For the last 6 years, I was using a free WordPress plugin call Gocodes to manage my affiliate links & this plugin had almost 300+ cloaked links. One fine day, the developer decided to pull this plugin off the free repo & many bloggers like me was left out in the dark with no future of this plugin.
For long, I was stuck with it & was wondering which should be the next affiliate plugin that I can use. Selecting an affiliate link management is crucial as it’s not only limited to link management, it also meant it has to ensure your blog doesn’t get penalize by using affiliate links & offers an advance feature to help us make more money.
January 2017 update: A better solution now is ShoutCodes. With one click, you can import everything from Gocodes plugin to ShoutCodes.
If you are new to Link cloaking, you can watch the video to understand the benefits of link cloaking in affiliate marketing:
Few weeks back, I shared a detailed review of ThirstyAffiliates plugin which is a free affiliate plugin for WordPress & offers few premium add-on. I promised you that I will share the guide to migrating from Gocodes to ThirstyAffiliates & here it is.
How to export Existing Gocodes links into a .csv file:
Before we start the export, below is the format in which I have to upload my .csv file for Thirsty Affiliates.
According to the format, we require Company’s name and the destination URL. I am not adding the other columns as right now; it’s not required. Now, let’s move on to how I exported one of my blog Gocodes into a .csv file.
Step 1: Selection and Copy of Gocodes into Excel
Go to Tools> Gocodes. Copy & Paste all the data in an excel sheet. For reference, see the screenshot below.
Step 2: Arrangement of the data in an organized manner
As you can see above, the affiliate companies and cloaked URL are in the same column. For example, BluehostBF is the company, and http://wphostingdiscount.com/go/BluehostBF/ is the cloaked URL. I need to sort it out and arrange it in 3 different columns. The 1st column will be of the company, 2nd Column-cloaked URL, and 3rd Column – the destination URL.
Step 3: Alternate Selection of rows of Column A
To separate the Company’s Name from the Cloaked URL, we need to alternatively select rows in Column A. For this, starting in row 1, use the formula
=INDEX(A:A,1+(2*ROW()-1)) for the even positions
=INDEX(A:A,1+(2*ROW()-2)) for the odd
Here A: A is the range that is the entire column A. if you have to do it for some other Column, let’s say B, replace A: A with B: B.
Simply paste this formula in a new column and a new sheet. For reference, see the example below
Here I have opened a new excel sheet and entered the formula. You can see that I have added Sheet1! in the formula. It is because the Gocodes which I have to sort is in sheet1. You can see in the previous snapshot that I have pasted my Gocodes in Sheet 1. If you do not want to copy it to a new sheet, you can simply remove Sheet1!.
Next, hover over the edge of the selection until you see the cursor change to a symbol with four arrows. Drag it. All odd rows of Column A will be pasted.
For Cloaked URL, Delete the column in Sheet 1 as we do not require this.
Step 4: Unmerge Cells in Column B of Sheet 1
Select the Column and Click on Merge. On the drop down menu, you will find Unmerge Cells. Click on it.
You will see that all the cells in Column B have unmerged as seen in the screenshot.
Step 5: Simply, Repeat Step 3.
Use fx=INDEX(Sheet1!B:B,1+(2*ROW()-2)) for the odd Formula.You will see the result like the below screenshot
Step 6: Copy this sheet into a new Excel Workbook & Save the Sheet as.CSV
Copy, paste sheet 2 in a new excel sheet. Click on Save as > Format. Select Window Comma Seperated (.CSV) and Save File.
Yay! You have successfully exported and saved your Gocodes as .CSV File.
Final steps: Import .CSV File into ThirstyAffiliate plugins
Install ThirstyAffiliates plugin if you haven’t done that. The plugin is free & all you need to pay is for addons (Only if you want it). You can read more about their add-ons here. For now, let’s just stick to moving our existing affiliate links to Thirstyaffiliates.
After installing the plugin, head to Affiliate links> Settings & configure the link prefix. Make sure the link prefix is the same as what Gocodes have. Here is a screenshot for the same:
Click on Save.
Noe head to ThirstyAffiliate site & download CSV importer add-on. This is a paid addon & around a month back, I shared a huge discount offer with you. If you missed that offer, you need to buy the add-ons at regular price. I suggest grabbing their package which lets you enjoy more addons.
Once you have Installed & activated the CSV importer add-on, the first thing you should do is to disable the Gocodes plugin. Once that’s done, go to Affiliate links> Import CSV
Here you need to select the CSV file that you created in the step 1. You can also download the sample file again & verify everything is in order. Once you are sure, browse the file, Click on Upload file & import. In the next screen, you would see everything is imported successfully. This is the kind of screen that you would be seeing:
Do click on View link to test few links & verify everything is done right.
In our case, I made two mistakes before I got it right.
- Mistake 1: My order of row was not right so after importing I again had to delete all affiliate links & restart the process.
- Mistake 2: My file was not saved in Windows comma separated format so had to resave it. This was easy & after this, the migration happened quickly.
Overall this whole process didn’t take too long & I easily migrated everything from Gocodes plugin to ThirstyAffiliates. Now, it’s time to setup all the useful add-ons of this plugin & I would review add-ons in the coming days.
Go ahead & follow this quick guide to migrating your affiliate links from existing WordPress plugin to ThirstyAffiliates.
Do let me know how was your experience with the migration. What all affiliate plugins are you using on your WordPress blog? If you need professional assistance migrating your data from Gocodes to ThirstyAffiliates, you can email us at [email protected] (Price starts at $75)