AvantLink WP – WordPress Plugin

Feb 23, 2011 25 Comments by

We have some exciting news for all you WordPress bloggers out there: we’ve just released an official AvantLink plugin for the WordPress platform.  The AvantLink WP plugin allows quick and simple integration with a number of our affiliate tools:

To install the AvantLink WP plugin, login to your affiliate account at AvantLink and go to the “Tools” page.  We’ve added a new section there titled “WordPress Plugin” and within that section you’ll find the link to download a .zip file for the plugin.  As with any WordPress plugin you’ll need to unzip this file into the “plugins” directory of your WordPress install.  Then you’ll see the plugin listed within your WordPress admin interface and be able to activate it.

Once activated, you should notice a message stating that “The AvantLink WP plugin is not fully configured.”  You’ll need to take a minute to enter some information to identify your affiliate account (namely your affiliate Id, an API authorization key and a website to associate with your blog) – don’t worry if you don’t know any or all of that information off the top of your head: we’ve included links throughout the plugin to pages within your affiliate account that can help you locate the necessary information.

Once you’ve confirmed your affiliate account, the plugin will be fully enabled and you’ll have access to a number of tools.  For instance, you’ll immediately see configuration panels for Affiliate Link Encoder, Related Products, and Product Search functionality.  The Affiliate Link Encoder (ALE) is enabled by default since it’s so useful at monetizing existing blog content, but the configuration options for that will allow you to customize which of your ALE subscriptions is used (or disable the ALE altogether if you so choose).  The Related Products functionality allows you to show products relevant to keywords you specify for your blog or for individual posts, while the Product Search tool allows you to embed a full-fledged product search engine into your blog; both of these options make use of our Product Search API behind the scenes.

But that’s not all – not nearly.  You’ll also find a few new WordPress widgets have been activated along with the plugin.  Two of these work in conjunction with the above mentioned Related Products and Product Search functionality to help you control where on your pages content should be output.  A third allows you to quickly add a Product Ad Widget subscription anywhere on your site.

You should also look for a new button with our logo in the visual tool bar when you’re editing posts.  Clicking that button will allow you to choose ad campaigns (e.g. text/banner ads, videos, etc.) from your active merchants and embed them directly in the post.  Or you can use our custom link functionality to create a fully track-able affiliate link to any page on one of your merchant’s sites.

Everything to this point has focused on how to utilize the plugin from the WordPress admin side of things.  So now let’s take a look at how these tools actually appear to visitors on your site.  Here you can see a post with a banner/image ad and custom link (as inserted above).  To the right-hand side of that post you’ll see: (1) a Product Ad Widget (PAW) that we configured to display in the post or (2) the same post with the PAW disabled, but the Related Products functionality turned on.  And finally the third image below depicts the results from a product search conducted entirely through the demonstration site.

It’s worth mentioning too that, although you can’t see it in the above, the JavaScript necessary for the ALE is automatically output on all pages of the blog so any direct-to-merchant links can be converted into affiliate tracking links.

There’s surely a lot of information to digest with this new plugin so take some time to try everything out on your own blog.  If you have any questions or comments, be sure to let us know.

-David Clark
AvantLink.com

About 

AvantLink is a leading provider of cutting edge affiliate marketing solutions for both publishers and web retailers from around the world.

Affiliate Tools

About the author

AvantLink is a leading provider of cutting edge affiliate marketing solutions for both publishers and web retailers from around the world.
  • http://www.businesschecks.org Bill Swartwout

    What a wonderful tool. You guys rock when it comes to innovation.

  • Gary Speer

    Big congrats on what appears to be an absolute “godsend” of a tool for us WP fanatics. Thanks so much.

    Question about some of the plugin functionality — if I’m already using ALE javascript code in the footer of my WP theme, do I need to remove it if I’m going to use ALE via the new plugin, or does it matter that I leave it there?

    Thanks so much!

