How to Create Subdomains for Affiliate Link Redirects

There’s been quite a bit of talk about how to cloak your affiliate links lately. There are a few different ways to cloak your links. Here are three of the most popular.

1. the simple link cloaker plugin (which people seem to be having issues with)

2. Ninja Affiliate Plugin

3. Create subdomains to redirect.

I’ve covered the first two so today I’m going to show you how to create subdomains to use to redirect your affiliate links.

What you’ll need:

  • hosting account that allows for subdomains (most do ~ I use hostgator)
  • your affiliate link

How to create a subdomain:

1. Go to your hosting account, log in to cpanel and find the subdomain link.

2. think of a word or short phrase that is related to your product and fill it in the subdomain space provided.

ex. Yesterday I came across someone who is giving away all his current premium themes. They are pretty nice. He is getting to roll out a whole new series of themes and has an affiliate program. You can give these free lenses away, and then if anyone buys one of his new themes you’ll get a commission. So I’m going to use that affiliate link in this example.

I would  pick “premiumthemes” to use for the phrase in my subdomain.

** If you have more than one add on domain in your account make sure you scroll through the drop down menu and choose the domain name you want the subdomain to be on. For this one I’m using **

3. Click create (it might take a couple seconds)

4. Click “go back”.

Your subdomain has been created, now we’re going to redirect it to point at our affiliate page. 

How to Redirect Your Subdomain:

1. Find your newly created subdomain from the list.

If you have created a lot of subdomains you’ll have to look through the list to find the new one. They are generally in alphabetical order. On hostgator there is a button you can click to show up to 500 subdomains on one page so you don’t have to scroll through page to page, you can just scroll down one page to find it.

2. Click manage redirect for your new subdomain (it will say “not redirected” at this point)

3. Add your affliate link in the redirection space provided.

4. Click save.

How to Use Your New Redirected Subdomain:

When you want to link to your product (in wordpress) you just highlight the words you want for your anchor text and then use the full url of your new redirect.

Free premium wordpress themes

You can use your redirect url anywhere ~ on free ad blogs, or blogger blogs or on Squidoo lenses. One place you can’t use them is EZA ~ they are not considered a top level domain. But these redirects make it really easy to cloak your affiliate link and you don’t have to remember your big clunky affiliate link.

How to create a subdomain redirect video:

If you have any further questions about creating or using subdomain redirects feel free to ask in the comments section.


  1. Hi Jackie :)

    Quick question, why create a sub domain in the first place? Why not just redirect a sub directory? You could simply publish a page and have it redirect to whatever you like. Sub domains are usually reserved for different products/services etc. Like / so I’m curious why you choose sub domains.

    All the best

  2. Sometimes building links to the subdomains is quite effective as well as building links to the homepage. Just something I’ve been hearing lately.

  3. Great post, have been looking for a way to do this simple. Will try this solution!

  4. Thanks, moved a blog of mine, to a cpanel host so im going to try the affiliate redirects!

  5. Thanks so much for this post, I am a little nearer to goal.

    • Hi Jackie, it’s me again. I think I am still doing something wrong here. I still can’t get my webpage to redirect to my affiliate sales page. I followed your video closely but it seem as if I missed something.

  6. I’ve only just discovered how useful this can be.

  7. Im a WP fan and did not know that you can use subdomains to mask affiliate links.
    Will try these on some of my domains.

  8. Hey, Thank you so much for the tips to create subdomain, i will also follow the same tips while creating new domain.

    Thanks for shearing.

  9. Ingrid@pet pens says:

    Hi Jackie

    Just a question on subdomains. Are they more difficult to rank in google? I have a generic domain name and would love to build blogs on it with a subdomain but dont want to wast all that time if they dont get ranked easily. Dont want to make the process any harder than it is already.

    • Jackie Lee says:

      I have quite a few sites on subdomains that rank quite well. I think it depends on what you’re using them for. I wouldn’t use a subdomain for a micro niche site ~ but if you’re going to add plenty of content I think it will be fine.

