Why and How You Should Cloak Your Affiliate Links the WordPress Way

Stormtrooper in a Cloak

If you've read this blog for a bit you'll know that I'm a big fan of Ninja Forms. Every couple of months I release a new extension which adds even more functionality to Ninja Forms and makes it even more powerful. What you might not know is that I'm also an affiliate. Every time someone follows one of my links to the Ninja Forms website and purchases something I get a small cut.

The way the affiliate system works is that I have a special link so the WP Ninjas know who referred the customer. Unfortunately, in most cases the links aren't intuitive, they're long, and sometimes they change which is a big pain to update. Instead of using the link as is you can cloak the link making it look like any other page on your site. Doing so makes it easier to read, they're easy to change, and there aren't any negative SEO affects on your site.

Best of all cloaking your links is actually easier than you think and can be done with just one WordPress plugin which you might already be using.

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WooCommerce 2.2 Automatic Refunds

WooCommerce 2.2 was released today! There's a lot of improvements like the new Simplify Commerce payment gateway and extra functionality in the REST API, but by far, the improvement I'm most excited about is the refunds. The order detail page itself has improved and we've added an API to allow payment gateways to automatically refund customers instead of forcing store owners to manually refund the customer through the payment gateway. This is a huge time saver for store owners and since it's my favorite feature for this release I wanted to make a video to show you exactly how the slick new refunds work.

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How to Add a WooCommerce Settings Tab

WooCommerce Settings Page

In my new role as a WooCommerce Developer I've been spending a good chunk of time auditing 3rd party extensions. One of the surprising parts about the audit process is seeing where developers put their settings. Some developers put them under Settings, some put them under a custom menu item, and some just shimmy it in wherever they can.

If you're building a WooCommerce extension the easiest thing you can do to improve your UI is to put all WooCommerce settings where users can find them – on a new WooCommerce settings tab. Sounds pretty easy but you'd be surprised how many people don't do that.

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How to Create a Pricing Table for WooCommerce

Right out of the box WooCommerce creates a shop page and displays a grid of products which works quite nicely for stores with dozens of products. But what about the stores that only have one or two products? Or just one product with a couple different levels? Sometimes it's best to have a single page that lays out the pros and cons of each product rather than a grid of products. You can easily add a pricing table to WooCommerce with Easy Pricing Tables freely available on WordPress.org.

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How to Create an Invoice Using WooCommerce

The one page checkout process in WooCommerce is pretty darn slick. You can beautifully sell all sorts of products. We know because we use it ourselves on WooThemes.com. But there are plenty of special circumstances where you don't want a customer to go through your normal checkout process.

  • Sometimes you may want to give special pricing to a customer
  • Sometimes you may want to send a direct payment link to your customers / clients
  • Sometimes a customer may want to add on something extra to an existing order before you ship it
  • And sometimes you may have products which aren't in your public catalog but you want to give them to some customers

In all of these cases you can easily create an invoice and have the customer pay for it using WooCommerce.

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Embedding Audio into your WordPress Site with SoundCloud

Well hi there! Someone asked me an interesting questions today. They wanted to know how to embed audio into their WordPress site. Honestly it's really simple like really really simple. In fact, it works with WordPress out of the box. No plugins required. You can copy a song url from SoundCloud paste it into your post and it's done. I've created a video showing how simple it is.

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Droplr Shortcuts

I love that apps can autoupdate on OSX. It means when I log on in the morning I have the latest and greatest. But it's not all good. I logged in a couple days ago and I noticed that my shortcut for taking Droplr screenshots had completely changed. Droplr updated and somehow my old shortcut had been completely overridden.

Previously, I had my shortcut for Droplr set to command + shift + 4 but now that was replaced by the default mac screenshot shortcut. So I had to unset the default setting and then update the Droplr shortcut.

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Create The Ultimate Invoicing System Using WooCommerce

  1. Blogging for Benjamin Competition
  2. Why I'm Grateful to Work on the Web
  3. 24 Pull Requests
  4. Update Downloadable Product's Expiration Date in WooCommere
  5. Get Lost in the Flow and Work for More Than a Salary
  6. Why A Plugin's Popularity Matters
  7. Why You Should (Or Shouldn't) Use Premium Plugins
  8. WooCommerce Terms & Conditions
  9. Only Ship to Continental United States with WooCommerce
  10. Just Talk
  11. Why I Love Jetpack
  12. Making Jetpack Better
  13. Remove Billing Address for Free Virtual Orders in WooCommerce
  14. Notify Admin of Customer Address Change in WooCommerce
  15. Open Your Self Up To New Possibilities
  16. 2013 Resolutions Review
  17. Create a Community
  18. Tips for Starting a Community
  19. The Intent of Goals
  20. Create The Ultimate Invoicing System Using WooCommerce
  21. Change From Address in Ninja Forms
  22. Work With People Who Inspire You
  23. Contact Form 7 & MailPoet Integration
  24. Monotasking
  25. Giving Back to The Community
  26. Adding Fuctionality to Lean Plugins
  27. Choose Stripe For a Payment Gateway
  28. A Dip Into Entrepreneurship
  29. Reward Yourself
  30. Blogging for Benjamin Plugin
  31. Blogging for Benjamin Wrap Up

I'm constantly amazed at the sheer number of ways that WooCommerce can be used. As soon as you think you have all of the possible use cases our customers come up with a new idea that they suggest and we get to implement! How fun! But unfortunately this isn't all that well documented on the WooThemes.com website. It would be really great if there was a way we could share all of these really cool solutions so that our customers don't have to figure it all out on their own. With that I wanted to present one of my favorite WooCommerce solutions which is an invoicing system.

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How to Contribute to WordPress Core (Video)

Building a bridge

If you've been a part of the WordPress community at all you'll know just how awesome it is: there's developers that spend hundreds or even thousands of hours writing free themes and plugins, there's a free support forum, and awesome Stack Exchange community for customizations, and plenty of advice at affordable WordCamps.

I know that I've been given so many awesome free things in this community that I want to give back. I've built a few plugins, and created a few tutorials, but I really want to give back in a bigger way. I want to give back to every WordPress user. I want to contribute to WordPress core.

A few months ago I made my first contribution and I got my very first credit for WordPress in the recent 3.7 update. I created several videos (all linked below) so you can follow the steps, create your own patch, and become a core contributor yourself. 🙂

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Adding CSS3 Animations to Features by WooThemes

Over the last couple of months I've really enjoyed using Features by WooThemes and Testimonials by WooThemes. One of the benefits of these plugins for someone who does a lot of custom theme development is that they come with no styling which makes the output very easy to manipulate. With the flexibility of this plugin I was able to easily add some simple CSS3 animations which really enhance the visual experience.

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