The HighWayPro plugin for WordPress is a URL shortener and link cloaker that aims to give affiliate marketers and successful website owners more control over how they share, track, and manage their links.
Its developers proudly boast that the plugin is the best tool of its type currently on the market, and when you consider its sleek, highly intuitive dashboard, advanced analytics, and intelligent URL targeting options, it’s easy to see why they’d be so confident in making such a bold claim.
But how well does the plugin really live up to the hype?
That’s what we aimed to find out when we put it through its paces in this comprehensive HighWayPro review.
HighwayPro Review: Overview & Key Features
If you’re running a large-scale website with countless inbound and outbound links to manage, you’ll no doubt appreciate what a useful tool HighWayPro can be.
At its heart, the plugin is essentially a super-charged URL shortener, and that in itself can prove invaluable if you find yourself trying to condense those excessively long website links into something that’s easier to manage, remember, and share on social media.
Still, let’s face it:
URL shortening tools are pretty much ten a penny these days, so why consider HighWayPro among the seemingly infinite number of other shorteners out there?
The simple answer is that while shortening links may be the core of what HighWayPro does, it actually does much, much more, incorporating a wealth of features that could not only make a tremendous difference to the way you run yourself but could do so by saving you the hassle and resources of installing multiple other plugins to achieve the same result.
These features include:
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- Smart redirects based on country, device, and more
- A/B testing options
- Advanced tracking and analytics
- Automatically insert URLs into content
- Automatically create short URLs for new posts
- Send different user groups to different pages from one URL
- Change target URLs after link creation
- Set shortened links to nofollow, sponsor, and/or User Generated Content (UGC)
- Add redirection status codes
- Option to categorize links
- Hide referrer URL
- Full support for Cloudflare and Sucuri
- Custom tracking scripts.
Hands-on with HighWayPro
After uploading the plugin via FTP or the WordPress dashboard and activating it, you’ll find HighWayPro with its own menu item.
Clicking on this for the first time brings up a short tour that highlights where to find all of the key components, including:
- Combined statistics
- URL management
- URL types
- Global preferences.
Although it’s incredibly helpful to have all this pointed out in the first instance, we should say that the user interface itself is so clear and well-designed that you should have no problem locating the exact features you want -and figuring out how to use them – even if you’re a complete WordPress beginner.
When you’re using HighWayPro for the first time, you’ll obviously find that your stats page is pretty much blank since you haven’t yet created any shortened links to track.
Naturally, then, that should be your first port of call.
To begin this process, simply click on the URL tab at the top of the dashboard and select Add New.
This brings up a pop-up box that requires just three simple steps to create your URL:
- Give your URL a name so that it’s easy to remember and find in your system
- Create a path for your URL such as yourdomain.com/shortenedlink
- Click Create.
Adding a Destination
When you’ve done that, HighWayPro will warn you that your new link doesn’t yet have a destination. In other words, if people enter your shortened URL into their web browser, it won’t actually take them anywhere.
Fortunately, the plugin’s user-friendly approach directs you straight to the option to add a New Destination.
Click the relevant button, and this will bring up new options where you can assign your shortened URL to specific keywords from your website’s content.
Here, you’ll also be able to determine whether or not links open in a new browser or tab, enable Just-in-Time redirections so that your real target URL is swapped with the short URL right after a visitor clicks on it.
You’ll also be able to determine whether your URL is a No-Follow link, a sponsored link, or user-generated content, as well as toggling an option to decide whether or not target websites know which page the link was clicked on.
From there, You can also take advantage of advanced features which give you even more control over your links such as parameter forwarding…
…And adding third-party tracking scripts such as Facebook’s Pixel Code for individual URLs.
With that done, your new shortened URL is good to go, and you can then move on to using some of HighWayPro’s more unique features to really make the most of your links.
Of these unique features, the ones we’re most impressed with include:
Just because you create a new shortened link doesn’t mean that everybody who clicks that link has to necessarily go to the same destination.
HighWayPro features 8 built-in conditions so that you can determine which users see which content after clicking your link.
These conditions include:
- Disposable (usage limit)
- Expiring (date)
- Hour Range
- Referrer (origin)
- User Agent
- Roles & Capabilities.
This means that you could, for example, send iPhone users to the Apple version of a new app on the App Store whilst sending Android users who click the same link to the Android version of the app on Google Play.
Alternatively, you could send users from different countries to different content targeted to their location, or even ensure that registered members of your website see different content to passing visitors.
HighWayPro’s analytics features are some of the most in-depth we’ve seen outside of dedicated analytics plugins.
You can sort data by date range, by country, device, click origin, and more. That way, you get an in-depth look at how users are interacting with your links which can help you make more informed decisions about the type of website content you create.
Automatic Link Insertions
Creating all those links is all well and good, but if you have to go forth and manually select them each time you want to use them, that’s going to turn out to be a time-consuming hassle, to say the least.
Fortunately, HighWayPro renders that chore of a task completely unnecessary by enabling automatic insertions.
This means that links to your content can automatically be added based on keywords you select, with the option to choose a limit on the number of insertions allowed per keyword to prevent things from getting consuming or overwhelming.
Even with so many impressive features and such an easy-to-use format, one thing that we still love the most about HighWayPro is the very affordable cost.
The complete plugin comes in at a flat fee of just $49 with a standard Envato license.
This includes free updates and six months of support from developers Neblabs.
If you feel as though you’d like additional support, you can extend it to 12 months for only $16.50.
If you ask us, this not only makes it much more affordable than those plugins that require you to pay again after your initial one-year license expires but also means you never have to worry about managing subscriptions or finding that such an essential tool has stopped working properly because you forgot to renew.
One overlooked feature that we think is particularly impressive is that everything you do is automatically saved.
Not only does this mean you don’t waste time looking around for a save button, but it also means that you never have to worry about all your hard work being for nothing if you forget to hit save or something happens to your computer.
HighWayPro: A Simple and Effective Way to Take Complete Control of Your Links
We started this review by questioning whether HighWayPro really does live up to the hype and backs up its developer’s claims as being the best plugin of its type currently available.
The short answer is yes, yes it does.
Apart from the fact that it’s relatively affordable, what we like most about this plugin is that it takes a host of invaluable features that could seem complicated and confusing and makes them highly accessible to even novice WordPress users, resulting in a plugin that is as simple and easy-to-use as it is highly effective.
The ability to use conditions and targeting to send different user groups to different destinations is particularly helpful and, combined with the option to hide the referrer, would make this an invaluable tool for those using lots of links as part of an affiliate marketing strategy.
That said, for anyone who wants more control over their links with the kind of advanced tracking options you’d normally only get with a dedicated analytics plugin, HighWayPro is absolutely every bit as useful as it claims to be.