Link Cloaking Possible in Sparkle?


I am so sorry if my question is a bit dumb but I am building an affiliate based website and I want to cloak the affiliate links. Is there any way in Sparkle? Or does anyone have a suggestion as to how I can do this?

Many thanks!

The cloaking should be done by the people who’s link you are using. It will be in the form of a shortened URL that points to a particular web page. You can use these shortened URLS in exactly the same way as ordinary URL’s.

If you want to supply other people with a cloaked link to YOUR website, you will have to use one of the URL shortening services to generate the links for you. One such service is tinyURL

These services basically direct the link to their server and then redirect to the correct URL without disclosing anything to the user. Of course, once they reach your web page they will see the real URL, but the shortening service does help prevent automated bots from harvesting URL links for more sinister purposes.


Thank you so much for responding! I have a WP blog that uses the affiliate links I’m using for this new Sparkle site but WP have a plugin (one of many I believe), that cloaks the links - admittedly, it’s rather tedious as it doesn’t do it automatically. I was hoping that Sparkle may have something similar. But I’ll look at your other suggestions. Much appreciated frankbrowne! Thank you.

A bigger issue is with affiliate disclosure rules in the U.S. and European Union, cloaking affiliate links is in most cases illegal because full discloser of link compensation is required. In response, and for their own personal business interests, the majority of affiliate networks and companies with direct affiliate programs have a prohibition on link cloaking in their Terms and Agreements.

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As my sites are based in Asia, does it affect me? Sorry to sound naive here!

If I could find a way to be paid for being naive about things I wouldn’t need to work. The key is to keep asking questions.

For affiliate networks and companies with direct affiliate programs their terms and agreements are enforced where they are based. Make them enough money and they might not care.

The European Union is focused on their citizens. So doing business with their citizens puts you at risk for fines.

The U.S. is another issue entirely. Fines and domain seizure are the risks there. If you have a domain such as .com, they can can seize it because that is considered a U.S. entity. If you’re using a .com, have another domain as a backup from a country that actually believes in protecting freedom. Examples would be Iceland (.is) and Montenegro (.me). Great privacy and freedom protection. There may be Asian country domains as well.

It’s Ok to do business in the U.S., but have your business legally registered outside of the U.S. and have an international bank as your main bank. You may still need a U.S. bank to to handle your payment processing, but that is changing.

I’m not a lawyer, but my business is international so I have to deal with personal and business protection issues.


You are lovely for taking the time with such a thoughtful response. Thank you! My WP site is a personal blog and I’m hoping to rely on affiliate commissions to keep it afloat (as in paying for hosting and tech assistance). Anything beyond that would be a bonus (and rather remarkable!). In other words, I’ve not really taken the time to look at the legality of things. Where I live, the government somewhat recently cracked down on bloggers and said any “gift” or money received over a certain amount must be declared which so far has not affected me.

I’ll take some time during this lockdown period to look more closely at my obligations as I’d hate to get into any strife.