Affiliate marketing has become a popular way for online publishers to generate income. In affiliate marketing, publishers promote products and receive a commission when the product is purchased through their affiliate link.

As an affiliate marketer, finding new effective methods to drive conversions and sales is crucial for success. Affiliate marketing, when done correctly by promoting relevant, quality products, provides an excellent avenue to earn substantial revenue.affiliate link cloaking wordpress plugins 2020

Utilizing affiliate link cloaking plugins in WordPress is a useful technique for bloggers engaged in affiliate marketing. Link cloaking plugins work by masking an affiliate link so that the underlying affiliate link is not visible to site visitors.

In my own blogging activities focused on affiliate marketing over the past five years, I have continuously explored new trends and techniques to enhance monetization. One area that has proven highly valuable is leveraging link cloaking plugins to properly manage affiliate links.

There are several quality free cloaking plugins available for WordPress to choose from. By installing an appropriate link cloaking plugin, affiliate links can be hidden to provide a better user experience and avoid potential issues with search engines docking sites for excessive affiliate links.

Affiliate link cloaking software is essential for concealing and optimizing your affiliate links. Link cloaking software allows you to make your links more user-friendly and appealing. Make your links stand out and maintain a professional appearance with effective link cloaking tools.

In this post, I will share my top recommendations for affiliate link cloaking plugins for WordPress to make your affiliate marketing efforts more productive and successful while creating compelling content. Utilizing link cloaking functionality has made a considerable positive impact on my blogging income streams.

What is link cloaking?

Link cloaking refers to the practice of making an affiliate link more presentable to users by hiding the underlying affiliate URL. Affiliate link cloaking plugins provide an easy way for affiliate marketers to manage their program links.

For example, a typical unattractively long affiliate link may appear like:

Such excessively long and complex links do not inspire user clicks and can also negatively impact search engine optimization.

With link cloaking, the affiliate link can be masked as: (or)

This shortened, clean link builds more user trust and engagement. The term “referring” can also be customized to use words like “go”, “track”, “recommended”, etc.

Cloaking affiliate links is a good practice for maintaining a clean and organized website. Clean up your affiliate marketing strategy by implementing effective link cloaking methods.

Effectively hiding affiliate links often plays a key role in maximizing earnings for publishers promoting affiliate products. Before utilizing any link cloaking service, be sure to read their terms of service and privacy policies.

Join an affiliate network to expand your reach and collaborate with other marketers in your niche.

Link cloaking plugins also facilitate click tracking to provide statistics on clicks for analysis. Monitoring click activity and conversions provides vital performance feedback to inform better affiliate marketing decisions.

In summary, link cloaking simplifies affiliate links for a better user experience while enabling click tracking to optimize promotions.

The Benefits Of Link Cloaking

Link cloaking refers to the practice of hiding or disguising affiliate links so they are not instantly recognizable to site visitors. Instead of showing long, ugly affiliate links, cloaked links use clean URLs with domain names and paths that match the rest of your site.

There are several benefits to link cloaking:

  • Link Trust: Cloaked affiliate links help build trust and credibility with visitors. Affiliate links can look spammy and damage the reputation of the site, while cloaked links blend seamlessly into the content and layout.
  • Management: With link cloaking plugins or services, you have a central place to access and control all links. This makes updating, tracking, and maintaining affiliate links much easier.
  • Reach a larger audience: Visitors are more likely to click on neat-looking links that match the rest of your site. Increasing clicks leads to more affiliate sales and commissions.
  • Tracking: Link cloaking enables detailed click tracking, so you can see which links perform best. Tracking clicks and conversions per link helps optimize your affiliate content marketing.

Link cloaking doesn’t just mask URLs; it also adds a layer of security to your WordPress website. In the affiliate marketing industry, using a cloaked link is a common practice for better tracking and management. Track affiliate conversions accurately with a reliable link management system.

How does link cloaking work?

Link cloaking allows website owners to enhance the appearance and functionality of their URLs, providing a more professional and streamlined user experience. By implementing link cloaking, users can disguise lengthy and complex URLs, making them more aesthetically pleasing and user-friendly.

