How To Start Shrinking Links On Your Domain Name in 5 minutes: Pretty Link Introduction Video

Let me show you how easy it is to be up and running with Pretty Link on your WordPress website in 5 minutes or less!

Download (Right-Click & Select “Save-As”)


  1. Thanks for the Pretty Link Plugin and the supporting videos. This is easy to follow and helpful. I am just reviewing the first video so hope you don’t mind me commenting as I get to review other videos

    Thanks again

  2. Hi,

    I have pro vertion, but I have a big problem.
    All my posts starts with wide image, so when I chose the twitter bagde to stay in top right with text wrap, it appears in the back of the image.
    Do you think you can help me fixing it?
    Please write, I really need it.
    I don’t use the badge because of it!
    Thanks a lot!
    love your plugin!

  3. I created a pretty link, now how to use it, I’m confused!

    • Craig Hawkins says:

      One example is to use it to track how many hits you are getting for particular keywords in ‘Twitter’ you may have a blog article you want ‘tweeters’ to visit. by tracking using pretty link… you can test for different keywords that individuals are searching for in ‘Twitter’. Twitter of course is just an example to give you the general idea.

  4. I wasn’t able to download this video, could you post it as mov like the others?

    And what plugin do you use for twitter comments? 😀

    • Okay — I posted the mov file for this video as a download — hope it helps — it’s an HD video so it may take a few minutes to download…

      The Twitter Comments, Tweet Badge and Social Buttons on my site come from the Pro version of Pretty Link:

      Pretty Link Pro

      I like it quite a bit 😀 …

  5. When I tried downloading Pretty Link I got this error:

    Installing Plugin: Pretty Link 1.4.43
    Downloading install package from

    Warning: curl_init(): Cannot initialize a new cURL handle in /homepages/34/d294047450/htdocs/wp-includes/http.php on line 1239

    Warning: curl_setopt(): supplied argument is not a valid cURL handle resource in /homepages/34/d294047450/htdocs/wp-includes/http.php on line 1271

    Warning: curl_setopt(): supplied argument is not a valid cURL handle resource in /homepages/34/d294047450/htdocs/wp-includes/http.php on line 1272

    Warning: curl_setopt(): supplied argument is not a valid cURL handle resource in /homepages/34/d294047450/htdocs/wp-includes/http.php on line 1273

    Warning: curl_setopt(): supplied argument is not a valid cURL handle resource in /homepages/34/d294047450/htdocs/wp-includes/http.php on line 1274

    Warning: curl_setopt(): supplied argument is not a valid cURL handle resource in /homepages/34/d294047450/htdocs/wp-includes/http.php on line 1275

    Warning: curl_setopt(): supplied argument is not a valid cURL handle resource in /homepages/34/d294047450/htdocs/wp-includes/http.php on line 1276

    Warning: curl_setopt(): supplied argument is not a valid cURL handle resource in /homepages/34/d294047450/htdocs/wp-includes/http.php on line 1277

    Warning: curl_setopt(): supplied argument is not a valid cURL handle resource in /homepages/34/d294047450/htdocs/wp-includes/http.php on line 1278

    Warning: curl_setopt(): supplied argument is not a valid cURL handle resource in /homepages/34/d294047450/htdocs/wp-includes/http.php on line 1291

    Warning: curl_setopt(): supplied argument is not a valid cURL handle resource in /homepages/34/d294047450/htdocs/wp-includes/http.php on line 1297

    Warning: curl_setopt(): supplied argument is not a valid cURL handle resource in /homepages/34/d294047450/htdocs/wp-includes/http.php on line 1305

    Warning: curl_setopt(): supplied argument is not a valid cURL handle resource in /homepages/34/d294047450/htdocs/wp-includes/http.php on line 1309

    Warning: curl_exec(): supplied argument is not a valid cURL handle resource in /homepages/34/d294047450/htdocs/wp-includes/http.php on line 1324

    Warning: curl_error(): supplied argument is not a valid cURL handle resource in /homepages/34/d294047450/htdocs/wp-includes/http.php on line 1338

    Warning: curl_getinfo(): supplied argument is not a valid cURL handle resource in /homepages/34/d294047450/htdocs/wp-includes/http.php on line 1340

    Warning: curl_getinfo(): supplied argument is not a valid cURL handle resource in /homepages/34/d294047450/htdocs/wp-includes/http.php on line 1348

    Warning: curl_close(): supplied argument is not a valid cURL handle resource in /homepages/34/d294047450/htdocs/wp-includes/http.php on line 1351

    Download failed.