  • John Powell

    This looks like some really cool ideas. I look forward to giving it a go when I get back from fishing tomorrow. :)

  • Jeff Cress

    Wow!
    WP integration is the one area where I felt AvantLink was not ahead of the other networks. In one shot you’ve launched past them.
    Awesome tool :)

  • support

    Gary -

    Regarding whether you should remove your old reference to the ALE in the footer of your pages, it’s not absolutely necessary but I personally would recommend doing so just to keep things simple. You could alternatively disable the ALE functionality in the plugin, but since that’s easier to keep track of then manually included JavaScript in your footers, I think that’s a less desirable solution.

    -David Clark

  • Gary Speer

    Thanks, David. I’ll probably remove it from the footers and go with it as part of the plugin functionality.

    Gary

  • Manuel Padilla

    My Search Results page shows nothing. Am I missing something? I followed all the steps, but it is still blank. http://www.manuel-padilla.com/search-results/

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  • Jason

    When is the Joomla plugin coming?

  • Priscilla

    Good stuff Avantlink!

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  • http://northeastskizone.com Ski Zone

    Will try this asap. Seems like we will save lots of time with this wordpress plugin.

  • http://affiliatemoneymakers.co.cc/ Joana

    Great tool definitely will use it…
    Great job:):)

  • http://dnnforum.drewrynewsnetwork.com DNN

    That sounds like a pretty good plugin for WordPress bloggers. Quick question for you. Does that plugin by chance happen to benefit bloggers, in terms of SEO, and helping to syndicate affiliate links to a wider audience on social networks, without doing extra work? Just curious! =)

  • http://twitter.com/AvantLink Gary M

    Let me address a few questions/comments that have come up in this comment thread:

    Manuel: It sounds like an incompatibility issue with an older version of WordPress. If you are still having issues email support/at/avantlink.com and we’ll help troubleshoot.

    Jason: Nothing in the works yet for Joomla, but we always encourage feature request via email to support@.

    DNN: The default inclusion of the ALE script helps with SEO in a sense…because it would allow you to post direct and relevant links to merchants. We would then convert those direct links on the end user’s browser to an Affiliate tracking link. That said there is no functionality via the plugin that would syndicate Affiliate links to social networks, or any other website.

  • Franklin Banker

    Hi Gary,

    This new Avantlink WP plugin is wonderful. I had to change themes to make it work, but that is OK. The way it works far outweighs the former theme’s other benefits.

    One thing I wanted to ask about is this:

    Is there a separate app to allow the rotating banners using javascript for WP?

    My new theme does not recognize the code like many WP themes. I have to manually insert new ads at intervals, instead of how the rotation works on it’s own. Any ideas?

  • support

    Franklin,

    We don’t have a separate app for the rotating banner ads, nor were those built into this particular version of the plugin. We can look into adding that sort of functionality in a future revision, though.

    In the mean-time, to clarify: are you not able to paste the JavaScript code for one of our ad rotation systems into your template (or an individual post)? That sort of thing should work fine – with or without the plugin – it just takes more time than selecting ad campaigns through the plugin. If you could respond via an email to our support (support at avantlink.com) that would be best.

    Thanks!

    -David

  • http://www.briangreen.net Brian Green

    Congrats on the WP plug-in integration. WordPress is an extremely popular and flexible content publishing platform, but what about all of us that use Blogger for our blogs?

    There are several affiliate tools that we (currently) can’t use at all because of limitations on how Blogger is configured.

    It’s great to see so much effort going into improving the WordPress integration with Avantlink, but what are your plans (if any) to extend the affiliate tool set to work with Blogger users?

    I’m feeling a little like second-class citizen, and would switch to WordPress if it were that simple, but I have too much invested in Blogger (and I like using it) to make the switch.

    You guys have been incredibly open to custom integration suggestions in the past, so I’m hoping you’ll hear this and start thinking about what you can do to help us Blogger users get more out of our Avantlink partnership.

  • http://twitter.com/AvantLink Gary M

    Hi Brian, thanks for your comment. I’ll give the same response to the Joomla request above in this thread ;)

    Nothing in the works yet for Blogger, but we always encourage feature request via email to support@.

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  • Dina

    Are we able to put an RSS datafeed into a blog post?

  • http://twitter.com/AvantLink Gary M

    Dina the plugin does not provide this functionality, but there are many ways to automate RSS feed content to wordpress via different plugins, script providers, etc. GM