having to FTP every single URL to the server, but I thought it may be simple as well if your web hosting account has those built-in file manager so that you can just upload through there.

The former looks good if I have too many affiliate links, and the latter is good because of its simplicity. I’ll make up my mind later on which one I’d use.

Posted on 7 March, 2008 under Discovering WordPress Web traversing and tagged with , , , , ,

3 responses to “Bookmark: WordPress URL cloaking and redirecting”

  1. Batu says:

    Hello i am read your writes. good work Best Wishes:)

  2. Buck says:

    I actually made my own script. It uses a mysql database and you just put in the affiliate link and a friendly name to call it. it uses mod_rewrite and it seems to be very similar to what some big name internet marketing guys use. So you can send people to webgrrrl.net/recommends/somethingcool and your rewrite rule would send that request to your custom php and you lookup somethingcool in your db and redirect the user to the appropriate url. It is about 5 lines of code and free of course hehe

  3. Charles says:

    Currently I use a simple php file for all my redirecting. The reason I stopped using html files was because php is run at the server and nothing the user does locally will change the redirect action. Also, using redirects can sometimes mess-up the “back” button – a pet peeve of mine.

    As far as ClickBank sales, always sign-up for the newsletter (if one exists) for the product you are promoting. Some very unscrupulous publishers will steal your sale (a good tell-tale is if the referred rate is low).

    Charles