      Also keep in mind you can’t sell subdomains later if you choose to flip your blog ~ AND ~ I know you’re thinking I don’t want to do that, but at some point you might (personal experience).

  10. I don’t understand how the subdomains are a time-saver for the social networking. (re: Primal Toad’s comments). Could anyone explain to me how this would be a time-saver or otherwise an advantage to do? Thanks.

    • Jackie Lee says:

      Not sure they are time savers for social networking, but it makes it a lot easier for people to remember your social networking address.

      The easier it is for people to remember your address the more likely they are to come back.

      Also… this blog is running keywordluv ~ please use your name followed by @your keywords ~ just your keywords will be linked and it’s nice to be able to call you by name. :)

      Thanks for stopping by.

  11. Another great reason for using subdomain redirects is if for some reason your affiliate program changes their links ~ you don’t have to go through and find every link you have out there. You can go to your cpanel, change the redirect link and they will all be fixed automagically. :)

  12. Not sure there’s a benefit ~ a lot of people have been having trouble with the cloaker plugin ~ so it’s just another option.

  13. Guess I missed something but what is the advantage of using a subdomain redirect as opposed to simple link cloaker? Sorry to be dense!
    .-= Debbie´s last blog ..Finding Time To Exercise =-.

  14. Hostgator must have corrected some issues…

    I remember us discussing this through email;. Just now though, I remember attempting this a few years ago; the special characters in the affiliate links were screwing things up…the link would break and stop at the first ?.

    That was it if I remember correctly; if so it is real good to see that’s fixed. This is one of the only/best ways to cloak and not have it show in the address bar either. :)
    .-= Dennis Edell @ Direct Sales Marketing´s last blog ..The Future of DEDC – Part 4 – FINALIZED!…..? =-.

  15. You can only use one link per subdomain. One thing can’t point in more than one place. If you have 2 products ~ you’d create 2 subdomains. If you have similar products just create similar subdomain phrases ~ so you can tell them apart.

  16. I have been using the WP plugin to mask my affiliate links. This is excellent! Didn’t know you can use subdomains to mask affiliate links. I will try this. One question, you can only use one affiliate link per subdomain or as many as you want?
    .-= Ryan@Webbhotell´s last blog ..Binero =-.

    • Hey Jackie! I have a question for you.

      Why create subdomains for affiliate link redirects when one could just install a plugin and mask the links? Only takes one a few minutes and no prior coding skills or such :)

      • Jackie Lee says:

        For me: they didn’t have plugins that did that way back when I started and I’m a creature of habit. Also because plugins break, aren’t kept up with, sometimes don’t play nice with new versions of things and I have control over my hosting and my stuff. ;) (nah, not a control freak or anything) just look at what recently happened with Pretty Links. people change something on one end and it blows up everything else. I’d rather just have my stuff where I know I’m the boss of it.

  17. Jackie Lee says:

    I don’t think the .org is a factor. Like I said my aff id shows through on the Micro niche finder site ~ so maybe it’s just certain sites that don’t cloak all the way through the process.

    I really wouldn’t worry about it that much, especially in a non IM niche. I am often astounded to watch non marketers use the internet. Thinking adsense ads are real links to the product etc. I don’t think the majority of people would even understand what an affiliate link is. Yeah, someone may get their feathers ruffled but there’s no way you can please everyone, and it’s silly to try. (lesson that took me a long time to learn)

  18. I only have one domain on my hostgator account so far and I used that one to create the subdomain. But it’s a .org – could that be the reason I’m having trouble?

    My subdomain blinks before the actual sales page comes up but it’s the sales page that shows my affiliate link at the top of the sales page I’m promoting. And “no” I’m not working in the internet marketing niche so I guess you’re saying – don’t worry about it? Even still, I have promoted affiliate products in another non internet marketing niche where people seemed to get all bent out of shape about buying products through an affiliate link, so I would prefer to mask it if I can. Although I do have the disclaimer on my site that sais I make money if you buy from clicking one of my links.

    Thank you,

    Laura :O)

  19. What’s the subdomain you’ve created? I think it may depend on the domain you go to. I just noticed my MNF link blinks through with my affiliate id link and then it goes to the regular link.

