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Thread: URL cloaking

  1. #1
    casionmark is offline Private Member
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    Default URL cloaking

    Hi -

    I'm looking at improving tracking on my site. Whilst looking into this I've noticed that a lot of sites use URL cloaking - e.g. domain.com/visit/casumo/ for example. Is the cloaking a user-friendly thing or a function of something else going on behind the scenes - like a trackers DB.

    Trying to understand the best way to manage all these links!

    Thanks,
    Mark
    TheSlotBuzz.com - UK Online Slots Guide

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    yeahfree is offline Private Member
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    first of all it's a good method to keep all of your affiliate links on one location. if you ever need to change a link for a certain affiliate program, you can do it on one location, rather than all over your site.

    many different options of implementing it.
    you can please them in htaccess with a 301 redirect, or you can do it by really creating the folders and index.php files and do it in php itself.
    if you use wp for sure there are plugins for this.
    Last edited by yeahfree; 25 May 2018 at 6:46 pm.

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    To cloak affiliate links for wordpress you can use plugins, as yeahfree have mentioned, also you can integrate a small code to your wordpress theme, which is more recommended, because you won’t need any plugin and updates for that. A well written code can do the same job as the plugin would: create links, track them and show statistics.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vardan View Post
    A well written code can do the same job as the plugin would: create links, track them and show statistics.
    Adding 1 less plugin = faster page loads

    I understand some affiliates aren't coders, but there are plenty of resources out there, which you can learn to do many tricks and what not, so you use less WP plugins. I run WP, and even at 9 plugins, I would rather run less. Though, I do have a fast-server etc., which of course helps immensely.
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    Totally agree with Dave on this one, the "LEAST" amount of plugins on any site the better.

    Why use a plugin to complicate something as simple as an outgoing affiliate link? (as well as slow down the actual visit)

    No real coding experience is needed to create visit links, we have numerous threads here where examples are given, most of them are 1 or 2k files.

    Rick
    Universal4

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    Yes - it is more a case of centralisation to a single point for ease of changing (or dropping) program links rather than cloaking.

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    u mean "masking"...because cloaking is a another story..

    .htaccess is still the fastest way...

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    I cant see why one would want hundreds of additional lines in htaccess file for outgoing links, but I do know some use that method.

    Rick
    Universal4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Progger View Post
    u mean "masking"...because cloaking is a another story..
    .htaccess is still the fastest way...
    Fastest yes - but not best.

    By sending to a central file I can do things on customer exit like :
    - geo-checks (eg. silly to send a US player to a UK bookmaker),
    - click recording (player country, player IP, date, time, referring URL)
    - and also bot detection

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    If you need a simple WordPress plugin just to manage your aff links then I suggest Simple URLs.

    I also found this article about the number of plugins used on a site rather informative.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheGooner View Post
    Fastest yes - but not best.

    By sending to a central file I can do things on customer exit like :
    - geo-checks (eg. silly to send a US player to a UK bookmaker),
    - click recording (player country, player IP, date, time, referring URL)
    - and also bot detection
    Yes...but this is often not really nessesary,i dont wanna spend the half day with analytics...
    Many wp plugins stuck at adblock,i spend hours to figure out the best way...

    Regards

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    islandmaan is offline Private Member
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    Try the plugin Thirsty Affiliates the free version works great and it is easy to use

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    You should also try out WP Wizard Cloak. It's got lots of good reviews about it (mainly 5 star ratings by users) and it's also free of charge.

  24. #14
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    Thanks for that post DaftDog, however what they did not test is 1000 concurrent users.

    I do not think just multiplying the results by 10 would be quite the same effect as 1000 real users (as well as bots) performing all the queries needed at the same time. Nonetheless, I found it was some real interesting data and test results.

    Rick
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    Quote Originally Posted by universal4 View Post
    Thanks for that post DaftDog, however what they did not test is 1000 concurrent users.

    I do not think just multiplying the results by 10 would be quite the same effect as 1000 real users (as well as bots) performing all the queries needed at the same time. Nonetheless, I found it was some real interesting data and test results.

    Rick
    Universal4
    Adding your own code or adding a quality plugin to add functionality to your website amounts to more or less the same thing and this will use up some of your servers resources. If you want a heap of functionality on your site then cheap shared hosting is not the option.

    Your local hardware store probably wouldn't deliver bricks to it's customers using a tuk-tuk.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaftDog View Post
    Your local hardware store probably wouldn't deliver bricks to it's customers using a tuk-tuk.
    Your humour always cracks me up DD
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  29. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaftDog View Post
    or adding a quality plugin to add functionality to your website amounts to more or less the same thing and this will use up some of your servers resources.
    Correct, but a visit link using a simple html redirect, or a php page using the header statement does not use server resources like that, there are no additional database lookups or queries, finding out what plugin is running, and then a query to the database for the link, the page is called and the redirect starts taking place before the database lookup can be performed.

    Simple visit pages in html or php are faster then the additional look up is. My guess is that any additional code added to also track that click and other data, would take place server side, even though the visitors browser has already left the website

    I also do not use cheap hosting or hardware, although I often use a tuk-tuk to visit the NOC where my rack is.

    Rick
    Universal4

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    If you are using Wordpress I recommend PrettyLinkPro.

    Super simple to use you can even work locally in excel and export/import to prettylinkpro.

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