    Your help is greatly appreciated!

    • cartpauj says:

      After reading some of the problems you’ve been having it seems more likely to me that you’ve got a plugin that’s not working very well with WordPress. Try disabling all your plugins and see if this error goes away. If so, re-enable your plugins one by one until you find which one is the culprit.

  6. When I tried to upgrade this is the error message I got:

    Error 500 – Internal server error
    An internal server error has occured!
    Please try again later.

    WordPress 2.9.2 is available! Please update now. Should I upgrade this?


    • cartpauj says:

      Daryl, It’s always a good idea to stay up to date with the latest version of WP. Before updating WP it’s always a good idea to make sure your plugins will still be compatible. But lets address your issue at hand. I would recommend temporarily de-activating all your plugins and then try the update again. If you still have the error let us know.

  7. i get confused to use this plugin. someone, help me

  8. Hi,
    Could someone please share with me why it is beneficial to use a Pretty Link for my internal pages? Why wouldn’t I just edit the permalink to “Beyonce” or whatever my desired name is? Hang on… Is it for tracking purposes?
    If so, I guess I’d better watch the tracking video next! :o)

    Thanks in advance!

    • cartpauj says:

      Pretty link is most beneficial to have links that point to your site that actually redirect the users somewhere other than your site when they click the link. It’s purpose isn’t to be overly beneficial for your own pages/posts but yes it can be very useful for tracking link clicks and conversions….especially with Pro version.

  9. Where I can learn more about Pretty Links? There’s only one video that I can see I have access to. Does Pretty Link cloak links eg affiliate links? Can I use Pretty Links off site eg Squidoo, HubPages, etc.?

    • cartpauj says:

      You’ll have the most flexibility using Pretty Links Pro. Have you been to and viewed the info over there?

  10. I downloaded, installed, setup, and created my first pretty links within about 20 minutes. What a great plugin. You have really done a great job. Thanks for the free stuff. I will probably convert to pro in a short while. This is the best. I was using Tiny Url and I never liked the way my links looked. This way my links look like my own. How cool is that? Thanks again

    Paul Palumbo

  11. At 4:06of the first video you show how you copy the link and move it to a new tab. The window image is one I don’t recognize, probably because you use a MAC.
    I don’t understand where you are pasting the link. You said to open a new tab. Where is that tab?

    • Dick, it depends on your web browser. Most browsers will open a new tab by pressing CTRL + T

  12. I am very new at this blogging stuff and at the risk of looking pretty dumb, I don’t understand how it works. Is the link supposed to show up in my blog sidebar? nothing shows up at all.
    I’ve put a link in so where is it? It’s installed and activated etc.

    • cartpauj says:

      Pretty Link creates what I’m going to call “Fake” links. For example, let’s say you wanted to send your users to without them knowing that’s where they’re going. Well PL lets you do that! You can create a Pretty Link that points to google but looks like Pretty Links can be very useful for Search Engine Optimization practices and also for tracking how many times a link is clicked. Plus with the Pro version you can do even more cool things. Hope that helps!

  13. Thanks for your reply…but I’m still lost. My questions weren’t really answered. Please just a very basic elementary answer. 🙂

    • If you were thinking about using a link shrinker webservice like or goog.le or and you have your own WordPress blog it would be wiser to use Pretty Links. Otherwise you don’t see any “pretty” things happening to your blog. You just replace the address were you would be linking to in your blogpost with another address generated by Pretty Link.
      Does that make it any clearer?

