How To Hide Affiliate Links In WordPress? Thirsty Affiliates vs Pretty Link

Thirsty Affiliates


Easy to use






Overall quality



  • Inbuilt affiliate link shortening/link cloaking
  • Commission protecting affiliate link 301 redirection
  • Customizable link URL prefixes
  • DoFollow/NoFollow options
  • Multiple redirect types
  • Add your graphics, banners and other images to affiliate links


  • Additional features are paid on form of addons

There are various ways you can hide affiliate links in WordPress and make them look pretty. For professional bloggers, affiliate marketing is a great source of income. However, it can be hard to manage hundreds of affiliate links on blog/website. Every affiliate marketeer needs plugin to manage affiliate links.


Thirsty Affiliates vs Pretty Link Comparison

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  • Only additional add-ons
  • Free Version
  • Temporary (302/307) Redirection
  • Permanent (301) Redirection
  • Cloaked Redirection
  • Pretty Bar Redirection
    Ability to add a skin-able bar to the top of any pretty links. This reminds people of your brand even when they’re visiting external links.
  • Javascript Redirection
  • Meta Refresh Redirection
  • Tracking Pixel Redirection
  • Custom Link Slugs
  • Automatic Link Titling
  • Create Nofollow Links
  • Click Counting
  • Detailed Click Reporting
  • Export Click Database
  • Pretty Link Bookmarklet
  • Conversion Reports
  • Delayed Redirection
  • Google Analytics Tracking
  • Double Redirection
  • Automatically Generate QR Codes
  • Keyword Replacement
  • URL Replacement
  • Automatically Create Links for Pages and Posts
  • Import Links and Export Links
  • Split Testing
  • Auto Tweet Pretty Links for Pages and Posts
  • Social Sharing Button Bar for Pages and Posts
  • Geo Location Affiliate Links
  • Adding Amazon Affiliate Products
  • Adding iTunes Affiliate Products
  • Scheduled Links
  • Paid Version
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  • Single site license $37. Unlimited license $97

Thirsty Affiliates vs Pretty Link Conclusion: Pretty Link and Thirsty Affiliates are most popular plugins to hide, cloak, insert affiliate links in WordPress. Pretty Link has its Lite version which can be downloaded for free.

Pro version comes in 2 different pricing plans. Blogger Edition costs $37 and grants license to use Pretty Link Pro on one website, Lifetime Automatic Updates and 1 Year of Premium Support. It is perfect for someone who only has one website.

Developer Edition costs $97 and grants license to use Pretty Link Pro on an Unlimited Number of your websites and client website, Lifetime Automatic Updates and 1 Year of Premium Support. It is perfect for developers and marketers who need to shrink or cloak links for themselves and/or clients.

Thirsty Affiliates Plugin is free to use and doesn’t have paid version. But it does have option to buy additional add-ons. Pro add-ons can be used on unlimited number of sites and come with 1 year support.

If you want to continue receiving support, you will need to renew license for each add-on you wish to continue using.

In overall, in my opinion, Thirsty Affiliates is better option if you don’t want to pay anything for base options. Pretty Link Blogger license is better option if going for pro features.

Worthy Thirsty Affiliate plugin add-ons are GeoLocations add-on, Scheduled add-on and AZON add-on.

If you don’t need any of those three but need some additional features like stats, automatic linking, click reporting, import and export links, split testing…. then Pretty Link PRO is better option.


Reasons to Use Plugin Like ThirstyAffiliates

Even though by hiding affiliate links you aren’t fooling Google, there are still a few good reasons why you might want to use them:

  • Click tracking – By running affiliate links through an internal redirect, you can track the number of times visitors clicked on your links. This is valuable information if you want to calculate conversion rates.
  • Pretty URLs – Some affiliate programs provide ugly and long URLs. Make them shorter and more appealing.
  • Privacy – Many affiliate programs include your affiliate ID in the link. If you use the same ID on multiple sites, it can make it very easy for people to discover all of the affiliate sites that you’re running through a simple Google search.
  • Affiliate Links Change – Links change.  Companies and products grow and change so the domain may change, or the url structure to a specific product may change. Or maybe the company decides to go with a different affiliate system. Either way you should be prepared to change all  links on your site at any point. This way you make one change and it affects all of the links on your site.


ThirstyAffiliates Review

ThirstyAffiliates is an affiliate link management plugin for WordPress. It allows you to store affiliate links, organize them in categories, manage them in an efficient manner, cloak and hide affiliate links in WordPress.

It also helps you create branded affiliate URLs and automatically replace specific keywords with affiliate links. Links can be sorted into categories and sub-categories. You can even add the category slug into your cloaked link.


Hide Affiliate Links In WordPress Free Using Thirsty Affiliates


ThirstyAffiliates uses built-in WordPress functionality by creating a custom post type. This makes it compatible with all other WordPress plugins, including backup plugins.

