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Pretty Link Pro is My Favorite WordPress Plugin

Pretty Link ProI love this plugin. It is one of the most useful plugins I have used in all my WordPress years. Months ago I got the free version and soon upgraded to the pro version. And, honey, I almost never pay for plugins. This one, however, has such great functionality that it has been worth every penny.

With Pretty Link Pro you can shrink big, long, messy URLs down to clean, simple URLs that are redirected to any other URL you choose. This works a bit like other services such as tinyurl or bit.ly, with one huge advantage: the shortlinks come from your URL and you decide what they look like and what keywords are included!

Pretty Link Pro tracks the number of total hits and unique hits for each link. It creates a configurable chart of these clicks so you can see what your readers are doing.

You can post your Pretty Links to Twitter directly from your WordPress admin panel. Instead of the annoying, nonsensical shorteners you usually see, your tweets will have your own URL. Can you say “branding”?

Want to clean up affiliate or merchant shopping cart links? Pretty Link Pro does this easily to your specifications.

How do you track how many times a promotional email is opened? Create a tracking pixel and embed it in the email.

If you want to set up a private offer for your readers, use a randomized Pretty Link Pro slug to direct your selected readers to the right page.

Some months ago I merged two blogs into one. That’s a link nightmare! But Pretty Link Pro brought the two together seamlessly, converting all the old links correctly to the new URL. That saved me hours and hours of tedious labor.

Like I said, I love Pretty Link Pro. If you’re a serious WordPress blogger, this will be worth it’s weight in gold.

{ 33 comments… add one }
  • iWoodpecker February 3, 2010, 8:31 am

    Too bad it’s paid in the end.. Do you know any worthy alternatives?
    .-= iWoodpecker´s last blog ..7 Reasons URL Shorteners are Risky for Your SEO =-.

  • Alison Moore Smith February 3, 2010, 4:13 pm

    iWoodpecker, yes, the pro version is paid, but the free version provides the link shortener you want, with your own domain!

    See that link I just entered? That’s a Pretty Link link! And with the exception of the extra redirect time, it solves the problems described in your (great!) post. 🙂 Try it!

  • iWoodpecker February 4, 2010, 4:35 am

    That’s it – I’m using it 🙂
    But there are new questions..
    Does it eat your web server traffic channel or not?
    Is traffic counted as yours, if you make redirection to other website?

    PS. Update sexybookmarks, they have a sweet surprise from Google 🙂
    .-= iWoodpecker´s last blog ..Essential Aim of Online Web Site Promotion: What is More Important than External Links? =-.

  • Alison Moore Smith February 4, 2010, 12:18 pm

    I have the latest version of Sexy Bookmarks, but didn’t pay attention to the upgrade info. What’s the new cool thang?

    I went directly to the source, Blair Williams (Pretty Link author) to get your answers. He said:

    Q. “Does it eat your web server traffic channel or not?”

    A “Not 100% sure what you mean by this but I’m assuming that you’re wondering if pretty links count towards your web server’s traffic allocation? The answer is yes — most of the time.

    “Pretty Link basically runs right after a request gets to WordPress and if it is valid, pretty link redirects or renders a prettybar/cloak frame. So, typically it won’t use quite as much bandwidth or server resources as a standard page call in WordPress but, since the request is being forwarded through your website, it will eat some of your resources — even on pure redirects. The one exception to this sometimes is the 301 redirect. In some cases, routers will cache them so when your pretty link is clicked your site can be bypassed completely.”

    Q “Is traffic counted as yours, if you make redirection to other website?”

    A Yes and No.

    “It depends on a lot of factors, including whether or not the target URL has canonical links set up, what kind of redirection you’re using, if you have nofollow/noindex checked for the link, etc.

    “Usually though, if you use a 307, pretty bar or cloaked redirect without checking the nofollow/noindex checkbox in “Link Options” then google will index your link.”

    Hope that helps! Thanks to Blair for his timely response.

    Once you get Pretty Link you’ll notice that it is upgraded very regularly. He’s always adding new, cool features.

  • JR February 4, 2010, 5:29 pm

    Now this is something that can really be useful, thanks will check it out.
    .-= JR ´s last blog ..Last Chance to Buy The Best Spinner Tool for Half Price =-.

