Wednesday 16th April 2014,

Extensions

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AC Link Cloaker

posted by steve

Please note that I no longer develop or support Joomla plugins. This post is here in case anyone is still interested in the plugins I developed a few years ago.
Scroll down a bit for the download url …

AC Link Cloaker is a Joomla! 1.5 extension that helps you manage and hide your outgoing URL links – such as affiliate links – and turn them into ordinary looking site links.

Transform something like this …

http://y674ybfbfeby.myaffiliateprovider.com?affiliatelink=478frneuniuf&product=thisproduct

… into something like this …

http://www.mysite.com/recommends/this-product.html

… and improve your click through rate massively!

These new cloaked links can be displayed in a variety of ways, depending on your SEF preferences, and can be added to article content, menu’s, or anywhere else on your Joomla! site using the included module.

AC Link Cloaker is sh404sef compatible and includes an automatically installed plugin to enable this. A custom folder structure for your links can also be created, which is useful if you do not use SEF links on your site.

You can also transform your cloaked link into either a standard text link, an image link, or a form button, and use your own custom CSS styles to change how they appear when displayed. Pre and post text/HTML can also be applied to add extra information before or after the link itself. It’s all very customizable.

Links are displayed dynamically, and can be managed easily in the back end administration, so site wide changes to each link you have placed on your site are only a click or two away.

When your user clicks the new link, they will be automatically redirected to the original URL, in either a new window, the same page, or a frame of your choice. AC Link cloaker also records the amount of times each link has been clicked, so you can keep an eye on how your links are performing.

Features:

  • Contains a Joomla! component for back end administration and displaying your cloaked links as menu items
  • Contains a Joomla! content plugin for displaying your cloaked links in article content
  • Contains a Joomla! editor button plugin allowing you to easily insert cloaked link tags into article content
  • Contains a Joomla! Module for displaying your cloaked links anywhere else on your site
  • Contains an automatically installed  sh404sef plugin for compatibility with sh404sef
  • Can display the cloaked URL and displayed link in a variety of different ways
  • Links are displayed dynamically allowing for site wide changes to be made from the component administration
  • Link redirection to a new window, same window, or frame of your choice (including custom iframes)
  • Records the amount of ‘hits’ for each link
  • As with all our products, you are entitled to free future updates and an unlimited site license

Requirements:

  • An Internet Connection
  • Joomla! Content Management System Version 1.5.x

Note: This software is GPL licensed, by downloading it, you are agreeing to these terms.

Disclaimer: Please make sure that any links you cloak/mask using this extension do not violate any terms and conditions set by the providers of the links, or the websites or other locations that the links point to. Angel Coding cannot be held responsible for any breach of such terms.


Download here: com_aclink_v1.0.0_package


Here’s a quick overview of how to use AC Link Cloaker.
Most of the information you need is included within the component administration pages, but we all have to start somewhere …

Obtain the link you need to be redirected
First and foremost, you need a link that will be hidden and redirected. For most of you this will probably be an affiliate link of some kind. AC Link Cloaker can use either direct URL links such as http://myaffiliate.com/?link=cfg46bf478 or HTML links such as <a href=”http://myaffiliate.com/?link=cfg46bf478″>Click Here</a> – useful if you wish to directly copy and paste from your affiliate provider.
At present, form based links are not supported, but we are working on this for a future version.

Create a new link item
Once you have the link you wish to hide and redirect, you need to create a new link item within the component.
Go to Components->AC Link Cloaker->Manage Links and click ‘New’. Add your link to the ‘Original Link’ field and set any options you require. All the information about these options is provided on the right hand side of the page for quick access.Hit ‘Save’ and your link item has been created.

Settings
Go to Components->AC Link Cloaker->Settings.
Here is where you set how you want your new links to be displayed. Again, all the information you need is on the right hand side of this page.
These settings are global wide, so will affect all of your links.

Add your link to Article Content
When creating/editing your article content using the Joomla! Article Manager, you will notice that you have a new button at the bottom of the editor window called AC Cloaked Link. To add the link item you have just created, simply place the cursor where you want the link to appear and click the button.
A popup window will display all of your link items allowing you to choose which link you want to insert by clicking on the title.
Once inserted you will see that a tag has appeared in your content similar to . This tag will be replaced when viewed from the front end site with the link you have chosen. Of course, if you know the ID number of the tag you wish to use already, you can enter the tag manually using the relevant id number.
The use of these tags allows you to make changes to the link in the component administration without having to replace all the links you have already created.

Add your link as a menu item
You can also add your link to a menu. For example, let’s say you want to add a link to the Main Menu:
Go to Menus->Main Menu. Click ‘New’, and choose AC Link Cloaker->AC Link Cloaker Redirect.
Give it a title, and choose the link item you require using the ‘Select’ button on the right hand side of the page.
Choose any other options you require and click ‘Save’. It’s as easy as that!
Note: Many of the options set for the link item will not be used when using a menu item like this. For instance, if you wish to target your link to a new window you must choose ‘New Window’ in the menu item options.

Add your link using a module
By using the included AC Link Cloaker module, you can place your links pretty much anywhere you like on your site.
Go to Extensions->Module Manager and you should already see a module caled AC Link Cloaker in the ‘left’ position.
Click on the title, and select a link item from the parameters on the left. You can also choose to override the link type if you wish (text, image, or button).
Choose any other standard module settings and enable the module.
Create as many links as you wish.

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