It has a built-in search feature which allows you to easily search for an affiliate link. Inserting links into posts and pages is as simple as adding any other link into your posts. You can search for affiliate links right from the Insert Link box in the post editor.


Why Use ThirstyAffiliates WordPress Plugin?

ThirstyAffiliates will cloak your affiliate links with a secure redirection and protect your commissions from theft.

Ugly affiliate link:

Cloaked, search friendly URL:


How To Hide Affiliate Links in WordPress?

With Thirsty Affiliates WordPress plugin you can track links, export and import or display them on your blog whenever you need to. It is very easy to use. You simply create the affiliate link by entering a name for it, which will be the last part of your generated affiliate link and the original affiliate link itself.

In order to make the selection even easier you can categorize the affiliate links. You can further override global settings, such as appending nofollow to the link or making the link open in a new tab. Or even add images to affiliate links.

Thirsty Affiliates plugin can be downloaded for free either on official site or on WordPress repository. Once installed and activated you will see new tab in your WordPress admin dashboard. Thirsty Affiliates WordPress plugin has 5 sub-tabs. Those are All Affiliate Links, Add New, Link Categories, Add-ons and Settings.

Under “Settings” tab there are several options to set:

  • Link PrefixThe prefix that comes before your cloaked link’s slug. It can be product, link, go, review, follow, get… or custom. For example:
  • Show Link Category in URLShow the selected category in the url. For example : amazon/your-affiliate-link-name.
  • Disable “uncategorized” category on save – If the “Show the selected category in the url” option is selected, by default ThirstyAffiliates will add an “uncategorized” category to apply to non-categorised links during save. If you disable this, it allows you to have some links with categories in the URL and some without.
  • Link Redirect TypeThis is the type of redirect ThirstyAffiliates will use to redirect the user to your affiliate link. It can be , or
  • Use no follow on linksAdd the nofollow attribute to links so search engines don’t index them.
  • Open links in new windowForce the user to open links in a new window or tab.
  • Revert to legacy image uploaderDisable the new media uploader in favour of the old style uploader.
  • Disable title attribute output on link insertionLinks are automatically output with a title html attribute (by default this shows the text that you have linked). This option lets you disable the output of the title attribute on your links.
  • Disable automatic output of ThirstyAffiliates CSS classesTo help with styling your affiliate links a CSS class called “thirstylink” is added to the link.  Also a CSS class called “thirstylinkimg” is added to images (when inserting image affiliate links), this option disables the addition of both of these CSS classes.
  • Disable slug shorteningBy default, ThirstyAffiliates removes superfluous words from your cloaked link URLs, this option turns that feature off.
  • Disable buttons on the Visual editorHide the ThirstyAffiliates buttons on the Visual editor.
  • Disable buttons on the Text/Quicktags editorHide the ThirstyAffiliates buttons on the Text editor.
  • Additional rel attribute tags to add during link insertionAllows you to add extra tags into the rel= attribute when links are inserted.




“Link Categories” tab lets you add categories. When adding affiliate link you want to hide/cloak just go to “Add New.” Then you will have option to add link name, destination URL, pick link category, redirect type and add image to product (optional).

That is it. Very simple and very easy. All affiliate links can be seen by going to (yes, you guessed) “All Affiliate Links” tab. From there you can edit affiliate links if needed.


Adding Affiliate Links to Posts

Hide affiliate links in WordPress post editor from the editing screen. You can easily manage the link’s destination URL (your affiliate link) and it’s corresponding cloaked URL. You can also set a display name in order to easily find link using the affiliate link picker.

Attaching images to affiliate link is easy with the media uploader. It allows you to quickly add images that are pre-linked with your affiliate link while writing posts. ThirstyAffiliates presents the Link Picker tool. A simple tool to search for your affiliate links right from edit screen.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Select the text you wish to link
  2. Simply tap on the green “aff” button while editing using the Visual Editor or the “affiliate link” button when using the Text Editor
  3. The Link Picker will present itself and allow you to search or browse your affiliate links
  4. Click the insert option that you want (straight up link, shortcode or image)

The Link Picker features a clever search function to quickly pull up the link you’re trying to find. You don’t even have to remember the whole name of the link. Just a bit of it and it will find it for you. You can also use the Link Picker when typing replies to comments.

Once you’ve found your affiliate link using the ThirstyAffiliates Link Picker, you have three options:

  1. You can choose to insert a regular link which will wrap the text you have selected with a link to your affiliate link in much the same way the WordPress link tool works.
  2. Insert a shortcode which allows you to quickly add any attribute to your link. Such as ID tags, class tags…
  3. Insert an image that you’ve attached to your affiliate link and insert that into the post pre-linked with your affiliate link. The great thing is that once you’ve inserted the image you can edit the image using the image tool in the same way you edit any image inside a post.


