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Finding the Perfect Affiliate Plugin for Your Website: Pretty Links vs. ThirstyAffiliates

Affiliate marketing has become an integral part of many websites’ revenue strategies. If you’re running a WordPress site and looking to manage your affiliate links effectively, two popular affiliate plugins come to mind: Pretty Links and ThirstyAffiliates. Both offer similar functionalities but with some key differences. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the features of each and help you decide which one might be the better fit for your site.

An Overview of Affiliate Plugins 

Pretty Links

Affiliate Plugin Pretty links

It is a WordPress affiliate plugin that simplifies link management, especially for affiliate marketers. It provides a user-friendly interface and significant features to create, track, and manage affiliate links efficiently. With this affiliate plugin, users can easily generate shortened, branded links that are memorable and shareable. The plugin offers detailed analytics to track click-through rates, conversions, and other relevant metrics, allowing website owners to assess the performance of their affiliate links effectively. 


Affiliate Plugin thirsty affiliates

It is a WordPress affiliate plugin tailored for affiliate marketers who require more advanced functionalities to optimize their link management strategies. It presents a comprehensive set of features designed to maximize conversions and improve the efficiency of affiliate marketing campaigns. This affiliate plugin allows users to organize their affiliate links into categories for better organization and management, making it easier to track and maintain large volumes of links. One of its standout features is the seamless integration with the Amazon API, which simplifies the process of searching for and adding affiliate links from the Amazon marketplace. 

In summary, Pretty Links and ThirstyAffiliates are both powerful tools for managing affiliate links on WordPress sites, each catering to different user needs and preferences. Pretty Links offers simplicity and ease of use, making it ideal for beginners or those who require basic link management capabilities. Meanwhile, ThirstyAffiliates provides advanced features for users with more complex requirements, offering greater customization and optimization options for affiliate marketing campaigns. Lastly, the choice between these two plugins depends on the specific needs, budget, and level of expertise of the website owner.

Detailed Difference in Features of Affiliate Plugins 

1. Affiliate Link Management

ThirstyAffiliates simplifies link management by centralizing all your links within your WordPress dashboard. This feature has proven invaluable in saving time, especially when updates to multiple URLs are necessary. For instance, if an affiliate partner alters a link, a single edit within the WordPress dashboard redirects all instances of that link across your entire website automatically. 

Affiliate Plugin thirsty affiliates

Additionally, ThirstyAffiliates supports categories, akin to post and page categories in WordPress, ensuring your links remain organized regardless of the number of affiliate partners you collaborate with. While categories offer organizational benefits, this affiliate plugin does not support tagging for links.

Pretty Links offers a unified location for managing affiliate links, boasting a user-friendly interface akin to ThirstyAffiliates. This centralized management allows for swift edits to affiliate links, with changes propagated throughout the WordPress website seamlessly. Notably, it allows the inclusion of both categories and tags for affiliate links, providing enhanced organization capabilities. Additionally, this affiliate plugin offers a dedicated section for managing affiliate tags, which is particularly beneficial when dealing with numerous affiliate partners or a plethora of links requiring organization.

Affiliate Plugin p-r+etty links

Moreover, Pretty Links incorporates a ‘Notes’ section for each link, enabling users to leave reminders or notes for themselves or collaborators directly within the WordPress dashboard. This feature fosters communication with clients, guest bloggers, partners, and any other individuals who share access to the dashboard. 

In summary, while both Pretty Links and ThirstyAffiliates offer efficient link management solutions, Pretty Links stands out with its additional features such as category and tag support, as well as the inclusion of a ‘Notes’ section for enhanced communication and organization.

2. Link Checking

ThirstyAffiliates includes an Automatic 404 Checker feature that scans your website for any issues and reports them conveniently within the WordPress dashboard’s ‘404 checker’ area. It also notifies site administrators about any detected broken URLs. However, there’s a limitation as it doesn’t offer the option to send these email notifications to alternate email addresses, potentially posing a challenge for those who share the WordPress dashboard with others. 

