With this plugin you can:
- Create simple URL redirects like http://example.com/a/blue-product/ or http://example.com/visit/red-product/.
- Track clicks in your Google Analytics account.
- Reduce load on your server — this plugin handles redirects in a very efficient way.
Requirements: I tested the plugin with WordPress 4.1.1 and PHP 5.5. It has also been tested with versions down to WordPress 3.1 and PHP 5.3. It may still work with older versions. Your site must be using pretty permalinks. To get click tracking, your site must be pre-configured with Google Analytics.
Note on Updated Version 1.2
I took over management of this site and discovered that WinkPress has a plugin! Updates have been made to make the plugin easier to understand and URL validation strictness has been lessened quite a bit to allow for non-www URLs.
However, I have not yet gotten access to the WordPress repository to allow for the usual update method within the admin area. To use the updated version, you will first need to uninstall your current version, and then delete it. Otherwise you will get a “folder already exists” error when you install the new version. No worries, because the links you have already set up will still be stored in the database.
Download WALM 1.2 here. (You can right-click and select “Save link as…” to bypass your download manager if you want.)
Then in your admin area, go to Plugins>>Add New, and click the “Upload Plugin” button at the top of the page. Click the “Choose File” button and navigate to where you downloaded v1.2.
affiliate-links-manager.zip file and click “Open”. You will then click “Install Now”. The new version will be installed, and you can activate it. You will find all your links are still there, and hopefully the plugin will be more friendly to your URLs.
Thanks to M.K. for creating such a great plugin. It’s much more complicated on the inside than it is on the outside!
How to Use
The plugin menu is found under “Links” in your WordPress admin sidebar. Simply go to “Add an affiliate link” page by clicking on Links>Affiliate Links from your admin menu.
Enter a human-friendly name for your link. Enter the original affiliate link that you get from the vendor. Enter a short link. Click the “Add link” button.
Now your short link will redirect to your original affiliate link. And when your short link appears on your WordPress site, the clicks it receives will be tracked in Google Analytics.
A few things to keep in mind for short links
The plugin will notify you when you try to do something undesirable with your short links, but just in case, here are two things you need to keep in mind:
For performance reasons, your short link must be at least two levels. First level for your trigger (see below) and second level to identify the specific affiliate info of the Original Link you put in.
Bad: http://example.com/level-one (Does not allow WALM to work.)
Also good: http://example.com/level-one/level-two/level-three
If you have a web page on your WordPress site whose permalink begins with, say, articles — like http://example.com/articles/7-tips-to-dominate-planet-earth, do not use the word articles as the first level of your short links.
That is, a short link like http://example.com/articles/some-product would be bad. This would cause conflicts with already existing category slugs, tag slugs and any other type of slug.
How Tracking Works
Whenever you enter a new short link, the plugin saves the first level as a “trigger.” For example, in http://example.com/a/product/ the trigger is /a/. The plugin will save as many triggers as you are using in your affiliate links.
So, if you have a link like:
<a href="http://example.com/a/product/">affiliate link</a>
The plugin will transform it into:
And that’s how clicks are recorded in your Google Analytics account.
This is how the Google Analytics report will look: (Mizagorn note: these are a bit dated and I will get them changed when I can, but the info is good for an idea.)
And this is how your affiliate links will be listed inside WALM:
Hovering over the double right arrow on each row in the Destination column will show you what your original vendor link is.
If you have questions, bug reports, or feature requests — post in the comments.
(If you wanna say thanks, I’d really love it if you linked to WinkPress from your site.)