Thirsty Affiliates WP Plugin Features

The core plugin is free and can be downloaded from the

  • Inbuilt affiliate link shortening/link cloaking
  • Commission protecting affiliate link 301 redirection
  • Customizable link URL prefixes
  • Hierarchical link categorization to easily segment links
  • Affiliate link picker tool makes it easy to insert affiliate links in posts, pages and comments
  • Quick add tool lets you create new affiliate links without even leaving the post edit screen
  • Show category slugs in link URLs
  • DoFollow/NoFollow options (global or per link)
  • Open in new window options (global or per link)
  • Multiple redirect types (301, 302 or 307 temporary)
  • Full importing and exporting support via standard WordPress tools
  • Full backup compatibility via standard WordPress backup solutions
  • Using the link picker insert affiliate links as standard links, shortcodes or images
  • Add your graphics, banners and other images to affiliate links


ThirstyAffiliates Add-Ons

The basic plugin is available to be used completely free, but there are additional add-ons which you can use to improve your affiliate tracking.

1. ThirstyAffiliates Autolinker Add-on

Setup affiliate links to automatically link a list of keywords across your website, blog or bbPress forum. All done automatically.

The Autolinker gives you control on how many times keywords will be linked, where they are linked (sequential or random placement) and under what circumstances. You can customize how your links are placed.

There’s the limit feature. Just enter how many times you want your affiliate links activated per keyword and the Autolinker will do it regardless of other settings. Choose whether you want to link inside of headings or not.

You can also decide if you want to link your keywords as they appear in your article to show your links higher up the page or totally randomize the placement of links throughout post so that they’re not all clustered at the top.

Autolinker addon gives you the option to enable or disable automatic linking on archive, category, tag pages, homepage as well as control over different post types. You can also turn off the Autolinker on individual posts and pages.


2. ThirstyAffiliates Stats Add-on

Add click tracking and recording for your affiliate links, with a complete statistics dashboard and breakdown over categories.

Filters in this add-on have been built to exclude web crawlers, bots and logged in users. You can finally get the insight you’ve been looking for. Know if a particular category of affiliate link on your site performs better than others.

Stats lets you report on clicks based on categories your affiliate links belong to. This gives you a really good picture of what type of links are popular with your site’s visitors.

You can even filter this data easily. Just type in a keyword, a date or even an IP address. You can even view the location specific link visitor clicked on. The Stats add-on allows you to export affiliate link statistics data in spreadsheeting program.

You have the option to export just the visible stuff you’ve filtered down in your results table or you can export all of the results from your search.


3. ThirstyAffiliates Geolocations Add-on

Create geo-targeted affiliate links with the Geolocations Add-on. This add-on creates an additional panel in your affiliate link edit screen to manage location specific links.

This allows you to specify a different end-destination for any country serving the right country specific URLs for that product or service. It can also be used to send certain countries to different stored based on who sells the item you are promoting, ensuring that your visitors can actually buy the item from the store on the other end of your affiliate link.

With a comprehensive country list, you can add country specific affiliate link URLs for just about any country on earth. Simply select the country of your choice from the list this add-on will automatically tag the URL you enter with the country code.

When a visitor from the selected country travels via affiliate link, Geolocations detects where they’re from based on their IP address and tells ThirstyAffiliates to serve up the country specific affiliate link URL instead.

Geolocations works out of the box with the free location detection web service provided by This database is community driven and relies on free IP data.


4. ThirstyAffiliates CSV Importer Add-on

The CSV Importer add-on lets you import affiliate links from a spreadsheet straight into ThirstyAffiliates affiliate link management plugin.

You only need to provide two fields. Name for your link and your affiliate url. There’s no limit to the amount of affiliate links you can import using the CSV Importer.

The importer also lets you optionally add links to categories. You can create new categories using the CSV Importer on the fly. If it matches an existing category in ThirstyAffiliates your link will be added to that category, otherwise it’ll create that category for you.

You can also import images by specifying a list of images to be attached to each link. Just provide a list of direct URLs to your image files (they can be on another site, like your affiliate program’s website) and they will be imported and attached to affiliate links automatically during the import.

The CSV Importer comes with a bonus exporting tool which lets you export links from your existing site and import them to another site. You can also restrict the export to a specific category which makes it easy to preselect the links you want to export and get a compatible .csv file for importing.


5. ThirstyAffiliates AZON Add-on

Finding products on Amazon to promote is easy with the Thirsty Affiliates AZON add-on. Just enter your keyword and optionally narrow down your category.

Search brings back the most relevant products first, but you can also filter and sort the results to quickly find the products.

The import dialog lets you easily add the Amazon products to your affiliate links and you can edit a number of variables: link name, imported product URL, category you want to place the link into, redirection type you wish to set, etc.

