ThirstyAffiliates vs. Pretty Links: The Ultimate Link Management Plugin Face-Off!

ThirstyAffiliates vs Pretty Links_Affiliate Link Management
ThirstyAffiliates vs Pretty Links

In your search for the “best affiliate link management tool“, we're willing to bet you've crossed paths with these heavyweight contenders: ThirstyAffiliates and Pretty Links.

If you're down to these two choices, you're already on track to setting yourself up for success.

Both these plugins are built to make the affiliate marketing game much easier – we're talking about handling cloaked, tracked, and super-organized links. However, it's their unique approaches, interfaces, and additional features that distinguish them in fascinating ways.

In this comprehensive comparison, we'll explore the core features of each plugin and shed light on their similarities and differences. Our goal? To help you navigate these options and make an informed decision that aligns with your affiliate marketing business.

Oh, and just so you know, we're the brains behind both Pretty Links and ThirstyAffiliates. So who better than us to spill the beans on the cool stuff tucked away in each tool?

Ready to uncover our secrets? Let's get started then!

Why Do You Need an Affiliate Link Management Plugin?

Making money through affiliate marketing is a popular way to score some online cash. Basically, you promote stuff using a special link, and when people buy through that link, you get a cut. It's like making moolah without sweating over the production of your own products. 

How Affiliate Marketing Works ThirstyAffiliates

But just slapping affiliate links on your site or posting random product shootouts on social media won't guarantee your success. Where you put those links and making sure they reach the right audience – that's what really counts to boost commission earnings. 

And don't forget, you need to keep tabs on how those links are doing. Counting clicks, keeping an eye on conversions, fixing broken links, giving old URLs a refresh – it's all part of the game.

However, handling all these jobs by hand can eat up a ton of time and energy. That's where choosing the right affiliate link management plugin comes into play.

ThirstyAffiliates vs. Pretty Links: An Affiliate Link Management Plugin Comparison

Join us as we uncover the essential features every affiliate marketer needs. This head-to-head will help you pick the plugin that matches your style.

Link Management

Dealing with affiliate links can be a bit of a hassle, no doubt. But if you don't handle them with proper care, you could end up missing out on commissions.

Here’s the lowdown on how ThirstyAffiliates and Pretty Links make your life easier when it comes to managing your affiliate URLs.


ThirstyAffiliates streamlines link management through a centralized hub within your WordPress dashboard, where you can effortlessly handle all your links. This saves you loads of time when you need to update URLs. 


For instance, when an affiliate partner modifies a link, you just need to make the change once here in the dashboard. Then, ThirstyAffiliates automatically takes care of updating it throughout your entire site.

You also have the ability to categorize your links – similar to how WordPress organizes post and page categories. This handy feature ensures your links stay organized, regardless of how many affiliate partners you're collaborating with.

Pretty Links

Just like ThirstyAffiliates, Pretty Links offers a single convenient location for handling all your affiliate links. And any changes you make to a link are reflected throughout your entire site.


While both Pretty Links and ThirstyAffiliates have similar link-management platforms, Pretty Links has a few extra things to offer.

With Pretty Links, you can put your links into groups and give them tags, just like you do with your blog posts. Plus, there's a special place to manage all your affiliate tags. This is really handy when you've got a bunch of different affiliate partners or lots of links that need to be organized.

Pretty Links also has a “Notes” area for each link. This is a great space to jot down extra need-to-know info about a specific link.


In Short

Both of these plugins play the role of your trusty sidekicks when it comes to link management, whether you're dealing with a handful or a multitude of them on your online store, blog, or website. They come with some pretty awesome features that simplify the process of adding, editing, and handling affiliate links effortlessly.

But here's the thing: Pretty Links does have some bonus points with extra features that help you keep your links super organized and well-managed.


Link cloaking is all about converting complex affiliate URLs into sleek, user-friendly, and branded links. This gives them a trustworthiness boost and tempts readers to give them a click. These cloaked links often come in shorter forms, making them easy to share across platforms like social media.

But that's not all – link cloaking also acts as a protective shield for your affiliate ID. It stands as a defense against any sneaky attempts by malicious individuals to hijack your links and mess with your commissions.

So, let's dive deep into how both ThirstyAffiliates and Pretty Links turn the art of affiliate URL cloaking into reality.

Pretty Links

When you're using Pretty Links to cloak an affiliate URL, the process is straightforward. As you're adding a link, pop in the original URL first, then type in the prettier cloaked version you want.