  • Alison Moore Smith February 4, 2010, 6:20 pm

    JR, let me know how you like it. I love this plugin!

  • Karl Foxley February 7, 2010, 10:28 am

    I really like Pretty Link Pro and was going to blog about it at some point (it’s in my never ending list of draft posts).

    I love the features and functions that are included.

    Thanks for sharing,

    .-= Karl Foxley´s last blog ..Who Else Wants More Traffic And Backlinks? =-.

  • Alison Moore Smith February 7, 2010, 11:34 am

    Glad to hear it, Karl. 🙂

    Apparently you and I are in the same boat. I laugh when I see blog posts about writer’s block. I have so many things I want to write about. Just not the time!

  • Turning Winds February 7, 2010, 7:19 pm

    This could be awesome to use. Haven’t heard regarding this but you’ve gave a great review regarding Pretty Link. How do I know more regarding this plug-in? So I cold understand and learn more regarding this.

    Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  • Alison Moore Smith February 7, 2010, 9:07 pm

    You can learn more details about Pretty Link or Pretty Link Pro by clicking on those links and going to the Blair’s site. 🙂

  • Tech Maish February 8, 2010, 11:27 am

    Thesis is the King of all themes. I lately come to know about thesis, but it is one of my best decision to start my blog with thesis.
    .-= Tech Maish´s last blog ..Beautiful 3D Icones,Logos of Popular Websites =-.

  • Tycoon Blogger February 10, 2010, 10:21 pm

    great plugin. I was looking into something like this. I was going to go with bitly pro but this seems way better. Like you said, great for branding and cloaking affiliate links too.
    .-= Tycoon Blogger ´s last blog ..Dramatically improve your blog in one night =-.

  • Daz February 11, 2010, 7:09 pm

    Hi Alison, I have read every mortal written artifact today about pretty link pro, I am seriously considering using it for our site rebuild, it’s almost a must for some of the links in our pages and on the ecommerce side. My only concern is that there seems to be quite a high degree of posts relating to glyches and bugs on Blair’s site – have you had any issues yourself? I am typing with one finger here as I have my credit card in the other hand ready to buy. Since you are running on Thesis and so am I on the new site I hope your feedback will be that the problems are mostly related to themes of lesser quality?
    The pro version of the plugin looks incredible, is there any provision in it for checking broken links? Thanks in anticipation of a reply… (pretty please)
    .-= Daz´s last blog ..New Web Site on the Way =-.

  • Alison Moore Smith February 11, 2010, 7:27 pm

    Tycoon, let me know how you like it. I found it so easy to learn and implement.

    Daz, thanks for your question.

    I have been using it for months. I can tell you honestly and without reservation that I, personally, have not experienced a single problem that could be traced to Pretty Link. Whenever there is a new upgrade, I apply it from the backend. (He updates regularly and, apparently, whenever someone has an issue.)

    There is one thing to watch out for, and that is duplicating a name. For example, if you give a file the post-slug “my-theme” and then name a pretty link “my-theme” you’re going to have a conflict. I would call that a user issue, not a software issue, but it’s worth watching for.

    Hope that helps and great luck with your site rebuild. That’s a big task, I know!

  • Ileane February 13, 2010, 6:05 am

    Hey Alison,

    Thanks for the heads up about this one. Maybe I’ll see if Brian will add it over at Blogging Wire. It’s cool how Blair came back with answers for us.
    .-= Ileane´s last blog ..Some Serious Blog Engagement =-.

  • Alison Moore Smith February 13, 2010, 10:09 am

    In my experience, Blair is very responsive to feedback on the plugin. That in itself is a great recommendation.

  • Anne Moss February 13, 2010, 11:09 am

    I’m not sure what the benefit is with having shortened URL’s on your own server. I do sometimes use this method for certain affiliate links but I make my own through my htaccess file.
    .-= Anne Moss´s last blog ..Eight Reasons Why You Need to Start Buzzing =-.