  14. Thanks for taking the time to explain things…thought I knew a bit, but….

    “link shrinker webservice like or goog.le or and you have your own WordPress blog it would be wiser to use Pretty Links”
    I do have my own Word press blog but to be quite honest I don’t know what the rest of those things mentioned are 🙂
    So does it show up on WordPress by itself? Perhaps I don’t need it if it’s not that useful to me.

  15. Francine – first thing you need to do is get passed “I don’t understand it, therefore I don’t need it”. You do need it. You just don’t understand WHY you need it. OK? You know the answer is actually quite simple. When people (and I am really referring to Affiliates, here, but it could be any site owner), create links on their blogs/sites to the stuff they want to sell on other people’s sites, they tend to use a third-party link shortener like or to cover their tracks. This then gives them a link that looks something like this “”. The problem that Pretty Link overcomes is that it doesn’t give you a link that refers away from your blog; it cleverly gives you a link that refers to directly to your blog, and so with Pretty Link, you get a link that looks like this “”. And this is a link which, when the search engines pick it up, gives your site the additional SEO value of some “link love”, and doesn’t give it to somebody else’s site. Get it? So when somebody clicks one of your “pretty links,” wherever you have placed the link, they are immediately brought to your site and instantly referred to site the link was designed to send them to. Is that any clearer? By the way, if any of the terminology I have used is confusing, Google’s your friend, or you can always ask me here or at Virtual Crowds.

    • Wow
      Terence, I have had PL installed for probably 2 months and could not figure it out. You just gave the best description(I tried to spell anyalasis,LOL but drew a blank) I have seen so far.

  16. Hey, Noob alert !!
    I just installed and shortened an affiliate link from Hostgator. When I hover over the Hostgator add the url at the bottom of my page is unchanged.
    I cut and pasted part of the link from my widgets >text box.
    Am I using the wrong code ? Is there anywhere else I can find “just” my link ?
    I have a banner add and used “,blah,blah-” ……without the quotations.
    Your help would be greatly appreciated.

  17. Hi cartpauj,
    Thanks for the response.
    I tried to copy/paste the url from the add into the Target URL field, and it says that it’s successful, but when I go back to the page and hover over the add I can still see my affiliate link.

    Sorry, I must be missing something.

    • OK I’ve got it… I followed your advice, but was replacing the whole url, I guess with a banner add you just replace your affiliate link and leave the rest of the code intact, or your banner goes poof !!
      Very cool, I love it !!!

  18. Hi Blair

    I activated the plugin and created my first link OK. I then tried to create a new link doing exactly the same as with the first one and got this message:

    ERROR: Link URL must be a correctly formatted url

    No matter what I put in, I get the same message? I even deactivated the plugin and deleted it and rthen reinstalled it but still get the same error. It’s driving me nuts – Help!


    • cartpauj says:

      what are your permalink settings set to?

    • Hi, John. I was having exactly the same problem. And, my permalink settings were already correct. It was driving me nuts. I finally figured it out though. I was copying and pasting the link as provided by my affiliate program. The “link” was already enclosed with the anchor tags (<a href=”some url”>some cool text</a>). You will need to be sure to get only the URL when using “links” provided by your affiliate program (like the Amazon affiliate program, for example).

      The URL will be enclosed in quotes within the anchor tag, and will usually (but not always) start off with “http://”

      To make things worse, I’m an experienced web designer and programmer and should have immediately noticed the problem, but instead I found it truly puzzling for about 20 minutes. I was just about to post a question about it here when it finally dawned on me. XD

    • Bryan Goodwin says:

      OK you are going to smack youself but the problem is probably in your target URL box. CHeck to see if you have a space at the beginning of your URL or http:// 99% of the time I get that error is because I have a space before the http.

  19. hi! i like very much this plugin and i wonder how to insert my affiliate link to the target url witch will replace the “http://” of the target url.