After that, you've got some options to choose from: you can go for a temporary 307 or 302 redirect, a permanent 301 redirect, or get super fancy with either a Pixel, Meta Refresh, or JavaScript redirect.


ThirstyAffiliates follows a similar route when it comes to URL cloaking. It's as easy as pie – just paste the original link, hit the Save Link button, then ThirstyAffiliates automatically spits out a cloaked link:


Then, you can go on to edit the cloaked URL any way you wish on the next screen:


While ThirstyAffiliates offers a more limited set of redirection options (specifically 301, 302, and 307 redirects), it has a vital feature in common with Pretty Links: the ability to include a “no follow” and/or “sponsored” attribute for your links.

When you label a link as “sponsored”, you're essentially telling search engines that it's a paid placement or advertisement. These attributes play a pivotal role in maintaining link integrity and SEO strategy.

Unveiling ThirstyAffiliates' Standout Feature: Uncloaking!

A noteworthy feature of ThirstyAffiliates is its smart uncloaking ability, which ensures compliance with Amazon's terms and conditions

ThirstyAffiliates allows effortless uncloaking of specific Amazon links or even automatic uncloaking for an entire category of Amazon links.


This specific feature holds particular appeal for those who promote Amazon affiliate links.

In Short

Both ThirstyAffiliates and Pretty Links offer robust solutions for creating shareable, user-friendly, and secure links. 

While they share many similarities, ThirstyAffiliates' automatic link uncloaking is a distinctive feature that may be essential for those heavily involved with Amazon affiliate links.

Link Checker

Broken links are a headache for any website, and for affiliate marketers, they're like a leak in the money bucket. When someone clicks on an affiliate link and gets a 404 error, it's like waving goodbye to a potential sale.

Let's dig into what ThirstyAffiliates and Pretty Links do to tackle this problem.


ThirstyAffiliates has this nifty feature called the Automatic 404 Checker. It's like a digital detective that roams your website, seeking out broken links and reporting its findings in the Reports > 404 Checker tab:


You can also do a manual check for broken links by visiting this tab, but to save you the energy, ThirstyAffiliates will send you a heads-up email about any broken links it finds.

Additionally, ThirstyAffiliates has this cool move where you can make sure your links are healthy even before they go live. This way, you stop those 404 errors from happening in the first place! 

This feature gives ThirstyAffiliates a little upper hand over Pretty Links in the “avoiding broken links” game.

Pretty Links

Pretty Links does its thing with a feature called Link Health that scans your site and gives you weekly reports on any broken links it discovers.


Here's the kicker – Pretty Links knows how to prioritize, focusing on the links that bring in the most cash first. This is a big win for larger sites with loads of affiliate URLs. It means the most important links get checked first.

In Short

Both ThirstyAffiliates and Pretty Links are like the cavalry for spotting broken links – a must for any affiliate marketing success story. ThirstyAffiliates shines by checking link health before you hit that publish button. 

On the flip side, Pretty Links is the smarty pants, focusing on the links that rake in the dough. 

Depending on your needs and how big your affiliate marketing gig is, either one could be your go-to solution for keeping your links working and your earnings flowing.

Link Scheduling

Link scheduling comes as a savior for site owners juggling a busy schedule. It cuts out the hassle of manually toggling affiliate URLs on and off.

And you know what's even better? It's a game-changer for those time-sensitive affiliate promotions, such as flash sales and limited-time offers. With link scheduling, you can get ahead in your campaign planning game.

 Let's look at how ThirstyAffiliates and Pretty Links fare in terms of link scheduling.


ThirstyAffiliates brings the big guns with the ability to schedule exact dates and times for your affiliate links to kick into action. But hold on, there's more to its arsenal – it also lets you set up custom redirects for users who click on those links either before they're active or after they've passed their prime.


Imagine this scenario: Instead of hitting a roadblock with a 404 error, your visitors smoothly get redirected to a special page. This page informs them the deal is done, but suggests other top-notch affiliate products they might want to check out. It's like transforming 404 errors into second chances for sales.

Pretty Links

Pretty Links is right there with ThirstyAffiliates when it comes to making sure visitors land somewhere useful after a link has taken its final bow. You can spruce it up with a “Sorry” page you create using a page builder or lead them to another fantastic affiliate product that's still up for grabs.

But here's the curveball – Pretty Links doesn't play the “when will my link go live?” game.

Instead, you can only set links to expire on a specific date or after a certain number of clicks. This taps into that whole FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) psychology, giving people that extra push to click and make a purchase.

