affiliate link cloaking plugins

Best Affiliate Link Cloaking Plugins for WordPress (Free and Paid)

Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to monetize a website’s traffic. Promoting affiliate links through blog posts, emails, and social media can generate passive income. If you are an affiliate marketer looking to optimize your affiliate links for the best SEO and tracking features, this post is for you. In this article, we will show you the best affiliate link cloaking plugins you should try.

Why Use Plugins to Cloak Affiliate Links?

Affiliate link cloaking plugins can help shorten your links and make them more user-friendly. Most merchants and online shops run affiliate programs as a way to encourage other businesses to sell their products. Having affiliate partners is very popular nowadays because it helps stores promote their products without incurring high costs.

By default, most affiliate links are quite long and not user-friendly. The URLs usually contain the product ID, unique affiliate ID, campaign name, channel, and so on. For example, here’s a sample affiliate link:

As you can see, it isn’t the nicest link, so distributing this affiliate link as it is on social media, blog posts, or emails isn’t the best option. Your customers won’t remember it and it may even confuse them. That’s where affiliate link cloaking plugins come to the rescue.

As their name suggests, affiliate link cloaking plugins cloak affiliate links and create shorter versions of them. On top of that, they also include some other benefits such as:

  • Improved SEO
  • Link management and tracking
  • Affiliate ID masking

Let’s have a closer look at each of these benefits.

1) Improved SEO

SEO can have a huge impact on your business. By properly optimizing the content and pages for search engines, you can rank higher and attract traffic to your site organically. By default, most link cloaking plugins come with SEO features to help you with this. For example, they may include link redirection features, open the affiliate link on a new tab, de-index the affiliate links from search engines, and more.

If you paste the affiliate links without cloaking them, not only will you have an ugly-looking link, but also miss out on all these SEO features. That’s why using a link cloaking plugin to manage your affiliate links, can help you optimize your SEO.

2) Link Management and Tracking

If you have a lot of affiliate links to promote, managing everything yourself isn’t the best option. Not only because it takes time but also because you can’t check all the link clicks and conversion rates through the WordPress or affiliate system. This task is much easier with an affiliate link cloaking plugin. With the right tool, you can manage hundreds of affiliate links simultaneously and track how many clicks they have received.

Once you save your affiliate links, you can insert them into your posts and pages by searching for the link name making the process super simple.

Apart from making the process of adding links easier, these tools also help you edit them. When you manually publish the affiliate URLs on your site, you need to edit every post to change each affiliate link. However, with affiliate link cloaking plugins, when you need to edit a particular link, you simply open the plugin settings and change the destination URL. You can change the URL of all your affiliate links from a single place, allowing you to manage the links more efficiently.

Additionally, most cloaking plugins come with an in-built link tracking feature to help you know how your links are performing and how many users click on them. Without these tools, you would have to use third-party tools or services like Google Analytics for tracking link clicks.

3) Affiliate ID Masking

Once you register on a website to promote their products, you will be assigned a unique affiliate ID. This ID will help the site track your link clicks and pay you for your conversions.

Another thing you should consider when joining an affiliate program is the promotion methods. Some affiliate websites prohibit using their brand names on Google Ads, while others restrict their product links on coupon and deals websites. Doing such things will result in your account being banned or your affiliate revenue frozen.

If someone wants to hurt your business they can use your affiliate ID to get your affiliate account banned by doing things that the affiliate company restricts. By using a link cloaking plugin, you can entirely mask the affiliate ID. This way, no one will know your actual unique ID and you’ll keep your affiliate account safe.

Now that we better understand the main benefits of using link cloaking plugins, let’s have a look at some of the best tools you can use.

Best Affiliate Link Cloaking Plugins

The best affiliate link cloaking plugins for WordPress you need to try are:

  1. ThirstyAffiliates (Freemium)
  2. Pretty Links (Freemium)
  3. Simple URLs (Freemium)
  4. URL Shortner By MyThemeShop (Freemium)
  5. WooCommerce Cloak Affiliate Links (Free)
  6. Easy Affiliate Links (Freemium)

Let’s take a closer look at each plugin, so you can choose the best one depending on your requirements. 