    Original target url

    This is what i want to be the target url

    i hope you understand what i want to achive.
    i have this idea but i don’t know to code it

  20. I’ve been using Pretty Link since an IM coach told me about it. It really helps with redirecting affiliate links via my own domains and gives good tracking data besides. A great tool. Does this use a php script, iframe, or what to accomplish the job? Thanks for creating this!

  21. First thanks for the great plugin, terrific implementation.

    I’m having one problem. My pretty bar doesn’t show. All the boxes are checked, I can’t find anything in the options that would repress it. Any thing you could think that I am overlooking??


    • cartpauj says:

      Charlene, sounds like you’re hosted with hostgator? If so you’ll need to contact them directly and ask them to un-block Pretty Link from their new security feature.

    • ummm thanks. I use Hostmonster, but it may be a similar issue. I’ll contact them…


  22. When I use prettylink to cloak an affiliate link do I need to select the ‘Standard Parameter Forwarding’ button to ensure that my affiliate id is correctly forwarded and tracked by the affiliate company that I am working with?

    Thanks for your help.

    • cartpauj says:

      if you’re cloaking the entire affiliate link (including you id) then you can just leave it at standard. Custom is for more advanced capabilities.

  23. Fantastic plugin!

    I’m unsure how I can utilize 3rd party pixels.

    Here’s the scenario:
    Site A links to my pretty link on site B then redirects to site C for the sales page. The pretty link is a Commission Junction aff link that requires a pixel image to track sales.

    Is there a way to use CJ’s pixel images within pretty link?


  24. OK,

    I’ll just use my cj link and just bypass the pretty link.

    I wanted to use pretty link for the tracking. I have the pixel on site A but I wasn’t sure if it would fire on site C after being redirected.


    • cartpauj says:

      You can use pretty link to mask the affiliate link by just modifying the code they gave you. This should allow you to use PL to track the affiliate link while at the same time leaving pixel part of the code in tact. You should be able to do both just fine.

  25. Hi Blair.

    I found Pretty Link a couple of days ago. It’s great – thanks! When my wobbly finances improve, I’ll upgrade to the Pro version.

    Just one thing… I’ve only watched the first video so far so I don’t know what the others are like, but on this one I thought you were mumbling slightly so I had to crank the volume up a lot to hear what you were saying. The trouble was – I got absolutely blasted by the music at the end!

    Please could you speak up a little (my hearing isn’t 100%) and match the audio levels for the speech and music.

    Keep up the good work!

  26. Hi again Blair.

    I’ve discovered that this kind of affiliate link isn’t working through a PrettyLink:

    I end up on the correct page, but my affiliate id isn’t being picked up. If I use the original link it is. I’m using Forward Parameters off but I couldn’t get it to work with the other options either.

    Any ideas what is going wrong and if so, when will it be fixed?


  27. I’ve got pretty links working, but what is the “Pretty Bar”?

    • The Pretty Bar in general is useful for keeping people on your site. Basically the Pretty Bar puts a small bar at the top of the screen which gives users quick access back to your site after they’ve clicked one of your pretty links.

  28. Hello Blair –

    I absolutely LOVE Pretty Link and I have installed your plug-in on all of my blogs. I noted that the latest version seems to have removed the “mask domain” option, which is kind of a bummer as I use the plug-in to mask my affiliate URLs … I may have missed something on this. Has the masking option been removed?

    Keep up the great work and development!

    Have a blessed day!


    P.S. In reading some of the other posted comments… Are there any tips or concerns I should be aware of using Pretty Links to mask affiliate domains?

    • James, it depends on the TOS of those affiliate program owners. Be sure to read them very carefully.

  29. Hi Blair,
    Thank you for creating this awesome plug-in

    I can’t wait to start using it and see what is does for my blog

    I appreciate your contributtion

    Wishing you all the success,
    Jeff Faldalen

  30. Great plug in Blair. Makes your affiliate links look so much more professional. I’ll be definitely using it on all my blogs.


