Where Did Pretty Link Cloaking and the Pretty Bar Go?

This morning Pretty Link disappeared from the WordPress.org plugin repository because it didn’t comply with a new, apparently undocumented policy that doesn’t allow plugins to cloak links. Pretty Link wasn’t the only plugin affected by this policy change, wordpress.org removed all plugins from the repository that allowed users to cloak links.

I’ve been working with the guys at wordpress.org this morning to get Pretty Link back on the repository. The only way to do this was to remove link cloaking, pretty bar and pixel tracking from the Pretty Link Lite versions 1.4.51 and beyond.

How will this change affect me?

Here are the facts you need to know about this significant change:

  1. Pretty Link Pro users will NOT be affected by this change. If you’re a pro user your cloaked, prettybar, and pixel links will continue to function as they have in the past. Since Pretty Link Pro is actually a separate plugin not hosted on the wordpress.org plugin repository it is immune from this policy change.
  2. What good is the lite version of Pretty Link without cloaking? The lite version of Pretty Link that’s on the wordpress repository will still be able to do temporary (307) and permanent (301) redirects … so if you don’t use cloaking, the prettybar or pixel redirects then you won’t be impacted by this change at all. All of the other Pretty Link features such as tracking, parameter forwarding, groups, nofollow/noindex, etc are all still there and still work great.
  3. What will happen to prettybar, cloaked and pixel links? If you are a Pretty Link Pro user or upgrade to Pretty Link Pro then your prettybar, cloaked and pixel links will continue to function normally. Otherwise, these links will start using Temporary Redirects … your links will still work but won’t be cloaked.
  4. Help Me! I just upgraded to Pretty Link 1.4.51 and now none of my links are cloaked anymore! Good news, if you upgrade to Pretty Link Pro today then these links will continue working as they always have. Its a pretty simple process to purchase and install Pretty Link Pro — so you’ll be back in business fast.

I’m really sorry about this change — I always hate removing features like this … but in this case it was necessary to keep Pretty Link on the WordPress.org repository. If you have any issues upgrading or questions feel free to drop a note on my Contact page.


  1. I`m sorry but I put sample within [quote[/quote]] and after submission they were gone.
    Maybe without this, it will work. If not, moderator, please allow to help David.

  2. Thanks for a great plugin! One suggestion, I only miss one thing and that is a button to insert a link in a post. A button in the bar at edit post, that opens a list with all pretty links, i choose one and that links gets inserted in the post with title, nofollow etc. At the moment i have to copy/paste the link and make it nofollow i html-mode. A button would save a lot of time.

  3. I am using the pretty link free version. I am using “no follow” but wondering why when I use some wordpress plugins to check for no follow links, my outgoing links are not highlighted? Do I need to get the pro version to get this to work? Good job… love Pretty link!

  4. Daniel Hall says:

    I am concerned, can Pretty Link Lite be used for affiliate links – without the cloaking? How will this affect the site and affiliate link? I have sent you a message – please take a look as I am genuinely concerned now.

    • Yes it can be used fine without the cloaking. The only thing cloaking does is hide the user from seeing the “target URL” in their browsers address bar.

  5. Can the pro version scan my site for affiliate links and then convert them into pretty links? I really don’t want to do it edit my posts one by one. Thanks

    • yes, it has an auto URL replacement feature that is capable of doing that as long as the URLs reside in a post, page, or comment.

  6. I don’t use wordpress. Can I use this program to cloak links?

  7. I have Pretty link Pro and my affiliate links are no longer being cloaked.
    How do I correct this?

  8. I was quite surprised to see the cloaking gone What has been some successful copy to close your prospect ie Pretty link. I like for things to pay for themselves…This is worth its weight in gold.

  9. Chris Moon says:

    Setting up a wp multi site and have installed PLP.

    Can only create pretty links in my main domain but not in my multi site domains.

    PLP is available for my multi sites and when I try to create a PL I get message your Pretty Link was Successfully Created but the link is not displayed or saved anywhere.

    What needs to be done to get PLP to work with the sub sites on a multi site?


  10. Is the lite version working as it was before you had to make changes to comply with the WP policy? I have 1.4.56 installed and my links are being cloaked but I just want to make sure my affiliate sales will be counted.

    • The Lite version should not “cloak” links anymore. Make sure your not confusing Cloak with 307/301 redirects. And yes your affiliate sales should not have changed.

  11. Blair,

    Maybe the best solution now would be to offer Lite, Standard, and Pro versions, with only the Lite distributed via the WP plug-in repository and Standard be a free, GPL version which does not have cloaking stripped, and your usual Pro offering.

  12. Hello,

    I’ve just upgraded pretty link lite to 1.5.0 but on my wordpress I have :
    Database Upgrade is required for Pretty Link to work properly
    Automatically Upgrade your Database

    If I click on the link, nothing happen, I can’t upgrade database. What should I do ? Does pretty link still works without this database update ? Thanks for your andswer

    • james, the database should definitely be updated, when you click the link are you redirected to another page or what?

  13. I get the same thing as James. It tells me to update the database but when I click the link it just takes me into my website’s homepage.

    Any ideas?

    • I updated the plug-in, updated the database, but when I try upgrading to Pro by clicking the “Automatically Upgrade to Enable Pretty Link Pro” link, I am just taken to a page saying that “The plugin is at the latest version.”

    • please email me – cartpauj (at) prettylinkpro (dot) com

    • Hi,
      I have the same problem with the database upgrade. Every time I click on the “Automatically Upgrade Database” link, I get redirected to my home page.

    • Jonsky, please email me – cartpauj (at) prettylinkpro (dot) com

  14. I was able to fix it by disabling W3 Total Cache prior to updating Pretty Link. After that I activated W3 Total Cache once more and everything was fine.

  15. It’s really sad the cloaking feature go away for the Lite version. The pro version is just too much to justify especially if you have multiple websites. It’s not worth the $100 for a simple plugin. I guess you can always just redirect via 307 or 301’s. You just won’t be cloaked.