Sunday, March 21, 2010

Cloak, shorten or snip your affiliate links (URLs) vs TinyURL

If you have webhosting and own a domain, you simply have to place a text file into the root folder of your domain and rename it to .htaccess (the "dot" is very important, also make sure it has NO extension - remove the .txt at the end) with the following line in it:

redirect 301 /[LinkYouWantToUse] /[YourLongAffiliateLink]

[LinkYouWantToUse] doesn't have to have any extension (.html or .php...), just make up any descriptive name.

[YourLongAffiliateLink] has to be the full link starting with "http://...".

this is the link that you'll have to put in your e-mail/IM or on your website:


[YourDomainName] is your domain name including .com, .net or whatever you have.

This doesn't only work with affiliate links but anything you want, really!


I wanted to show a picture that was hosted on another site, but didn't want people to see the long link so i added the following line into my .htaccess file:

redirect 301 /LinkToPicture /ExternalWebsite/FolderName/[RestOfTheFolderPath...]/FileNameOfPicture.jpg

and place the following link on the website:

Remember to place the above link between the quotation marks of the <a href=""> tag, name your anchor whatever you want and close it by the </a> tag.

What TinyURL basically saves for you is the webhosting and domain name, however if you already have them, it looks much more professional to have your own redirections than having the one of TinyURL or another cloaking service, plus who knows what they do with your links or how long those services will live. Nonetheless doing your own redirections you can set any name for [LinkYouWantToUse] as described above; don't have to use the ones those cloaking services make you to use.

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