  31. Thak for the killer plug-in, Blair. SO much better than using tinyurl, budurl etc. You’re the man!


  32. Hi
    Downloaded Pretty link within seconds and started using it to mask my affiliate links right away.
    For a for free WP plug in I think it is amazing, it does everything that I need, however I’m just about to check out the Pro version to find out what I could missing.

    Thanks Blair, you have a great Plug in.
    All the best


  33. Thanks for sharing great plugin which helps to mask affiliate link and make affiliate links very close to site navigation.

    Thanks again!

  34. Hello,

    I placed your plugin on my website. I created a pretty link. When I check the link on the Amazon link checker it does not show that I am getting credit for the affiliate link. I did the permalinks as you suggested.

    • Paul, I may be wrong, but I think that Amazon does not allow you to shorten their affiliate links.

  35. Hi!

    This seems just like what i´ve been searching for, if only i could get it to work..

    I tried adding a pretty link to my blog. Tried different types of links, affiliate links as well as regualr links to other large websites just to see if it worked.

    I must be doing something wrong.

    I am folowing the instructions, pasting the link i want to mask in the first box, adding the prettylink ( making it ..)
    I create the link and it says it is succesfull. But when i copy the link, and add it to my blog post and then preview the site or after i posted it tries to click on the link – it´s no link, just plain text saying , but not clickable ..

    What am i missing?

    Thank you!!

  36. Recently I have started using this plugin and I got Pretty link is really pretty for link building. Thanks for this great plugin.

  37. pretty link is grate I would hate to be without it,Paul and team are grate to always help you. I strongly recommend. Thank you Paul and team. charlie

  38. Hi,
    First of all thanks for making this plug in!
    I am testing out using Lite at the moment. Is there a tutorial regarding the optimum settings for external affiliate links.
    What are the advantages/disadvantages between choosing 307 or 301 redirects?
    Ditto dofollow/nofollow
    Ditto Parameter forwarding. I don’t even completely understand what this is so I don’t know whether it is a good idea to check it or leave it 🙂

  39. I really like pretty link lite Its the best thing that ever happened and so easy for any body to use if they need to redirectto another site.And the support team is there when you need them……I thank you for the pretty link. …….. Charlie

  40. Hemkesh Molla says:

    Hi Blair, there’s one question I wanted to ask you about the Pretty Link plugin. I am using the plugin on a website of mine for my affiliate link, and what I’ve done is that I have attributed the link as no-follow. However, with very few visitors coming to my website, I’m seeing that I’m having a hell of a lot of clicks on my link. It’s too much for the very few visitors of my website. I wanted to know what’s causing so many clicks on link. If it’s the visitors themselves, then I should assume that my pre-selling skills are really good, which I’m sure they are not. Could it be spiders, but then how could it be if I’ve made the link a no-follow one?

    Thanks for answering these questions.

    • cartpauj says:

      Hemkesh, you may want to consider enabling the “Filter Bots” option in the settings. Not all bots obey the no-follow attribute.

  41. Time to update your video, Blair. Apart from that, I’m really impressed by Pretty links Pro at this stage.


  42. Kristy Woodard says:

    I have a quick question–

    I use PrettyLink to post update to my Buffer account. Immediately after posting, I have about 30 hits. What is this tracking? It’s not tracking the number of clicks on the link, but is it rather tracking when the link is loaded into the Buffer app or loaded into people’s Twitter feeds?
    Any advice you can give will be most appreciated.


  43. I am pretty useless at tech stuff but if I understand it properly I can:
    set up a tracking link for a product I am selling in say Adtrakz Gold that gives me conversion and sales etc.

    Paste that ugly link into Pretty Link and give that link out to affiliates etc and that will
    redirect the click to my Adtrakz Gold Tracking url?

    The pretty link will just show how many hits the link received.



  1. […] Williams on May 12, 2009 · 18 comments 3 UPDATE: This video is out of date — please watch my new Pretty Link Intro Video I’ve had a ton of requests to put some tutorials up on the site — here’s the […]

  2. […] you have any troubles setting up Pretty Link, this tutorial video should help. Download the free version or buy the Pro version to really get your vanity on (or […]