This process involves modifying the index.php file and adding the necessary code, ensuring that the link cloaking is seamlessly integrated into the website.

A good link cloaking plugin further simplifies this process, offering a convenient solution for managing and optimizing affiliate links. This plugin enables efficient tracking and redirecting of links, ensuring that users are directed to the intended destination.

Without a plugin, managing links may become cumbersome, and the benefits of link cloaking, such as tracking the number of clicks per link, may be challenging to achieve.

Affiliate income relies on the effective tracking and redirection of links to maximize revenue.

Link cloaking might sound quite technical, but the underlying process is relatively straightforward:

  • Set Up Redirect Pages: The first step is setting up simple redirect pages on your own website. For example, you could add a folder called /redirects/ and then create an index.php file inside there. The index.php page will process the redirects. The code checks the request URL and tells the browser where to redirect to next.
  • Point clean URLs: Now you need to point easy-to-read URLs to those internal redirect pages you just created.  For example, you could make a URL like This clean URL points visitors to your /redirects/ index.php page.
  • Redirect to Affiliate Links: When a user clicks on the clean URL, they will land on your internal redirect page. This page immediately sends them on to the final destination, which is your underlying ugly affiliate link.

This is where the cloaking happens. Users briefly land on the middle redirect page before getting sent to the affiliate site. So the real affiliate link is masked behind your cloaked URL.

Clicking on an affiliate link provides a seamless user experience, leading to potential conversions. Use redirected links to streamline the user experience and guide visitors to relevant pages.

Diversify your income by participating in different affiliate programs and managing multiple cloaked links.

List of Affiliate Link Cloaking WordPress Plugins

Cloaking links for affiliate URLs is a best practice for maintaining a professional and organized website. Include an affiliate link button on your website to encourage user engagement and increase conversions.

Explore new affiliate opportunities with advanced link cloaking tools to enhance your marketing strategy. Managing many affiliate links becomes more efficient with the use of a link cloaking plugin.

Here are few WP Link Cloaker WordPress plugins.

1. URL Shortener Pro

URL Shortner Pro plugin

URL Shortener Pro by MyThemeshop is an affiliate link cloaking plugin for WordPress. It converts long, cryptic affiliate links into short, tidy URLs that are more readable. This helps drive more clicks and increase user engagement with the links. In essence, it is the easiest WordPress plugin for creating clean, shortened affiliate links.

The plugin comes in two versions: a free version and a premium version. The free version has some limitations. The premium version unlocks additional features, like JavaScript redirects and advanced analytics.

Create a link that includes your affiliate ID to ensure proper tracking and commission attribution.

URL Shortener Pro is a fast, flexible, and powerful WordPress plugin to shorten affiliate links. It helps hide messy affiliate URLs behind clean links, showcasing only what you want displayed in the browser address bar. This leads to better presentation of links and an increase in affiliate performance.


  • Responsive and speed optimized
  • Customization options
  • SEO ready
  • Compatible with all WordPress themes
  • Enhanced security
  • Faster redirection than other plugins
  • Bulk replacement of old links

2. ThirstyAffiliates

thirstyaffiliates plugin

ThirstyAffiliates is an excellent free affiliate link manager plugin available in the WordPress directory. This plugin lets you easily add and manage affiliate links directly within your WordPress dashboard and editor. In my experience, it is the best WordPress plugin for cloaking affiliate links.

I personally utilize ThirstyAffiliates to monetize my blogs through affiliate marketing links. This affiliate link cloaking plugin has delivered great results for me. You can use it to seamlessly mask your ugly affiliate URLs.

A nice feature is the ability to conveniently insert different affiliate links from the post or page editor using the buttons added by the plugin.

Another useful capability is automatically replacing selected keywords with an affiliate link of your choice. There are also options to add nofollow attributes to your links to influence how search engines treat the links.

In summary, ThirstyAffiliates simplifies integrating affiliate links within your WordPress site and provides essential tools like cloaking and analytics to assess performance. I highly recommend this plugin for implementing affiliate marketing.