  • Daz February 13, 2010, 2:54 pm

    Hi Alison,

    Thanks for the reply, looks like Blair will have a few of our dollars in his
    bank by this evening. Great post that! One of the best I’ve read in a while… really high quality, and just the kind of content that keeps me reading. I’ll add you to our blogroll, I know for sure that others will appreciate your content. :])
    .-= Daz´s last blog ..Garlic Flavoured Chocolate =-.

  • Alison Moore Smith February 13, 2010, 5:58 pm

    Anne, thanks for stopping by.

    One reason is that it looks like your site — it puts your name out there instead of, say bit.ly. (Why do I want to advertise for them?) Another is that you control the text in the URL itself. Instead of some jumble of garbage, the link actually relates to the content.

    For example, if I tweet something about Pretty Link Pro, I’d much rather have the tweet say:




    You are right, you certainly can use the htaccess file to do this, but having the Pretty Link GUI is easier for almost everyone. Even if you can readily hack the code (which most people can’t) it’s a heck of a lot easier to read a field that says, “Pretty Link Pro” than search through a bunch of lines with something like this. 🙂

    RewriteRule ^(\d+)$ http://[YOUR-BLOG-URL]/?p=$1

    So if you use a lot of these (like I do), the management is a serious upside! Easy to find. Easy to read. Easy to modify.

    Daz, thank you for the very kind words. I look forward to your feedback in the future!

  • Netchunks February 16, 2010, 12:20 am

    Hello Alison, quite a nice blog you have here. Well this Pretty Link plugin seems to be quite similar to the Go Code plugin which is free. But still I will check it out. I want to compare both this plugins
    .-= Netchunks´s last blog ..Wordpress 2.9.2 Released =-.

  • Alison Moore Smith February 16, 2010, 12:35 pm

    Hey, Netchunks, thanks for dropping by. 🙂

    Let’s try this again folks. Pretty Link is FREE!!! Free, free, free. (Let’s see if I can get my own post modded!)

    There is also a paid version with even more functions, Pretty Link Pro. But the free version will do most of the stuff we’re talking about here. Look at Blair’s list yourself! Great plugin! FREE!

  • Hami February 16, 2010, 3:01 pm

    Why not get hold of the paid version and it would be great if we get a review of the paid version

  • Alison Moore Smith February 16, 2010, 5:04 pm

    I do have the paid version, that’s what I reviewed. But I think most folks will find the free version provides what they need most. I’ll update the post later to specify the differences.

  • Arelthia January 2, 2011, 10:22 pm

    Alison I use Pretty Link Pro also. I love being able to track clicks and the grouping feature.
    Read Arelthia’s inCREDible post…How To Start Your Website With Security In MindMy Profile

  • Alison Moore Smith January 3, 2011, 7:53 pm

    Arelthia, so glad you like it. It’s such a useful plugin.

    The only thing I don’t like is (so far, after more than a year of use) is that the click tracking has limits. First, I think it starts out faulty (which makes me question it’s accuracy). When I post something it immediately show traffic. Second, eventually it will throw an error and (according to the creator) the only way to fix it is to clear all the traffic data. Ugh.

  • raverture May 20, 2011, 4:13 am

    I haven’t visited my blogs in Wordpress for a few weeks now but when you said that you like this plug-in I want to try it as well. I think it can really get the interest of out fellow bloggers.

  • Ali May 29, 2011, 3:17 pm

    Hi Alison,

    Nothing screams spammer & is as suspicious as tinyurl and bit.ly. I loathe those URL shorteners and have never got accustomed to using them. Using preety link pro is likely to improve your click through rate drastically. I haven’t used the plugin myself yet but maybe you could attest to this Alsion.

    Thanks a lot great post!!!

  • John June 14, 2011, 3:27 pm

    This sounds identical to what stumble upon and bit.ly already do for free.

  • Alison Moore Smith June 14, 2011, 4:18 pm

    Actually, not at all. 🙂

    If I want to create a shortened link to, say, Kristi’s Ultimate Blog Promotion Guide, here are how they will look using bit.ly and Pretty Link Pro, respectively:



    See the difference? The second, the Pretty Link Pro link is branded to my site, not to someone else’s site. In addition, I can access stats, change the destination URL for every link in one step, and access multiple other management tools (including link import and export).

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