Affiliate Plugin thirsty affiliates

Additionally, the Automatic 404 Checker isn’t activated by default, requiring users to enable it through the plugin’s settings. Furthermore, ThirstyAffiliates enables users to assess the health of individual links as they are added to their online marketplace or website, ensuring link functionality before publication. 

Pretty Links features a similar Link Health functionality, conducting site scans and generating weekly reports on broken links. Like ThirstyAffiliates, this feature requires activation through the plugin’s settings, as it doesn’t operate automatically.

Unlike ThirstyAffiliates, Pretty Links emphasizes prioritizing links with the highest conversion rates by initially scanning the best-performing links. This functionality proves particularly beneficial for large-scale websites hosting numerous affiliate URLs. While the Link Health report is accessible within the WordPress dashboard, this affiliate plugin also offers the convenience of email notifications for broken links. By default, these notifications are forwarded to the site admin, although users have the flexibility to designate alternative email addresses within the plugin’s settings.

Affiliate Plugin pretty links

3. URL Cloaking 

When utilizing Pretty Links, every link addition presents the opportunity to implement link cloaking effortlessly. Simply input the original link and designate the preferred cloaked URL. Additionally, users can select from various redirection types, including 301 redirects, 307, and JavaScript redirection. Furthermore, there’s the option to denote links as no-follow or sponsored, providing full control over WordPress SEO. 

Affiliate Plugin pretty links

The “sponsored” attribute signals to search engines that the URL constitutes a paid placement or advertisement, demonstrating Pretty Links’ attention to nuanced details. Moreover, should the need arise to pass parameters to the target URL, such as a coupon code or customer ID, this affiliate plugin simplifies the process with a mere checkbox.

Similarly, ThirstyAffiliates streamlines the cloaking of affiliate URLs, offering a process nearly identical to Pretty Links. Users can effortlessly input the original link and specify the desired cloaked URL. Additionally, this affiliate plugin facilitates toggling whether the cloaked link opens in a new tab, as well as marking URLs as no-follow and passing query strings to the destination URL. However, it provides fewer redirection options compared to Pretty Links, limiting choices to 301, 302, and 307 redirects. Check out the video below on which redirects to use:

Furthermore, marking affiliate links as sponsored in ThirstyAffiliates necessitates adding an additional rel attribute tag in the plugin’s settings, a more intricate process than Pretty Links’ handling of sponsored links. On the positive side, ThirstyAffiliates introduces a unique smart uncloaking feature tailored to adhere to Amazon’s terms and conditions. This feature is particularly valuable for users leveraging Amazon affiliate links, as the Amazon Associates Program prohibits the use of any redirection, including link cloaking, to avoid potential bans from the affiliate program. 

Particularly advantageous for Amazon Affiliate Store users, ThirstyAffiliates offers the ability to uncloak specific Amazon links easily. Moreover, by categorizing all Amazon links under the same category, users can activate automatic links uncloaking for the entire category, a feature not available in the other affiliate plugin but highly appealing for those heavily reliant on Amazon affiliate links.

4. Link Scheduling

ThirstyAffiliates offers the functionality to schedule the activation of your affiliate URLs, allowing you to specify the date and time when they will become live. This feature, aptly named “Scheduling affiliate links to go live,” grants users the flexibility to plan and automate the activation of affiliate URLs according to their marketing strategy. 

Affiliate Plugin thirsty affiliates

Additionally, ThirstyAffiliates empowers users to create redirects for visitors who click on affiliate URLs before they are active or after they have expired. For instance, users can implement custom redirects to display tailored landing pages, informing visitors about expired promotions while suggesting alternative affiliate products. By leveraging this capability, users can enhance the user experience and potentially convert 404 errors into sales opportunities.

Similarly, Pretty Links offers a comparable feature known as “Time Period Redirects,” allowing users to schedule the activation and expiration of links. This feature proves beneficial for links intended to be active only during specific time windows, such as seasonal promotions. Additionally, users can set links to expire automatically on a specified date or after a predetermined number of clicks, which is ideal for creating a sense of urgency to drive conversions through FOMO (fear of missing out). 

Affiliate Plugin pretty links

Furthermore, similar to ThirstyAffiliates, Pretty Links enables automatic redirection of visitors after a link has expired. This functionality empowers users to redirect visitors to custom-designed apology pages or alternative affiliate products, ensuring a seamless user experience even after a link has expired.

