Support » Plugin: Visual Link Preview » VLP link manager?

  • Hi there,

    This is somewhat of an open question, but are there plans to centralize all instances of VLP on website into a pseudo- VLP manager, so that the links can be managed centrally? And to allow the same link VLP to be reused/displayed across a website?

    Ideally, a link would be “registered” in the manager one time, and when in a page/post editor, the VLP widget would provide an ability to search/filter/autocomplete down to the desired link, and automatically insert it into the content?

    It’d be great if VLP plugin could support this capability at some point, alternatively or in the meantime, are there existing WP plugins that manage links in this manner (and if so, do they integrate well with VLP)?

    Thanks!

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 15 total)
  • Plugin Author Brecht

    (@brechtvds)

    That’s not on the todo list for Visual Link Preview. The plugin is meant to be very lightweight. We achieve that by not actually storing any of the link data in the database but rather directly in the post content.

    That way, the links can be displayed without requiring any database calls. Because of that, page speeds should stay fast, even if you have lots of links on a page.

    We do have a centralized system the way you’re looking for in our Easy Affiliate Links plugin: https://wordpress.org/plugins/easy-affiliate-links/

    It does not have an integration with Visual Link Preview at the moment though.

    Thread Starter mungbean

    (@mungbean)

    Thanks for the plugin recommendation, I will look into it. If my understanding of your other plugin is correct, I’d only need to “register” the link once with the plugin, and then reference elsewhere.

    And when you say there’s no VLP integration currently, do you mean there’s no way to select/insert the “registered” link? Or would “registered” links entered, even If I manually type in the link in the URL field in the VLP widget, it will not “recognize” the “registered” link such that if I make a change to the link from the affiliate-plugin admin, the URL in the associated VLPs around the website, would not automatically update?

    Are there plans to integrate it with VLP?

    Plugin Author Brecht

    (@brechtvds)

    You can definitely select the Affiliate Link in VLP already and combine both plugins like that.

    There is just no fully integrated solution between both plugins.

    Thread Starter mungbean

    (@mungbean)

    Thanks, I’ve just started experimenting with Easy Affiliate and VLP. It took some tinkering, but it looks like in order to use the VLP widget (in the classic editor, in my case, a PODs custom post type) with Easy Affiliate, you need to use “internal link” and locate the link that way (by affiliate link name).

    Unfortunately, this styles the VLP with the parent website, and not the style of the actual link destination (if link is external). Is that because it’s treating the VLP styling as “internal”?

    How can I use VLP and Easy Affiliate with external links and VLP styling?

    Also, I am testing the link update and management capability with VLPs. Specifically, I am using the same link but toggling the cloaking on and off and resaving the link, and it appears that URL displayed when hovering over the link on the test page, the cloaking/URL doesn’t change after a page refresh. This seems to defeat the purpose of centralizing link management if I need to manually make changes to the page or VLP on that page.

    Please advise. This seems promising, but there are some kinks.

    Plugin Author Brecht

    (@brechtvds)

    It’s not possible to use both plugins together the way you’re looking for right now.

    VLP will try to automatically get the image, title and summary based on the link you put in. Since it’s an internal link, it will use the internal details.

    Easy Affiliate Links can only affect links that you add like using the EAFL button: http://help.bootstrapped.ventures/article/140-easy-affiliate-links-101

    So it’s one or the other right now.

    Combining them does have the advantage of being able to change the destination link without having to go into the posts individually.

    Thread Starter mungbean

    (@mungbean)

    I see. That makes sense. As it currently stands, in my use case the VLP display for external links is more critical than link management from Easy Affiliate. I hope the two plugins can be integrated at some point in the near feature.

    In the meantime, are you aware of any link manager plugins that would play nicely with VLP and external links?

    Thanks again.

    Plugin Author Brecht

    (@brechtvds)

    I am not aware of a different one.

    Thread Starter mungbean

    (@mungbean)

    I’ve been testing VLP with ThirstyAffiliates (https://wordpress.org/plugins/thirstyaffiliates/) and PrettyLinks (https://wordpress.org/plugins/pretty-link/).

    With ThirstyAffiliates, inserting a cloaked link in the VLP editor widget as an external link, functions like Easy Affiliates, in that it is unable to retrieve the external link destination preview data, and rather displays the cloaked TA link. Naturally, you cannot search for TA links via the internal link autocomplete field too.

    While with PrettyLinks, inserting a cloaked link in the VLP editor widget as an external link, it is able to retrieve the external link destination preview data, while still using the cloaked link URL. But, updating the same cloaked link in the PL admin doesn’t seem to automatically update the VLPs where the cloaked link has been used (aka same cloaked link URL, but different link destination). It seems like VLP is caching the previous cloaked link destination.