The AZON add-on lets you import the product image and you can choose to import three different sizes: small, medium or large. Increase your efficiency even further with the Bulk Importing feature. Select which links you want to import and perform a bulk 1-Click Import.

Multi-locale support (searching Amazon stores in different countries) is fully supported. You can set your default country setting in the AZON settings and you can also adjust which store you want to use as you are searching.

As alternative you can use Content Egg (check Content Egg review), Datafeedr (see Datafeedr review), or Amazon Affiliate plugin (AAWP).


6. ThirstyAffiliates iTunes Add-on

This iTunes affiliate link importer add-on gives you the tools to search for products across the entire iTunes store and to import them directly into ThirstyAffiliates.

Finding new items to promote is easy. Just enter keyword and optionally narrow down your category. The search brings back the most relevant products first. You can also filter and sort the results.

Once you have your results you can then filter them by keyword and/or sort them using the table headings. This is great for showing the most expensive or least expensive products for your search.

Increase your efficiency even further with our new Bulk Importing feature. Select which links you want to import (or select a whole page of links) and perform a bulk 1-Click Import.

Multi-locale support (searching iTunes stores in different countries) is fully supported. You can set your default country setting in the iTunes add-on settings and you can also adjust which iTunes store you want to use as you are searching.


7. ThirstyAffiliates Google Click Tracking Add-on

After you install the Google Click Tracking Add-on any affiliate links you insert using the Link Picker or the Autolinker Add-on will contain the recommended Google click event tracking code. Normally you would have to do code changes manually after inserting your links.

When you add an affiliate link into content, the Google Click Tracking add-on adds a special “onclick” Javascript snippet to tell Google Analytics about this important event.

If someone clicks on that click the Event is automatically registered with Google Analytics and goes straight into your reports.


8. ThirstyAffiliates Split Testing

Split testing an affiliate program against another affiliate program is very valuable in order to get the most revenue you can.

With the ThirstyAffiliates Split Testing Add-on you can add additional destination URLs in order to test the effectiveness of other affiliate programs without completely compromising revenue.

Each time a visitor travels along your affiliate link ThirstyAffiliates automatically chooses the next link to test. The distribution of visitors to all the destinations is even, this ensures a fair and accurate test amongst your affiliate programs.

Adding an alternate destination URL to your affiliate link is simple. All you need to do is add the new destination URL by pasting in the URL your affiliate program gives you.

There is no other messy configuration. You just have to monitor the performance over time and swap the links over when you’re sure of your winning affiliate program.


9. ThirstyAffiliates Scheduled Links Add-on

Scheduled Links add-on helps changing affiliate links on desired date. For example during seasons like Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Christmas and any other holiday.

Change the destination of your affiliate links to direct customers to special landing pages for those occasions. Normally this would involve you having to remember to do it on the day and time that you need it.

That’s when the Scheduled Links add-on comes into help. You can set these things up and have it taken care of automatically. While Schedule Links Add-on was built with seasonal campaigns in mind you can actually use it to replace links whenever you like.


Thirsty Affiliates Review Summary

Thirsty Affiliates makes possible to hide affiliate links in WordPress as well as  quickly and easily manage all of affiliate links. Whether you’re running a large or small website, ThirstyAffiliates gives the control to manage effective affiliate marketing campaigns.

Unlike other plugins that simply redirect URLs, ThirstyAffiliates gives you the control to create a link once and reference it many times over. You can even import your links to other blogs/sites. Thirsty Affiliates is essential for those who have lots of links and multiple blogs.

DISCLOSURE: Posts may contain affiliate links. If you buy something through one of those links, I might get a small commission, without any extra cost to you. Read more about it here.

10 thoughts on “How To Hide Affiliate Links In WordPress? Thirsty Affiliates vs Pretty Link”

  1. I’m using free version of Thirsty Affiliates as a beginner. The problem I’m having is when I install the link in the post and then view the post you just see the link to click on and not the whole website as seen when you press view in installed link. Is this supposed to happen or am I doing something wrong?

  2. Hi Kasa, I am looking for an affiliate manager for WordPress, and I would like it to auto update prices on my site. I understand that Content Egg can do this. Does ThirstyAffiliates have this features well? If I go with Content Egg, is that the only plugin I would need as an affiliate manager? Thanks!

    1. ThirstyAffiliates doesn’t have auto-update price feature except for Amazon (if I am not mistaken for Amazon).

      Content Egg supports various affiliate networks so I would recommend going with that option.

      I don’t know what are other features that you need so can’t tell if Content Egg would be the only plugin you need.

    1. Maybe sometime in the future Michel. I didnt buy any add-on so far and cant write about something I have no experience with. But there are few good ones which I am considering.

        1. There are nice addons if you are using Thirsty Affiliates. Not much to say about them as sales page covers their features. I personally didn’t try them, so can’t write about my experience with using them.

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