This new tool will allow you to create shortened links using your domain, which will make them more memorable and user-friendly.
Why I use link shorteners and why you should too
When I started my journey as a blogger I used affiliate marketing as one of my income sources.
I promoted my favorite products over and over again in different articles where it was relevant.
I was doing it with the direct link provided by the affiliate platform.
I thought they would last forever, but things changed.
One day my most profitable affiliate-recommended product changed its platform from Impact.com to Partnerize.
Meaning? All my affiliate links become useless.
Updating them one by one was a hassle, and a waste of time. I probably left some money on the table along the way while I doing the change.
That’s the moment I realized I needed some future-proof linking system.
That’s where link shorteners came in.
With them I can have a dashboard where I’ve set up for instance that https://javi.link/go/eagle redirects to “https://eagle.sjv.io/e4WN6Q”
If they change the affiliate platform at some point, I’ll only need to update the link once, and all the changes will be auto-populated across my website.
Of course there are more perks than simply having a backup plan.
The main one is that your links look more trustworthy, increasing the click-to-rate which will drive more conversions and ultimately more money.
ClickWhale, URL shortening made easy
The first thing you might want to know about ClickWhale is that it has a free plan.
If your budget is tight, you’re in luck!
There is a Pro plan, we’ll cover all its features later in the review, but you can use the basics of ClickWhale for free forever.
If you want to quickly try it out there is a live demo website.
Pretty handy if you don’t have a test environment yourself and you don’t want to directly try it out on your main site.
ClickWhale free features
What can you do with the free version of this plugin?
Shorten and manage links
The main feature of this type of plugins is “converting” any type of URL, usually a long ugly and unfriendly one, into something shorter using your domain.
In other words, a redirection.
Of course this is something you can do very easily and for free with ClickWhale from the WordPress Admin Panel > ClickWhale > Links > Add New.
- A title: To identify the link in the future.
- The slug: The pretty URL, what will go after your domain name.
- The Target URL: Where you want to redirect the traffic to click (usually the affiliate link).
By default the Sponsored and Nofollow options are checked, you can uncheck them and pick the redirection type that you need or consider appropriate for your purpose.
As optional extras you can add a description and a category (you have to create these ones using the Categories sidebar option, like as you do with your posts)
As a note, you can go to the plugin settings to set some default options so you don’t have to change them every time you create a link.
For instance is common to add the same prefix for redirections(domain.com/prefix/slug)
You can specify those kind of details here in order to save a bunch of clicks and seconds every time you create a new link.
With ClickWhale you can easily check if your readers are clicking on your links as there is a column that displays the number of clicks for each shortened link.
It’s easy to miss this feature as at least in my case, it was disabled by default.
If you want to enable click tracking you’ll have to uncheck the following option in the Settings > Tracking Options preferences.
- Quick Tip: Short your links by number of clicks and create more content about what your audience is more interested in.
Manage tracking codes
Tracking codes look advanced but it’s something everyone should be using.
- Do you want to install Google Analytics? You need a tracking code.
- Enable ads via Google or The Moneytizer? You need tracking codes.
- Facebook Pixel Code? You, you need a tracking code as well.
Having a tool to let you easily install those tracking codes will be pretty handy along the way, as you’ll need more as your website and needs grow.
Adding tracking codes using ClickWhale is pretty easy, there is an option in the sidebar where you’ll be able to set up everything in detail.
- Title and code itself
- Position where you’d like to add the code
- Pages where you’d want to install the code
- Role exclusions
- You can even individually disable trackings once they are created
Create link pages
As you’re seeing ClickWhale is more than a simple shortener link tool.
Besides the management of tracking codes, the plugin also lets you quickly create link-in-bio pages.
This is a perfect solution for your social media profiles as it will let you to create simple landing pages from which to redirect traffic to where you are most interested: articles, sign-up forms, affiliate products.
Whatever you need.
Again this is done using your domain and the slug you choose, not the subdomain of a third-party tool that could disappear at any time.
The interface is very easy to use as all you need to do is drag-and-drop the pieces of content you want to show.
You can create your link-in-bio page in a matter of minutes without previous experience, including visual customization and all the SEO settings so it looks great on the front end and in the SERPs.
ClickWhale Pro features and pricing
There are several features that you’ll enjoy a lot just by using the ClickWhale free plan.
If you get a Pro license you’ll unlock plenty of others that will expand your capabilities and make your user experience better.
As for the link shortening, instead of simply clicks, you’ll have more detailed stats of how your links are doing over time.
Plus, a new UTM parameters section will pop up when you create new links. These parameters will be added to the target URL.
The tracking code section will enable conversion tracking. If you run an eCommerce store using WooCommerce or EasyDigitalDownloads, this is a must for you.
The tool that improves the most with the Pro license is undoubtedly Link Pages.
- You can create more than 1 link page
- You unlock more customization features, such as pattern backgrounds or custom fonts.
- You can embed your latest posts
- You can remove the ClickWhale branding at the bottom of the page
- You can link to your other social profiles
Pro license pricing
If the pro features sound interesting to you the upgrade is pretty easy to understand, as all you need is to pick the number of sites where you’d like to use the plugin.
This license is valid for one year of support and updates, after that you’ll be able to continue using the plugin, but you won’t be receiving more updates or support.
If you want to avoid that you can pick one of the lifetime licenses.
They are a bit more expensive, but they will be paid off after the 3rd year.
Is ClickWhale worth it?
If you run a website, being in control of the links you share is a must, especially if those links are the ones that give you money.
If you don’t have yet a link shortener, ClickWhale is one of the best alternatives out there at the time of writing this review.
If you’re currently using PrettyLinks as I do, it turns out that ClickWhale has an importation tool that will migrate all the PrettyLinks links with just a couple of clicks.
So if you want to take advantage of the Link pages or links categorisation, consider giving this tool a try.