    Is it true that to affect changes to a VLP, the VLP in the content needs to be manually updated instance by instance?

    It seems like there’s a capability gap in the link manager plugin ecosystem, and since you offer both Easy Affiliate and VLP, it’d make sense to integrate the two, to make a powerful combo with:
    – cloaked external links in VLPs
    – automatically (cascading) updating links (cloaked or uncloaked) in VLPs (maybe VLP/link scanner)

    Can these capabilities be done “simply” by adding the EAFL button/filter to the external link option of the VLP widget?

    Thanks again!

    Plugin Author Brecht

    (@brechtvds)

    A VLP will never update automatically right now. Once you set the image, title and summary it is set like that forever. It does not update itself. Also on the idea list, but not a priority right now.

    I’m not familiar with it, but this plugin might work for you?
    https://getlasso.co

    Thread Starter mungbean

    (@mungbean)

    Understandable, and having the VLP as a “permanent snapshot” makes sense as it would keep API request quota at a reasonable level. One way to improve this, short of changing that paradigm, would be providing a method of refreshing a VLP from the admin side, without needing to delete and recreate/insert the VLP just to update. But I’m sure there’s plenty on the dev roadmap. Either way, any integration between the two plugins is a win.

    Are there plans to support a “internal” search/autocomplete for external VLPs? Some way to search for “internal WP” links (like those from Easy Affiliate, ThirstyAffiliate etc.)?

    Also, to followup, I tested ThirstyAffiliates with VLP again, and it was in fact able to generate an external VLP using the link destination URL, while still using the cloaked URL on the frontend. So it’s like PrettyLinks in functionality. I copy-pasted the cloaked URL into the external VLP and it seemed to work. The aforementioned autocomplete for external VLPs would be great in this case.

    Lastly, on a side note, would it be possible to change the internal/external droplist in the VLP widget to a radio button? And perhaps be able to set a default link type in VLP admin settings?

    And thanks, I’ll take a look at Lasso too, I was unaware of it.

    Plugin Author Brecht

    (@brechtvds)

    I’ve added those ideas to the list, but cannot make any promises yet.

    VLP is a completely free plugin so not the biggest priority at the moment.

    Thread Starter mungbean

    (@mungbean)

    Great!

    Just for future references, for the potential link manager feature, it might be useful to look into the “uploader instances” section of WordPress File Upload plugin (https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-file-upload/) settings page, as it tracks wherever the file upload shortcode is used on the site.

    So from a VLP link manager perspective, you could use a similar dashboard to track VLP instances and perhaps add the ability to do bulk updates etc.

    Thread Starter mungbean

    (@mungbean)

    A continuation of this topic.

    You had mentioned this earlier on in the thread that the original intent of VLP was to avoid using the database and to focus on website performance. This is very logical and appreciated. But perhaps the opposite (using a database) would in effect achieve a “link manager” capability, and possibly more.

    Now, this isn’t a groundbreaking idea, but in regard to a “centralized link manager” and or integrated solution, perhaps it may be easier and potentially more economical (API request-wise) to enable VLP to do both in-content (current implementation) and database/centralized. Maybe it’s a toggle where you can create a VLP in situ, or one for reuse (database). Much like how content is handled in WP already, where you create a single instance, but can reference it as many times as desired, throughout a website.

    In this database/centralized use case, a VLP is created once (like a post type), the preview API (microlink) runs once to generate the preview and is stored/cached, and then the VLP instance can be referenced/embedded in content perhaps by shortcode/block/widget, where it simply mirrors the original instance. This would aid in both reducing API request burden, as well as centralize the links in one place, where they can be updated, and have any secondary references automatically reflect the update too. I’d also think that it’d be possible to track instances/where the VLP is referenced too.

    Thanks!

    Plugin Author Brecht

    (@brechtvds)

    We do have a centralized plugin as well: Easy Affiliate Links.

    I will probably not rework VLP to use the same system as EAFL, as both plugins serve different purposes.

    Adding a VLP style display to EAFL that uses the Microlink API to retrieve the details might be a better option then. But this is also not the biggest priority at the moment, I’m afraid.

    Thread Starter mungbean

    (@mungbean)

    Yes, thanks. I am aware of your other plugin, I’ve started some similar supported threads there. I will resume the conversation there as it appears, it’s more appropriate for that plugin rather than VLP, which has its own product philosophy.

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 15 total)
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