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Simple URLs – Track Your Outbound Links in WordPress

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Simple URLs – Track Your Outbound Links in WordPress

Have you ever wondered, how WPBeginner and other sites manage to create URLs such as domain.com/go/company. Well this post is going to answer just that. The reasons why we create these URLs are for our ease of management. First, we can track all the clicks from that URL. Second it makes the long ugly affiliate URLs into a short pretty branded URL. Third of all, we can change the URL on a lot of pages if needed. For example, recently StudioPress decided to change their affiliate program from E-Junkie to Shareasale. If we did not have this option, then we would be going in each of our post where we linked to StudioPress and changing it manually. Except by having such an option, we simply changed the redirect location on our one link – domain.com/refer/studiopress, and it changed it on all posts. Sounds good doesn’t it?

Well Simple URLs plugin is created by StudioPress to offer you a complete URL management system that allows you to create, manage, and track outbound links from your site.

  1. You need to download this plugin, and then install it in your WordPress.
  2. Navigate to Settings » Permalinks and save them. Yes, don’t change anything just click Save.
  3. Navigate to the Simple URLs menu.
  4. Create a new URL, or manage existing URLs.
  5. Publish and use the URLs however you want!

The plugin screen to add the URL looks like this:

Simple URLs Plugin for WordPress - Add a Link

The page to manage the URL looks like this:

Simple URLs Plugin for WordPress - Manage Links

Why we do not use this plugin?

While this plugin is great, but it does not fulfill the need that we have at WPBeginner. This plugin does not offer a solution to change the prefix. So you will always have domain.com/go/keyword …. but we want to have domain.com/refer/keyword… Furthermore, the plugin we use is much more versatile for us because it auto-populate URLs for the keywords we want. That is just to cover for things that we overlook, and sometimes laziness. For example, when we create a link in our system for Headway Theme, then the plugin searches for posts for the keywords that we have specified “such as Headway”, and it automatically links to them. This increases the chances for us to add affiliate links in the site and keep this site running from the revenue that we get. The plugin we are using is a paid plugin, and it is called “Ninja Affiliate”. If you are an affiliate marketer, or a beginning affiliate marketer, we recommend that you get that plugin right now to increase your chances.

Just because we do not use Simple URLs plugin, it does not mean it is not a great plugin. It just means that there are some features that are missing. But again, remember this is a free plugin. We are comparing it to a paid plugin, that ofcourse will offer more features.

Download SimpleURLs now


Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress experts led by Syed Balkhi. Page maintained by Syed Balkhi.

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Comments

  1. WPBeginner Staff says:

    We have moved away to ThirstyAffiliates and find it perfect for our needs.

  2. Emily Juice says:

    Which are you prefer between Ninjaaffiliate and Thirstyaffiliate? I own the Thirstyaffliliate and want to know your opinion for both. Thank you

  3. thewebmasterblogs says:

    It’s one thing to want to add masked URL links, and it’s quite another to add them to all your posts at once. I like to stay way from such automatic linking and like to have more control. Plus I don’t mind the /go/ bit either … Simple URLs looks good to me.Thanks for the info :) 

  4. hotdealsboard says:

    Can someone please help me figure out how to use simple url? I set it up, thought it was going well and then searched something on my site and this blank redirect page appeared. I know you have to hit publish when you make a simple URL, but I don’t understand how to make it so the post doesn’t show? Do i save it as private, i’m thinking, but want to be sure? Thanks so much…also, once it’s done, shouldn’t the permalink show up? It doesn’t for me? I’m doing something wrong –thanks!!!

    Meredith

  5. Ajay Kumar says:

    Will this method of linking to a URL pass the link juice? I mean is it effective way when we view in terms of SEO. Please tell me the pros and cons of this.

  6. Gretchen says:

    I’ve done something similar using .htaccess before–didn’t know there were plugins to do it, too!

  7. Ali R. Khan says:

    Very informative and useful Way to Hide your affiliate links. I like it.

  8. Derek says:

    I have been using Pretty Links Plugin for some time and have been very happy. This plugin is free as well. It let’s you structure domain.com/customizeword for example I have an affilIte wit host gator and domain is horrible. So I added and customized it out to be http://thedigitalfox.com/gator can easily promote now. Sounds like simpleurl is similar but I use pretty links and very happy.

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