1) ThirstyAffiliates

affiliate link cloaking plugins - thirstyaffiliates

ThirstyAffiliates is a popular plugin among WordPress users and affiliate marketers. It’s an excellent plugin for those looking for a robust tool with advanced features. It comes with some unique features that not many other plugins offer such as the link categorization that will help you keep your affiliate links organized.

Another interesting feature is the automatic affiliate link insertion based on keywords. Typically, you need to manually add affiliate links to your articles. However, ThirstyAffiliate automatically scans your content, finds link opportunities, and inserts the appropriate links, making the process much more convenient.

Additionally, the stats that this tool provides are great and you can access them from your WordPress dashboard. The geolocation redirects is another useful feature that helps site admins make the most of international traffic. The biggest online stores have sub-stores for individual countries. This way, if someone from Canada visits your Amazon affiliate link, you can redirect them to Amazon Canada with your unique affiliate link. The plugin will automatically scan the user’s geolocation based on the IP address and redirect them to the right URL. The best part about geolocation redirects is that they tend to increase conversion rates, helping you turn leads into affiliate sales.

ThirstyAffiliates also comes with a feature to keep your affiliate links away from 404 errors. This way, you can ensure that your affiliate links are working perfectly and you aren’t losing any revenue. On top of that, the import/export feature can be convenient if you need to move the affiliate links to another website.

Finally, link scheduling is a unique feature that helps you schedule affiliate links and set up a custom expiration date and time. This is very useful when promoting limited-time deals and offers.


  • Detailed stats
  • Automatically adds links based on keywords
  • Import/export affiliate links
  • Google Analytics integration
  • Geolocation link redirects
  • Automatic 404 checker


ThirstyAffiliates is a freemium plugin. The free version comes with basic features and is available in the WordPress repository, whereas the premium versions include more functionalities and start at 49 USD.

2) Pretty Links

affiliate link cloaking plugins - pretty links

Pretty Links is another of the best cloaking affiliate link plugins for WordPress. It comes with AJAX/JavaScript admin interface, allowing you to add new affiliate links and update existing ones without having to reload the page. Apart from making the process faster, this also helps you reduce server load improving your site performance.

When it comes to tracking, Pretty Links can track the number of clicks you have got for each affiliate link, unique link clicks, IP addresses, remote host, browser, operating system as well as the referrer. The plugin uses a cookie-based system feature for accurate tracking and when you cloak links, you can choose the noindex or nofollow option. Additionally, you can exclude specific IP addresses from tracking to avoid counting your team’s IP addresses.

Pretty Links also includes 301, 302, and 307 redirections and lets you generate a CSV file with the hit details to keep your data safe somewhere offline. This tool provides you with full control over the cloaked affiliate links allowing you to generate a 3 or 4 character random slug for the link or create custom ones from the settings. 

This tool is also compatible with Google Analytics and Gutenberg which is useful to add affiliate links right from the Gutenberg editor. Finally, there’s a QR code generator to create custom QR codes that your users can scan with their smartphones.


  • Custom dashboard with stats
  • Stats filtering system
  • Exclude IP addresses from stats
  • Individual tracking on/off for links
  • AJAX admin user interface
  • Download hits in CSV format
  • Compatible with Google Analytics and Gutenberg


Pretty Links is a freemium plugin. You can download the lite version from the repository or get one of the premium versions that include more features and start at 79 USD per year.

3) Simple URLs

affiliate link cloaking plugins - simple URLs

If you are looking for a link cloaking plugin that integrates with Amazon, Simple URLs by Lasso is your best choice. It is a feature-rich tool that comes with multiple opportunities for linking your content and increasing the overall affiliate commission. The plugin scans your content for unmonetized links and keywords and lets you know about them. This way, you can turn your regular links or keywords into affiliate links and get maximum conversion rates.