In Short

Choosing between ThirstyAffiliates and Pretty Links really comes down to what kind of link scheduling floats your boat. 

Both plugins have their own unique ways of handling those time-sensitive affiliate links, catering to different marketing approaches and your personal preferences.

But If you're all about meticulously planning your affiliate strategy ahead of time, ThirstyAffiliates and its live-date prowess might be the way to go.

Automatic Keyword Replacement

Struggling to fit affiliate links naturally into your blog posts? We feel you – it's a hassle, and who has time to go over all their content with a fine-tooth comb?

Luckily, both Pretty Links and ThirstyAffiliates have got your back with a cool feature: the power to automatically turn specific keywords and phrases into monetized affiliate links!

Let's break it down and see how these plugins make your life easier when it comes to automatic keyword linking.

Pretty Links

With Pretty Links, you can feed in as many keywords and phrases as you want anytime you're adding a new URL. Then, whenever those magic words pop up in your posts or pages, Pretty Links will swoop in and automatically pop in the right affiliate link for you.



ThirstyAffiliates is on the same wavelength as Pretty Links when it comes to linking keywords automatically. You get to pair up keywords with links, and then watch as they automatically appear in your pages or posts whenever those words strut their stuff.


Just like Pretty Links, ThirstyAffiliates is all about giving you control. You can set a cap on how many affiliate URLs show up on a single page and choose to slide in a link to your affiliate disclosure. No need to fuss with each link individually either  – it's all neatly handled in the plugin's settings.

And here's a bonus: ThirstyAffiliates comes with a Link Inserted Scanner. It's like a tracker that tells you where each affiliate link is hanging out on your site:


In Short

Automatic keyword linking becomes a breeze with Pretty Links and ThirstyAffiliates by your side. Both plugins make sure you're armed with the tools to gracefully infuse affiliate links into your content.

Link Tracking and Reporting

Staying in the loop about how your links are performing is crucial for refining your affiliate strategies. It's your window into what's working and what might need some adjustments.

Let's dig into how ThirstyAffiliates and Pretty Links handle the task of providing affiliate marketing reports.


ThirstyAffiliates comes in strong with a reporting dashboard that spans multiple tabs. Here, you get the lowdown on the total clicks across various affiliate links and the top performers that are stealing the spotlight.


ThirstyAffiliates also adds a touch of geolocation magic with its Geolocation Report. This tracks link clicks based on where your visitors are coming from. Imagine the possibilities – tailoring your content to match the tastes of users from different corners of the world.


And for those craving deep-dive insights, ThirstyAffiliates cozies up with Google Analytics. This dynamic duo lets you cross-reference data, giving you the inside scoop on conversion demographics, devices, operating systems, and where your traffic is flowing from. 

Google Analytics can be a bit of a puzzle to set up. To keep things smooth, consider calling in the reinforcements like MonsterInsights, which brings all your data straight to the WordPress dashboard.

Pretty Links

Here's where Pretty Links takes a slightly different route. Unlike ThirstyAffiliates, it doesn't lay out all your data on a silver platter in a reporting dashboard. Instead, you take the wheel and generate custom reports by cherry-picking the links you want to dissect.

Standard reports show you the total clicks and unique clicks each affiliate link has scored. If you're in the mood for more, Conversion reports will go into detail on total conversions and conversion rates.


While Pretty Links doesn't toss in geographical data as a default, it too lets you team up with MonsterInsights and Google Analytics to go next level. 

In Short

When it comes to diving into the world of affiliate link performance, both ThirstyAffiliates and Pretty Links bring their A-game. Integration with MonsterInsights amps up the potential for both, but they have their own special sauce.

ThirstyAffiliates is like your instant insights buddy, thanks to the Geolocation Report. On the other hand, Pretty Links hands you the reins to craft your custom reports for pinpoint accuracy.

In the end, it all boils down to your flavor. If you're all about precision and customization, Pretty Links is your go-to for affiliate reports. But if you're craving immediate insights and a geographical edge, ThirstyAffiliates is your sidekick.


When it comes to selecting the right plugin, versatility is a key factor. Pretty Links and Thirsty Affiliates both offer a range of features as well as multiple plan options to ensure they align with your specific marketing needs.

Let’s put Pretty Links and ThirstyAffiliates under the microscope to see which one dishes out the best value through its array of plan options.

Pretty Links

Pretty Links lays out 3 appealing options, each tailored for different types of affiliate marketers. Whether you're a newcomer or a seasoned pro managing multiple sites, Pretty Links has got a plan to match.