    Are you working outside the internet marketing niche? If so, I wouldn’t worry about it. This is called ~ small stuff. :)

  20. Hi Jackie – I had a chance to try your number 3 option and I’m still having trouble. I followed all of your instructions which are excellent by the way but I’m not getting the results that you get for some reason. When I click the link in my blog post, sure enough, it re-directs to the sales page for the product I’m promoting but….in the address bar my affiliate ID is showing – here’s kind of what it looks like:

    What am I doing wrong?

    Thanks once again for your help.

    Laura :O)

  21. sure ~ I tend to put my download stuff in a “download” or “loves” folder ~ so it is then

    For products I try to really get them their own domain name. But you certainly can use a subdomain.

  22. Thanks Jackie,

    I never thought about this before. I will likely start utilizing this soon. I assume you can do something similar with your own giveaways and products as well.

    .-= Devin´s last blog ..How to Write an Angry Letter =-.

  23. We really need to be careful about affiliation. some time it affect on our visitation. I like the Idea which keep your visitor happy as they are.
    .-= Jaydip Parikh´s last blog ..Why you should Comments on other blog ? =-.

  24. Amazing. I dint know it was that easy. I thought it was as complicated but it isn’t. Thanks much for sharing your knowledge on this step-by-step tutorial.

  25. This is awesome Jackie – thank you very much for this post. I haven’t had the chance to try it yet but I’ll let you know if I have any trouble.

    Laura :O)

  26. I haven’t used for my redirects, but I do use a redirect link.

    One thing I’d like to point out is that you make sure you check the terms of the affiliate program for the website you are linking to. I just received an email from Walmart that they do not allow cloaking or masking anymore. Unless I read this wrong, that means you can’t use this method.

    If I am wrong, please let me know so we all can learn something.

    .-= Bcarter @ Making Money Online´s last blog ..How to Get Started on Squidoo =-.

  27. Todd,

    That’s a GREAT idea about subdomains for your social networking. I’m gonna hop on that right now!

  28. I have been doing this for about a month now. It is so amazing how much time this can save. There are a few products that I promote a lot, so its nice to be able to just type in the subdomain you created instead of grabbing the original link. Especially when it comes to Amazon…

    I also created subdomains for my social networking sites.

    For twitter I did, Facebook is, youtube is

    It has helped a lot.

    Great post Jackie!
    .-= Primal Toad´s last blog ..Primal Fitness: Simple Fit Workout Day 2 =-.

  29. Jackie,
    That is an amazing tutorial. I never thought to do it that way. Right now I do my redirects easily through my web design software, XSitePro but this is awesome to know that you can do it this way.
    .-= Angie (Losing It and Loving It)´s last blog ..The week that started great =-.

  30. Jackie – thanks for your continued great information.

    On the redirect for your EZA articles, for about $2 you can buy a domain name with an extension of (.info) that is a redirect to your affiliates product page. This is considered by EZA as a top level domain name.

    Keep of the great job.


    • Yes, Harry you can buy a .info to use for EZA ~ just remember that even though you can buy them for a buck or two they usually renew at 8 to 10 dollars.

  31. Duh!! . . . Sometimes I make things more difficult than they really are. Thanks for your quick reply, Jackie.
    .-= Theresa Mayhew´s last blog ..What Niche Market Are You In? =-.

  32. You do it exactly the same way. Instead of redirecting it though you go back to the fantastico page ~ (the big smiley face) from there you hit wordpress, install new, and then choose the new subdomain you’ve created from the drop down menu to install your new site.

  33. Thanks so much for your tutorial on redirecting and creating subdomains. I’ve only just discovered how useful this can be.

    Do you already have a tutorial on how to create the subdomain for a new site? I’m not sure why this is such a mystery to me on how to do it, but if you have some knowledge and wish to share it, I’d really be grateful.

    All the best,
    .-= Theresa Mayhew´s last blog ..What Niche Market Are You In? =-.

Speak Your Mind