The plugin has a detailed dashboard with a lot of information about your affiliate links. It displays all your affiliate links, where you have added them, and even where you can add some more to find new linking opportunities. Another of Simple URLs’ most interesting features is the integration with Amazon. This way, you can fetch affiliate links and products from Amazon accounts and display them on your site to increase your affiliate revenue.

On top of that, the plugin will also update the Amazon product’s description every 24 hours. In addition, you can assign the cloaked affiliate links into multiple groups and get notified when there are broken affiliate links or there are Amazon product links that aren’t available for purchase.

Finally, Simple URLs allows you to import cloaked links from third-party tools such as ThirstyAffiliates, Pretty Links, and more.


  • Detailed dashboard
  • Affiliate link tracking and new link opportunities
  • Amazon integration
  • Link organization
  • Import affiliate links from other plugins
  • Clicks tracking
  • Link health tracking


Simple URLs is a freemium tool. The free version comes with basic features whereas the premium version has more advanced functionalities and costs 29 USD per month for a monthly subscription or 289 USD for a yearly subscription.

4) URL Shortener By MyThemeShop

affiliate link cloaking plugins - url shortner by mythemeshop

URL Shortner by MyThemeShop is an excellent cloaking link plugin for those looking for speed and performance. This tool reduces the load on your server and claims to be up to 40% faster than other affiliate link cloaking plugins.

This plugin is designed to help you leverage social media by letting you shorten your affiliate link URLs with a single mouse click. Additionally, you can organize your affiliate links, use 301, 302, and 307 redirections as well as add nofollow tag, noreferrer, title, and open links in a new tab.

On top of that, with URL Shortener, you can add links to your posts using both the WordPress post editor and shortcodes. This tool is also developer-friendly, allowing you to extend the plugin’s functionality using hooks. It is also compatible with most WordPress themes and plugins avoiding compatibility issues.

Finally, it provides you with interesting stats to track link clicks, devices, operating systems, referrers, and much more.


  • Set up redirection delay
  • Optimized for speed and performance
  • Developer-friendly
  • Advanced stats for link tracking
  • Multiple redirection types
  • Fully customizable plugin


URL Shortner is a freemium plugin. The free version comes with basic features and there’s also a premium plan that will set you back 19 USD per year for unlimited sites.

5) WooCommerce Cloak Affiliate Links

woocommerce cloak affiliate links plugin

If you are looking for one of the best plugins to cloak external affiliate links, WooCommerce Cloak Affiliate Links is an excellent option. Instead of cloaking affiliate links manually, this tool masks all the WooCommerce external links, helping you hide the original link from your website visitors and helping you keep your affiliate account safe.

In terms of configuration options, this tool doesn’t come with as many options as other plugins on this list. However, you can set 301, 302, and 307 redirects and disallow the robots.txt. file to prevent bots from using your external links and search engines from indexing your affiliate links. This way, you can ensure that your site won’t get penalized by indexing affiliate links on search engines.

Finally, if you need to set up a custom prefix for your external masked links, you can configure it from the WordPress permalink settings. In summary, this is a good option for those selling affiliate products through their WooCommerce stores.


  • Great tool to mask external links
  • Multiple redirection types
  • Modify robots.txt file for SEO
  • Custom prefix
  • Excellent for WooCommerce stores that sell affiliate products


WooCommerce Cloak Affiliate links is a free WordPress plugin that you can get from the WordPress repository.

6) Easy Affiliate Links

easy affiliate links plugin

Easy Affiliate Links is a simple yet effective plugin to cloak and manage your affiliate links. It’s easy to set up and doesn’t have as many configuration options as other tools, making it a good option for beginners.