5. Keyword Linking 

When incorporating a new URL into your content, Pretty Links provides the convenience of associating an unlimited number of keywords and phrases. Through this feature, this affiliate plugin automatically inserts the affiliate link whenever these designated words or phrases appear within your posts and pages. 

Additionally, Pretty Links goes the extra mile by scanning your previously published content for these keywords and phrases. This enables you to monetize your back catalog effortlessly without the need for manual updates to existing posts. Moreover, this affiliate plugin offers a dedicated settings tab where users can fine-tune the auto-linking functionality to suit their preferences. This includes options to set limits on the number of affiliate URLs added to a single page, ensuring that links do not detract from the content or inconvenience visitors. This affiliate plugin offers the capability to append a disclosure to pages containing auto-inserted affiliate URLs, mitigating legal risks and safeguarding your reputation.

Similarly, ThirstyAffiliates operates on a comparable principle, allowing users to designate keywords each time a link is created. This affiliate plugin then automatically incorporates the link into any page or post containing the specified word. 

Like Pretty Links, ThirstyAffiliates also enables users to set limits on the number of affiliate links added to a single page or post. However, this affiliate plugin distinguishes itself by offering the flexibility to set both a global limit within the plugin’s settings and a limit specific to individual affiliate links. Check out the video below to understand how keyword linking is done in this affiliate plugin:

Moreover, within the general settings of this affiliate plugin, users have the option to disable auto-linking on the homepage and archive pages, as well as on specific pages or posts. This functionality proves especially useful for sales pages and landing pages, where affiliate URLs may distract from clear call-to-action (CTA) elements. By disabling auto-linking selectively across various pages, users can get an assurance that the focus remains on the primary objectives of those pages.

Which Affiliate Plugin is Right for Your Site?

Choosing between Pretty Links and ThirstyAffiliates depends on your specific needs and preferences. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Simplicity vs. Advanced Features: Pretty Links is more straightforward and user-friendly, offering features like URL shortening, link tracking, and automation. It is ideal for beginners or those who prefer a simpler approach. ThirstyAffiliates, on the other hand, provides more advanced functionalities such as Amazon API integration, link categorization, and geotargeting. It is for users who require greater customization and control over their affiliate links.
  • Pricing: Both plugins offer free versions with limited features and premium versions with additional functionalities. Pretty Links offers premium licenses with different pricing tiers. As of the last update, prices range from $49 to $149 per year, depending on the plan selected. ThirstyAffiliates prices typically range from $49 to $149 per year, depending on the plan chosen. 
  • Support: Both platforms offer extensive knowledge bases for reference. For personalized support, users of Pretty Links Premium can submit a ticket via the Premium Support Request page, typically receiving a response within 1-2 business days. Alternatively, for those without a support license, Pretty Links encourages reaching out through their contact form or posting to their support forum on the official WordPress repository for prompt assistance. ThirstyAffiliates also provides one-to-one support for premium customers, allowing them to submit tickets and receive responses within 24-48 hours. Their team actively monitors their support forum, ensuring quick responses to inquiries, making it a valuable resource for both free and premium affiliate plugin users.


Both Pretty Links and ThirstyAffiliates are excellent choices for managing affiliate links on your WordPress site. Evaluate your needs, try out the free versions, and consider upgrading to the premium versions if necessary to unlock additional features. Ultimately, the right choice depends on your site’s requirements and your level of expertise in affiliate marketing.


Can I track the performance of my affiliate links with both plugins?

Yes, both Pretty Links and ThirstyAffiliates offer comprehensive analytics to track click-through rates, conversions, and other relevant metrics for your affiliate links.

Which plugin is more suitable for beginners?

Pretty Links is generally considered more beginner-friendly due to its straightforward interface and easy-to-use features. It’s an excellent choice for those new to affiliate marketing or WordPress.

Are there any limitations on the number of affiliate links I can manage with these plugins?

Both Pretty Links and ThirstyAffiliates offer options to manage an unlimited number of affiliate links, although some features may be limited in the free versions of the plugins.

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