[WMTech] Link Essentials

[iNTERNAL] [WMTech] Link Essentials 1.1.4

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  • Author XenForo Rocks
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Compatible XF Versions
1.3, 1.4
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Link Essentials for XenForo is a must-have add-on for any XenForo webmaster. It greatly enhances the user experience and usability of your forum.

There are 3 basic enhancements, all of them with a lot of professional features:


Every time someone posts an URL to an external web site at your forum the title of this web site is fetched and automatically posted as a description to the original link (see attached screenshot for example).

If this external link happens to be an image, it will automatically be inserted as an image into the post (rather than just posting the URL).

If this external link happens to be a 2GB video file this add-on won't try to fetch it and thus take your server down (like most other add-ons providing title detection would do) but instead silently quit it's action and post an unlinked url instead.

If the title can be catched but does not help in describing the content (we know, there are still web masters who think "Home" makes a good title for the home page), this add-on will try it's best to describe the content before inserting the link into the post.


Every time someone clicks at a link to an external web site, this web site won't be opened immediately, but a page will appear informing your visitors that they'll now leave your site. The visitor then will be redirected to the external page automatically without needing to click again. The delay until this redirect occurs can be chosen in the options of this add-on.

There is also a whitelist where you can choose domains which won't need this interstitial page and will be opened directly. Also there is a user permission to allow some user groups to see the interstitial screen whereas other groups may not see it.

Such interstitial pages are required by law at some countries and also are used as a common policy at some companies. Also they obfuscate the real place of a link, so foreign referer logs just see your domain and not the exact page with the external link.

Also, if you happen to use Skimlinks & Co, the interstitial allows you to use the XenForo link proxy without reducing your income (since the last link from your site won't be proxied and can be handled as always by the skimmers).

To use the External Link Interstitial feature, you have to activate the XenForo Link Proxy feature. It won't work without it.


This is maybe the master feature of Link Essentials. Every time someone hovers with his mouse over an external link in a post, a tooltip opens and shows a preview screenshot of the page. Such a screenshot is very informative for your users and visitors and may even prevent them from leaving your site at all, because the information of the external site may be seen in the screenshot already.

The external screenshot will be automatically created behind the scenes of your forum using the new "deferred" system provided by XenForo. The screenshot will also be cached locally, so it will be shown immediately with no extra waiting time to your users (except for the first request, before it could be created when a "wait" info is shown). How long it will take to create the screenshot depends on the provider you choose. Some need seconds, some minutes. But once it is cached, no user will have to wait ever again.

There are several options to choose from: the provider used to create the screenshots (some free, paid and local options are available), the size of the screenshot, whether a mobile or desktop view of the external site should be shown and which format the picture should have, You also can choose how long the previews should be cached or refreshed.

Currently this add-on works with the following screenshot service providers: WordPress Screenshot Service (free, but very limited), Page2Images (free Account offers 100 pictures a day, 30.000 a month for $9,99), Url2Png (no free option, but a $10 special offer for this add-on) and wkhtmltoimage, a script to be locally installed at your server (if you have your own server).

There is also a Preview Log available in your XenForo ACP where you can see which previews are shown most to your visitors together with some other information.

To use the External Link Preview feature, you have to activate the XenForo Link Proxy feature. It won't work without it.

Our Guarantee:
Link Essentials has been written with optimal performance (even at large sites) as the primary goal while keeping an eye on accessibility as well. It is a robust and well coded add-on intended for professional XenForo forums.

Current compatibility:
XenForo 1.3.x, 1.4.x
This add-on is compatible with Xenforo 1.3.x (tested with XenForo 1.3.0) and XenForo 1.4.x. Sorry, this add-on cannot be installed at Xenforo 1.2.x or smaller.

Step 1:
Upload everything from the "upload" directory into your web servers forum directory.
Step 2:
Install "addon-wmt_linksessentials-10x.xml" in your Xenforo ACP as a new addon.

Note: This XenForo add-on can be installed or upgraded using Auto-Installers

Available Options for admin from Xenforo ACP:
In ACP under "Home > Options > [WMTech] - Link Essentials" you'll find:
>> Master Switch Enable/Disable URL Previews
>> Master Switch Enable/Disable External Link Interstitials
>> Master Switch Enable/Disable URL Title Autodetection
>> Option to select your preferred screenshot engine provider
>> Depending on the chosen screenshot engine some options for the pictures, eg. file format, screen width, language
>> Size of the screenshot picture
>> Size format of the screenshot picture (16/9 or 4/:relievedface:
>> Preview Cache Lifetime after which previews will be deleted automatically
>> Preview Cache Refresh time to allow the automatic refreshing of previews
>> External link interstitial domain whitelist
>> External Link Interstitial redirection delay
>> Title Detection: Check Domain in Title?

Also the following 2 permissions are available tp apply to your usergroups:
>> Show Screenshot Previews (select "Allow" to show previews)
>> Disable External Link Interstitial (select "Allow" to disable the link interstitial)

Purchase Process:
If you want to buy this add-on, please click at the "Buy" button above.

Branding/Copyright Notice Removal:
This add-on features a small copyright notice in the footer of your web site. If you would like to remove the copyright, please purchase a Branding Removal License from us. You can find several options for that at our website WebMachine Technologies - Quality XenForo Add-Ons and Plugins.

Attached are several screenshots of this add-on. You can see the ACP options panel with all it's settings and some screenshots of the various user pages.

License Info & Disclaimer:
This software is licensed (not sold) to you to be used at a single installation of XenForo only. You need a second license if you'll use it at another forum with a non-local URL. The software is provided on an "as-is" basis, without warranty of any kind, including without limitation the warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, and non-infringement. You acknowledge that the software has not been developed to meet your individual requirements, and that it is therefore your responsibility to ensure that the facilities and functions of the Software meet your requirements prior to purchase. You acknowledge that the Software may not be free of bugs or errors, and agree that the existence of errors shall not constitute a breach of this agreement. Our liabiltiy for any losses that may be suffered by you is limited to the amount of the purchase price. The full license text you agree with installing the software is included in the package of this addon (LICENSE.txt). Please do NOT use this software if you do not agree with this license. With using it, you agree to our license.

The add-on has been tested carefully and is fit for use.

Piracy Information:
This is a paid XenForo addon. There has been a lot of care and work done to code it with focus at you, our valued customer. Paying for it respects our work done and enables us to code even more quality software for you. Please DO NOT forward it to third parties. We have included digital "fingerprints" into the files of each single package, so we may be able to track a reported abuse of our license back to the licensee. Please help us to fight against piracy and contact us, if you get any knowledge about pirated software or the illegal use or provision of this software.
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