This tool allows you to use both standard links and HTML codes as well as UGC and sponsored attributes for your affiliate links. Additionally, it includes a broken link checker that scans your content regularly to find links that aren’t working. For better tracking, you can exclude clicks performed by specific user roles and IP addresses.

Another interesting feature is the automatic text disclaimer that provides you with full control over the disclaimer text for your cloaked affiliate links. Additionally, you can assign custom CSS classes for the disclaimer text to add custom styling. You can also customize the affiliate links by adding custom styling using CSS code from the plugin’s settings.

With Easy Affiliate Links, you can import and export links from other sites in CSV and XML format. On top of that, it also comes with a one-click reset button that allows you to revert the settings to default. Finally, this tool is compatible with both the classic WordPress editor and the new Gutenberg Block Editor.


  • Optimized for both the Classic and Gutenberg Editor
  • Automatic text disclaimer for affiliate links
  • UGC and sponsored HTML attributes
  • Affiliate link importing and exporting feature
  • Categorization for affiliate links
  • Broken link checker


Easy Affiliate Links is a freemium link cloaking plugin. If you want basic features, you can get the free version from the plugins repository, and if you want more advanced functionalities, check out the premium version that costs 29 USD per year.

Bonus: How to Cloak Affiliate Links Manually

We’ve just analyzed some of the best affiliate link cloaking plugins for WordPress, but before we finish this post we want to show you one more thing.

If you don’t want to use plugins but still want cloak affiliate links, this section is for you. Here, we will show you how to cloak affiliate links manually by tweaking the .htaccess file.

Nowadays, most SEO plugins like Yoast, Rank Math, and All In One SEO come with a .htaccess editor. Alternatively, you can edit this file using a file manager plugin or software like FileZilla. For this demonstration, we’ll use Yoast SEO, but you should be able to follow the steps regardless of the tool you use.

NOTE: As we’ll edit core files, before you start make sure you backup your site and create a child theme. If you don’t want to create one, you can use any of these plugins.

Editing the .htaccess file

Before launching the .htaccess editor, copy all your affiliate links and paste them on a notepad. Leave them somewhere handy because we’ll use them in the next steps. For this demonstration, we are going to use redirect 302 and /linkout/ as the prefix.

## Affiliate links ##
Redirect 302 /linkout/affiliate1
Redirect 302 /linkout/affiliate2
Redirect 302 /linkout/affiliate3

Once you have created a list of the affiliate links you want to cloak, open the plugin settings by going to SEO > Tools on your admin dashboard. There, you will see an option to edit the .htaccess file.

yoast file editor

Paste the affiliate link you have copied in the previous step before the line that says # END WordPress, and save the changes. That’s it! From now on, when you use any of the links you have just saved, you will be automatically redirected to the destination URL.

Every time you have a new affiliate link, simply add it to the .htaccess file the same way we just did. This method isn’t as comfortable as using some of the other plugins but it’s a good option for those who don’t want to install any third-party tools.


In summary, using affiliate link cloaking plugins is a recommended practice when you sell several affiliate products on your site. These tools will help you improve SEO, better track and manage links, and mask your affiliate links to make them safer.

In this guide, we’ve had a look at some of the best WordPress plugins you can use to cloak your affiliate links. But which one should you use? That depends on your goals and needs. If you’re looking for a plugin with plenty of features, good support, and excellent link management, ThirstyAffiliates, Pretty Links, and Simple URLs are excellent options. On the other hand, if you sell third-party products through your WooCommerce store, WooCommerce Cloak Affiliate Links is the one for you.

Finally, Easy Affiliate Links and URL Shortener are simpler yet effective tools that can be good options for beginners.

It’s worth noting that all these plugins allow you to import/export links, so you can easily move from one to another with ease.

Which affiliate link cloaking plugin have you used? Do you know of any other that we should include? Let us know in the comments below!

If you enjoyed this post, check out our guide about the best affiliate plugins for WordPress. To learn more about how to redirect a page, check out this complete tutorial.