Important Features:

Coded with inbuilt commission link cloaking (

  • Built-in link cloaking
  • 301 redirection to protect commissions
  • Handy link-insertion toolbar
  • Dofollow/Nofollow link settings
  • Full backup support

3. Shortlinks by Pretty Links

pretty links plugin

Cloaking an affiliate link with a reliable tool like Pretty Links is an all-around solution for effective management.

Shortlinks by Pretty Links is an excellent WordPress plugin for managing affiliate links. Formerly known as Pretty Link Lite, it is one of the best link tracking plugins for WordPress.

Shortlinks provides superb affiliate link and URL cloaking capabilities. It enables setting specific attributes to better optimize links for search engines. The advanced redirection system is also top-notch.

Track unique clicks per link to gain insights into the performance of your affiliate marketing efforts.

Avoid using naked affiliate links in your content; instead, cloak them for a cleaner and more professional presentation.

Monitor how many times a link is clicked to refine your strategy and focus on high-performing content.

The plugin comes equipped with an analytical dashboard that lets you monitor link activity.

Key features of Shortlinks by Pretty Links:

  • Creates clean and simple URLs to display instead of messy affiliate links
  • Automatically generates 3 to 4 character randomized slugs for cloaked URLs
  • Tracks clicks, providing statistics like normal vs unique hits, IP addresses, and browser data
  • Enables nofollow or noindex attributes for search engine optimization
  • Downloads reports in CSV format for additional analysis

In summary, Shortlinks by Pretty Links is a robust affiliate link management plugin with excellent cloaking and analytics. It is a top choice for WordPress users focused on affiliate marketing.

4. Easy Affiliate Links

easy affiliate links plugin

Easy Affiliate Links provides a streamlined approach to cloaking affiliate links inside WordPress. The intuitive interface makes link management straightforward, directly within your WordPress dashboard.

While simple to operate, Easy Affiliate Links packs an extensive feature set, meeting the core needs for optimizing affiliate campaigns. The plugin empowers you to fully protect your commission-earning links, all from a central location.

Special features:

  • a convenient link cloaking generator to mask unsightly affiliate URLs right inside your WordPress installation. The simplified links are displayed to site visitors while tracking clicks behind the scenes.
  • Support for the WordPress visual editor and HTML editor ensures compatibility with your preferred editing workflow. Easily add cloaked affiliate links within posts and pages.
  • Organize links through custom-defined categories to group by promotion type, ad network, niche, or other parameters. Tagging links aids reporting.
  • Built-in click analytics provide insight on monthly and lifetime click activity on each cloaked link. Quantify engagement to guide decisions.

Rather than installing multiple plugins, Easy Affiliate Links delivers comprehensive functionality in a single lightweight package. Manage all your affiliate links seamlessly from one dashboard view. The simplified process increases productivity and revenue.

5. Auto Amazon Links

auto amazon links plugin

Auto Amazon Links is the premier WordPress plugin for Amazon associates looking to boost their earnings. This plugin excels at making it easy to cloak Amazon affiliate links automatically.

Link cloaking is the practice of concealing affiliate URLs for a more polished and appealing presentation. So, enhance user experience by using a direct link from Amazon, ensuring a seamless transition for your audience.

Some key features include:

  • One-click adding of product links through search or browsing
  • Auto inserting affiliate links into content
  • Full integration with Amazon Product Advertising API
  • Automatically cloaked cleaner Amazon URLs
  • Detailed click and conversion tracking stats
  • Filters to target links by category, price range etc.


  • Free version available
  • Pro version $29/year for expanded features

Ideal for sites focused heavily on Amazon affiliate promotions. Makes cloaking affiliate links a breeze.

6. EasyAzon

easyazon plugin

EasyAzon delivers an effortless way to insert cloaked Amazon affiliate links directly within the WordPress editor. No more fiddling with source code.

Standout features:

  • Insert Amazon links through search box in editor
  • One click to cloak affiliate links
  • WooCommerce integration – add links to products
  • Click and conversion tracking for your links
  • Supports multiple Amazon accounts
  • Blacklist unwanted sites from showing


  • Free basic EasyAzon plugin
  • Pro version $27 per year

Perfect for WordPress sites running Amazon affiliate programs. Streamlined inserting links combined with automatic cloaking.

