The link-log Plugin allows you to track clicks on external links. This allows you to analyze where visitors of your website leave to.
There is no need to change anything. All links to external websites are changed automatically in front end. In back end all links appear unchanged.
The link-log Plugin changes all your links to external sites. For example
http://www.google.com is changed to something like
http://www.example.com/?goto=HUESQ2ifGipAlHg4OTUzfihAUgfz1La8. This represents the encrypted link. The encryption produces different results on different websites to prevent phishing attacks. Internal links to pages on your domain are not changed, also URLs not starting with “http” or “https” are not changed. Also attributes (like
target) are not touched.
The Plugin basically works out of the box without any configuration. After activating the plugin the link tracking starts immediately. It is recommended to change the IP Lock Setting and the Search Engines Setting as desired.
Advanced settings allow customization of how the Plugin works to adapt it to your needs. In most cases this it not necessary.
The Plugin adds two menu items named
link-log to your WordPress Admin. The first one is added to the
Settings menu and is visible only for Administrators (resp. to users with the capability
manage_options to be exact). Here the settings can be changed. The second one is added to the
Tools menu and is visible also for Editors (resp. to users with the capability
publish_pages to be exact). Here the Click Analysis is shown. Both the menu item title and the page title for the Click Analysis Page can be customized.
For the browser it makes no difference if you add a slash at the end of a link or not. But for link-log this could result in duplicate entries if you would have multiple links to the same website – some with a slash at the end and some without. To avoid this the link-log Plugin removes all trailing slashes automatically.
The Link Click Analysis can be found in
Tools -> link-log (if the menu title is not changed). The result can be filtered by several periods. The corresponding reference period is also shown. The table can be sorted by any column.
The Plugins Settings can be found in
Settings -> link-log. The settings are arranged in five sections.
Parameter Name to use in URL
The link-log Plugin changes all links to external sites like e.g.
https://www.google.com is changed to
http://www.example.com?goto=HUESQ2ifGipAlHg4OTUzfihAUgfz1La8. You can change the used Parameter Name
goto to anything desired. Please ensure that this does not conflict with a Parameter Name used by another Plugin. If you are using a Caching Plugin you’ll have to clear the cache after changing this setting. To encrypt the target URL the link-log Plugin uses a very simple method. As key the NONCE_SALT constant is used to produce different strings on different sites.
IP Lock Setting
Exclude Search Engines and other Robots
It is highliy recommended to activate this feature so search engines following the external links on your site are not counted as clicks. Based on the detection list all common search engines and several bots are recognised.
Add rel=”nofollow” to processed links
rel="nofollow" added to a link instructs search engines that the link should not influence the target’s site ranking. See nofollow attribute at Wikipedia for more information.
This setting allows you to control which links should be processed. Possible settings:
- Process all links fully automated
This is the recommended setting to automatically process all links to external sites without any need for action
- Only process links on specified posts or pages
With this setting activated an option box is added to the Post and Page edit screen that allows you to choose if the links on that post or page should be processed
- Never process links automatically
Activate this setting to only use link-log inside your theme by using the functions
Title for Link Click Analysis page to show in menu
This setting allows you to customize the item title for the Analysis Page to be shown in the admin menu. The default setting is link-log. If sometime you want to restore the default just leave this textbox blank and save the settings.
Page Title for Link Click Analysis page
This setting allows you to customize the title to be shown on the Analysis Page. The default setting is link-log Link Click Analysis. If sometime you want to restore the default just leave this textbox blank and save the settings.
Edit Link Descriptions
This Section allows you to add a description for each link to be shown in the Analysis instead of the URL. A new link automatically appears in the list after it is clicked the first time.
For developers there are two functions to use in theme files.
get_linklog_url( $url )
This function gets the tracking URL for a given URL.
<?php $google = get_linklog_url( 'http://www.google.com' ); ?>
the_linklog_url( $url )
This function echoes the tracking URL for a given URL.
<a href="<?php the_linklog_url( 'http://www.google.com' ); ?>" target"=_blank">Google</a>
The link-log Plugin comes with an uninstaller to clean up all data. So think carefully before you delete the plugin. Deleting the plugin will also delete all collected data. Deactivate the plugin to keep all data for a future use.