ThirstyAffiliates also offers tiered pricing based on the number of websites you're managing. They've got options for everyone, from solo adventurers to website managers.

  • The Basic Plan is ideal for newcomers with 1 WordPress site, providing the essentials to kickstart your affiliate business.
  • The Plus Plan is better suited for those managing up to 5 websites, letting you broaden your reach while keeping costs in check.
  • The Pro Plan is perfect for those who have mastered the art of juggling multiple sites and need coverage of up to 10 sites.

ThirstyAffiliates' priciest plan matches Pretty Links' Super Affiliate plan in cost. But ThirstyAffiliates throws in the extra perk of allowing you to use its features on twice the number of websites.

In Short

Both Pretty Links and ThirstyAffiliates offer similar features at comparable price points for single-website owners. However, ThirstyAffiliates provides better value for those managing more than two websites.

Specifically, if you have more than five websites, ThirstyAffiliates becomes the more logical choice, offering the ability to use the plugin on up to 10 websites at the same price as Pretty Links' five-website plan.

Your decision? It's a strategic one – a balance between your budget and your aspirations.


In the grand scheme of things, the choice between Pretty Links and ThirstyAffiliates boils down to your unique affiliate journey. They both offer advanced features that can work wonders for your revenue and time management. 

So, take a closer look at what each plugin brings to the table, consider your website's quirks, and find the perfect fit for your affiliate marketing hustle. 

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Affiliate Link Disclosure

20 thoughts on “ThirstyAffiliates vs. Pretty Links: The Ultimate Link Management Plugin Face-Off!

    1. Ha! You’re the first one to notice since July, Will.

      They’re meant to be little green ticks but are pointing at a non existent file. I’ll fix that up tomorrow.

      Also, our plugin is free now, so feel free to download and try it out. Even better 🙂

  1. Ticks are still not working… lol

    I’m leaning toward Prettylink because I think it has one more useful feature: tweet badges.

    Does thirstyaffiliates offer that?

    1. Hey bee, thanks for spotting that. All fixed.

      I’m yet to hear anyone asking for tweet badges and I haven’t found a solid use case for that feature myself yet either. Is there any particular scenario you could share that you’re thinking of using that feature for? I’d love to include some more social aspects maybe with an add-on but to be honest from what I hear many people find it’s a bit superfluous for a link management tool. We’re focusing on other more important integrations for now unless there’s a really great reason to include it.

      Also, just to update the post above, our core plugin is entirely free now (we don’t have the tiered versions mentioned above anymore) so you can pick and choose the add-on pieces you’ll actually use. Feel free to download ThirstyAffiliates from and have a play.

  2. You plugin is cool, due to less downloads from plugin directory its always a doubt whether plugin will be updated by developer regularly or not.
    Can you add functionality of link like this – without any default slug in-between.

    Thanks !

    1. Hi Ashraf,

      Yes, we only listed our plugin on the directory like 6 months ago. Before that it was 100% premium, but we changed our business model which allows us to give away the core product for free.

      No slug is something that’s been on our list, but we haven’t had a lot of requests for it. I’ll look into it.

    1. Hi Bradley, you can. Keep in mind that Pretty Link doesn’t use Custom Post Types so beware of link clashes between the plugins. I suggest putting your ThirstyAffiliates link prefix to something you know you haven’t used in Pretty Link. Hope this helps!

    1. Hey Rick,

      We used to have an add-on for split testing but going by the numbers it was the least purchased and downloaded add-on we ever had!

      Unless we get a lot of demand I doubt we’d put this in since most people split test on the landing page level and will generally just substitute the first affiliate link for some other affiliate link in the variation page.

      Hope this makes sense!

      If anyone else wants this feature please write in or leave a comment.

  3. I want to purchase Thirsty Affiliate plugin as I am impressed with comparison, I am currently using pretty like and as I see the Thirsty affiliate have fast HTaccess redirect and also import + link shorting,
    the question is, I am using Pretty links on my blogs now and have more than 300+ URL’s…

    Just need to know, can Thirsty affiliate import it? From pretty link or do you have any settings to migrate form, pretty link?
    Please let me know, so I can decide to purchase thirsty affiliates. As I dnt want o do manual migration of more than 300+ links…

  4. Great comparison! I really love thristy affiliates as it’s saving a lot of time and effort. I love it’s reuseable link concept so we can change it once and it will affect everywhere.

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