Simple URLs – Track Your Outbound Links in WordPress

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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:

 

Outbound Links in WordPress

The page to manage the URL looks like this:

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.

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