7. Simple URLs

simple urls

As the name suggests, Simple URLs is a lightweight WordPress plugin that focuses purely on hiding those ugly affiliate links. It takes just seconds to set up.

Key features:

  • One click affiliate link cloaking
  • Custom redirect URLs match site domain
  • Clicks and conversions tracking reporting
  • Supports multiple affiliate programs
  • Shared access for teams


  • Free basic version
  • Pro plans start at $4 per month

For bloggers simply wanting to cloak affiliate links without advanced functionality, Simple URLs is a great freemium choice.

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers (FAQ)

How do I hide my affiliate link?

Use a link cloaking plugin like ThirstyAffiliates or manually create a redirect system. This masks the real affiliate link from visitors.

How do I cloak a website link?

Set up redirect pages on your site and point clean short URLs to those pages which then redirect to the full website link.

Should you cloak Amazon affiliate links?

Yes, cloaking Amazon affiliate links is highly recommended. The long affiliate URLs stand out while cloaked links blend with site content.

Do affiliate links affect SEO?

Yes. The affiliate links affects the SEO if those links to be added directly to your pages. It hurts your basic SEO. If the link should be in no-follow attribute, it doesn’t hurt your site SEO.

How do I change my affiliate link?

This is very simple. You can change the affiliate link from the product official affiliate dashboard. Then go for your page editor and update the newly updated link to the old link.

Should I cloak my affiliate links?

Yes, you can cloak the your affiliate links by using any of the WordPress plugin which are, listed in this article. Most of the plugins are free. If you need more features, you can go for paid versions. For new bloggers, free version is enough.

Final Words on Best Affiliate Link Cloaking

Implementing link cloaking helps improve both conversion rates and credibility for affiliate marketers. Visitors respond better to clean links instead of messy long affiliate URLs.

Using affiliate link management plugins like ThirstyAffiliates makes cloaking easy and provides helpful analytics. For advanced control, you can even cloak links manually without needing a plugin.

Hopefully this guide covered the importance of cloaking along with the top WordPress affiliate plugins and how to actually implement link cloaking.

For those unfamiliar with the intricacies of link cloaking, a comprehensive guide to cloaking affiliate links serves as a valuable resource. This guide provides step-by-step instructions on how to use link cloaking effectively, offering insights into best practices and optimal implementation. Users can learn to use link cloaking to not only disguise lengthy URLs but also to track and redirect links for a more streamlined online presence.

Additionally, link shortening is emphasized in the guide, emphasizing its role in creating concise and visually appealing URLs. When users click the link, the benefits of link cloaking become evident as the redirected and tracked link ensures a smooth and secure user experience.

Now it’s time to start organizing your programs into link groups, cloak those affiliate links, and watch your earnings grow!

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  1. Hey Satish, I do affiliate marketing on my blog. I review and promote children’s book.What I usually do is make a button image in photoshop and put the affiliate link on it. This is the first time I’m hearing about the term affiliate link cloaking.Interesting! I’m definitely going to try one of the plugins you provided.
    Thank you

  2. Praveen Verma says:

    Indeed affiliate marketing is the most popular earning source for bloggers. With right strategy, anybody can make money from affiliate marketing. Here, great to know about affiliate link cloaking and its amazing plugins.

    In this post you have explained the features of cloaking wordpress plugins very nicely. All these plugins looks good and I will use one of them. Thanks for sharing this informative post.

    Best wishes,
    Praveen verma

  3. Shantanu Sinha says:

    Hello Satish,

    Very informative post over here 🙂

    I am not that much of an affiliate guy, but this plugins seems to be pretty cool thing to have.

    Link cloaking is something for me to learn over here. This looks very promising for the guys who are most of the affiliates
    guy and can earn a lot by doing affiliate methods.

    Awesome plugins which can help us in getting some good affiliate results by applying some tactics to them.

    Thanks for the share.


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