Great Tinyurl Alternative: Pretty Link Plugin

I finally found the tinyurl alternative I was looking for – the Pretty Link plugin for wordpress. Not only does it provide the link shortening feature, it’s got more to offer than your average tinyurl service.

I find tinyurl a very great tool for bloggers/webmasters as it helps shorten very long wicked-looking links. It also masks affiliate links from people who are allergic to it. However, there is the danger, though highly improbable, of it not working should the tinyurl service provider undergo some unanticipated failures or accidentally goes offline, thus leaving you with a lot of broken links. With that in mind, I present to you the Pretty Link plugin, a great tinyurl alternative.

prettlylinkage

I have searched for some time for a tinyurl alternative. I found bitly in the process, but this still doesn’t address the issue of a service that goes on (or, God forbid, goes off) with your blog or website as long as your website lives. I mean, using tinyurl or bitly is like leaning heavily on a cane that you don’t own. You’ll never know when the owner comes and what he’s gonna do later on. I also found some guy who shared php/javascript code that does just what I wanted. It was nice code, as far as what little PHP knowledge I have is concerned. But before I even tried to sit down to unwillingly do the hardwork of implementing his code, I stumbled upon Pretty Link plugin; one that you just install and configure. No more coding and analyzing complicated algorithms, wondering where to insert the codes, running the risk of ruining your whole setup, etc.

The Pretty Link plugin is a wordpress plugin. It is not just a great tinyurl alternative. It is an even better tinyurl alternative because it has other features not found in either tinyurl or bitly. There’s the pretty bar for instance. The pretty bar is a feature that could have stood alone as another separate plugin. But the Pretty Link plugin author choose to incorporate it into the plugin. The pretty bar is an optional feature where you can choose to show it or not. A user who clicks your link will be brought to the intended page as usual. If the pretty bar option is checked, a fixed bar is made visible on top of the that page, and stays fixed and visible even when the user scrolls down or up the page. The pretty bar displays your blog’s name with a live link attached to it, so the user will have no problem finding your blog. With a little tweaking in your wordpress editor, you can also insert all kinds of cool things in it, e.g. ads. And that’s not all. You can also cloak the link such that when the user lands on the intended page, he’ll still see your generated pretty link (which contains your website’s url) in the url box, instead of the intended page’s url. There’s also this feature where you can monitor hits on your link. Nothing but cool wordpress stuff here guys.

As the Pretty Link plugin owner has already given the perfect instructions in the use of the plugin, please go here to download it and enjoy. The link I gave you is one that has been generated by Pretty Link, so don’t forget to glance at the top of the resulting page to check out my pretty bar. It’s still raw and default in terms of looks. But I can change that by adding a background graphic in Pretty link’s admin area if I want to. Isn’t that simply perfect? Well you’ve got wordpress user Blair, the very generous and brilliant plugin author of this tinyurl alternative to thank for.

How to Install Pagepeel in WordPress Update

An update to an earlier article called “How to Install PagePeel in WordPress”. This time, it details the installation of a different pagepeel plugin.

In an earlier post called “How to Install PagePeel in WordPress“, I presented a detailed elaboration on the procedures for installing Pagepeel in wordpress. I also noted that I’m still tweaking the codes further because I am not satisfied with the current setup in my test site (i.e. I don’t want the page to peel automatically on loading).

peel
Well, I was about to give the pagepeel codes a go at tweaking again, when I stumbled upon another set of codes similar to pagepeel. This one needs fewer code modifications and works the way it should, at least for me. That is, it has no automatic onLoad opening feature. I found this in another one of my ‘how to install pagepeel in wordpress’ sorties in google. Again, let me lay out the steps I took to make it work. Please find the download links of the ‘peel’ plugin below.

After the usual unzipping procedures, I editted the following lines in the peel.js file:

  • jaaspeel.ad_url = escape(‘http://localhost/wpflexir/?page_id=2’);
  • jaaspeel.small_path = ‘http://localhost/wpflexir/peel/small.swf’;
  • jaaspeel.small_image = escape(‘http://localhost/wpflexir/peel/small.jpg’);
  • jaaspeel.big_path = ‘http://localhost/wpflexir/peel/large.swf’;
  • jaaspeel.big_image = escape(‘http://localhost/wpflexir/peel/large.jpg’);

The jaaspeel.ad_url variable functions the same ways as the jumpTo variable in the the previous ‘How to Install PagePeel in WordPress‘ article. Replace the “http://localhost/wpflexir” portions with your site’s url. Please note that the small.jpg and large.jpg included in the download are blank image files. You need to paste into it the images you want to appear in your peel feature.

Once the peel.js editting is done, create a ‘peel’ folder in your site’s root directory and upload the files (large.jpg, large.swf, peel.js, small.jpg, small.swf) into it.

Then, access your wordpress admin page and edit the theme’s header.php file to reflect the following lines just before the <body> tag.

<script src="http://localhost/wpflexir/peel/peel.js" 
type="text/javascript">
</script>

Again, replace “http://localhost/wpflexir” with your site’s url. And that’s it.

Please download the peel files here. The peel author at marcofolio.net also offerred a ‘troubleshoot‘ version as well as the flash source files for download.

Now, this would have been perfect for me. However I noticed that the animation is kinda choppy. And there seems to be no code to tweak in the peel.js file regarding the speed of the animation. I concluded that perhaps it’s in the .fla files. This time I may have to venture into flash code editting to really get the effect I wanted. Now, if I’m still in first grade in PHP, where am I in Flash? Kindergarten?