A Beginner’s Guide to Using Pretty Links

Whether you’re a blogger, a social media maven, or an affiliate marketer, link shortening and redirection are important marketing elements to get right. However, without the proper tools, you'll likely be left frustrated at the time-consuming nature of the process.

Fortunately, there’s an answer for those who need a simple, all-in-one link management tool – Pretty Links. Our premium WordPress plugin offers almost all of the link automation, management, and customization tools you can practically think of, and more.

In this post, we’ll introduce you to Pretty Links. You’ll learn how to get started with the plugin, including how to add it to your site and customize its settings to fit your needs. What's more, you’ll be introduced to three of Pretty Links’s main features and how you can use them effectively for your own linking needs.

Introducing Pretty Links

The Pretty Links home page.

Pretty Links is a premium plugin that makes it easy to shorten, cloak, share, and even track your affiliate links – all from the WordPress dashboard, and with much more functionality than your average link shortener.

While there's a Pretty Links Lite version of the plugin, the premium version offers a myriad of additional redirection types, conversion reports, and a wealth of automation and sharing tools to supercharge the way you present your site's links.

Key Features:

  • Offers default link options to help speed up the process of link creation.
  • Enables you to customize reporting options to track important information.
  • Lets you create link groups based on product, affiliate, and more.
  • Provides a social media network bar for posts and pages, enabling readers to share pretty links directly.


Pretty Links starts at $47 per year, and you can find out more from the website.

How to Get Started With Pretty Links

To begin reaping the benefits of Pretty Links, you'll first need to purchase a subscription plan. Next, you'll need to install and activate the plugin on your site, before registering it with your license key. To do this, navigate to Pretty Links > Activate Pro on your WordPress dashboard. From here, paste in the license key and click Activate.

At this point, you're ready to get started shortening, redirecting, and managing your affiliate links. To add a new link, navigate to Pretty Links > Add New Link on your WordPress dashboard:

Pretty Links Add New Link

You're now ready to delve into what Pretty Links offers, so let's take a look!

3 Key Features of Pretty Links (And How to Use Them)

Pretty Links is packed with practically all of the link management tools you could need, and has three key features that make it run. Let's begin with its bread and butter – link shortening.

1. Link Shortening

The long, complicated links typically used by affiliates are not only a hassle to manage, but they can also make site visitors wary and discourage clicks. However, with Pretty Links, you no longer have to worry about your affiliate links scaring possible customers away.

From the Add Link screen, you'll be shown a number of options, although to begin, you only need to focus on a few:

Pretty Links redirect and shorten links

First, add the link you’d like to shorten into the Target URL box. Next, edit the four-letter slug within the Pretty Links field in any way you’d like, and add a title to easily find it again later. Finally, choose the redirection method (we recommend 301 (Permanent)), then select Create at the bottom of the page.

That's all there is to it, but let's take a closer look at the first drop-down in the list.

2. Link Redirection

As seen above, redirection plays a crucial role in link shortening. However, there are other ways to utilize Pretty Links’s redirection feature. Link redirection offers a number of benefits to marketers, including a potential increase click-through rates and the prevention of 'link theft'.

To use this feature, add a new link as you did before. Pretty Links offers a number of redirection types (including permanent and temporary), as well as some more advanced choices such as Cloaked, Javascript, and Meta Refresh:

Link redirection types

Once you've decided upon the type you'd like to use, select it, continue creating your link as in the previous step, then click Create. It's really that simple!

3. Link Management and Automation

It can be difficult to keep track of all of your links, especially when you have a number of affiliates working for you. Fortunately, Pretty Links has link management and automation baked in.

To manage the links you’ve created, navigate to Pretty Links > Pretty Links and select the link you’d like to edit. You'll see options including link expiration and keyword automation. These options are found within the Pro Options drop-down on the Add Link screen:

Pretty Links options

Link tracking is another handy feature, and it enables you to keep tabs on your affiliate links from a dedicated reporting panel. To track your links, first enable the tracking feature in the Advanced Options drop-down on the Add Link page:

Advanced Options enable tracking

Then, navigate to Pretty Links > Clicks on your WordPress dashboard. Here, you can see an overview of each tracked click, including the URL, referrer, and the link:

clicks and link tracking

Additionally, from the Pretty Links > Pro Reports tab you can create link reports that can be exported for use elsewhere.

Finally, you can also automate a number of link tasks. We've already mentioned link expiration (which can either be on a specific date or after a predetermined number of clicks), but you can also automatically turn keywords into links, and even automate the social media sharing options available within the plugin.


The importance of affiliate link tracking and management cannot be overstated. This is why a well-built and full-featured linking plugin is a must-have for affiliate marketers everywhere.

In the above post, we've offered you an introduction to the Pretty Links plugin. You've learned how to add the plugin to your own site, as well as its three main link-focused features, which include:

  1. Link shortening.
  2. Link redirection.
  3. The management and automation of your links.

Do you have any questions about getting started with Pretty Links? Let us know in the comments section below!

Categories: How Tos
About John Hughes

John is a blogging addict, a WordPress fanatic, and a staff writer for WordCandy.co