What's new

[wmtech] Link Essentials - Manual, Instructions & Installation / Upgrade Guide

Not open for further replies.


WMTech Staff
XF Licensee
Reaction score
Welcome to WMTech Quality Add-Ons!
We care about our products!


We recommend the use of an automated installation and upgrade system.
Two of them are available for free to download at xenforo.com:
Please try one of them!

*** Note: If you use the product created by Waindigo, please enter the following line to your XenForo configuration file (/library/config.php ) to prevent any callbacks to Waindigo this add-on otherwise starts itself regularly:

$config['disableCallbacks'] = true

  1. Download the add-on from our products section after licensing it for your forum(s). Please note, that we are enforcing our license. Please do not download, if you don't agree to it!
  2. Upload everything from the "upload" directory in our software package into your web servers forum directory.
  3. Install "addon-wmt_linkessentials-1xx.xml" in your Xenforo Admin Control Panel (XF ACP) (ACP > Home > Install Add-On).
  4. Access "ACP > Home > Options > [WMTech] Link Essentials" to check and setup the options of this add-on.
  5. Access "ACP > Home > Users > User Group Permissions" and set up any permissions for your users and user groups under "[WMTech] Link Essentials".
Now you can enjoy our add-on at your board!

Special Installation Instructions (e.g. interactions with other add-ons):
  • None to be known of currently.

  1. Download the new version of the add-on from our products section after licensing it for your forum(s). You may need to relicense even free add-ons, if your last version is older than 6 months. Please note, that we are enforcing our license. Please do not download, if you don't agree to it!
  2. Upload everything from the "upload" directory in our software package into your web servers forum directory overwriting all existing files with the new ones!
  3. Go to your Xenforo "ACP > Home > List Add-Ons" and select "[WMTech] Link Essentials". At the dropdown arrow on the right, choose "Upgrade Add-On". A pop-up appears and lets you select the XML file "addon-wmt_linkessentials-1xx.xml" we provide in the upgrade software package.
  4. Access "ACP > Home > Options > [WMTech] Link Essentials" to check the existing and set up the new options of this add-on.
  5. Access "ACP > Home > Users > User Group Permissions" and check any permissions for your users and user groups under "[WMTech] Link Essentials".
This completes an upgrade process and refreshes your board with the enhanced power of a new version.

Special Upgrade Instructions:
  • Upgrade to version 1.1.0 from any other lower version:
    You can remove the files "loading.gif", "missing-preview.gif" and "missing-preview2.gif" in the directory "/styles/wmtech/linkessentials/", since they are no longer used.


Available Options in ACP:
Home > Options > [WMTech] Link Essentials
  • Enable External Link Screenshots?
    Uncheck if you want to disable all screenshot processing. If disabled, there won't be tooltips with screenshots over all external links and no screenshot cache will be created. Also the "Embed screenshot in first post of thread" will not work. There also is a user and user group permission for this feature.
    Default: Checked

  • Enable External Link Favicons?
    Uncheck if you want to disable the automatic fetching of favicons of posted external URL links. If disabled, no favicons will be shown with external links and no favicon cache will be created. There also is a user and user group permission for this feature.
    Default: Checked

  • Enable External Link Interstitials?
    Uncheck if you want to disable the interstitial page for external links globally. If disabled, people will be directed to the external page without interruption. There also is a user and user group permission for this feature.
    Default: Checked

  • Enable/Enhance Title Autodetection?
    Uncheck if you want to disable the automatic check to fetch and show the the titles of posted external URL links as the link's description (for XenForo up to version 1.4) or the enhancement of the built-in autodetection for XenForo version 1.5 and up (page titles, the default XenForo feature misses, will be handled by our add-on). If disabled, the URLs will be shown instead of the external page titles in XenForo up to version 1.4 and the regular title autodetection will be used in XenForo version 1.5 and up. Also features like "Title Autodetection: Check If Domain Is In Title?" and "Maximum Link Title Length?" will not work if disabled.
    Default: Checked

  • Select Screenshot Service Engine
    Select which screenshot service engine you want to use for the screenshot processing. Choices are "WordPress Screenshot Service", "Screenshot Machine", Page2Images", "URL2PNG" and "WKhtmlTOimage". Some are free, some carry costs. See our description with all their PROS and CONS to help you decide here: wmtech.net: Which Screenshot Provider Should I Choose? | WebMachine Technologies - Quality Add-Ons and Plugins for XenForo
  • Several options, depending on your chosen screenshot provider
    The screenshot provider you have chosen may provide one or more options to configure its service. Among the possible options can be the File Format (jpg, png, gif), the size of the picture, the viewport of the browser used to shot the picture (some even with mobile device choices), the screen format (4:3 or 16:9) or even the target language of the pictured site. The applicable options will appear automatically once you have chosen the screenshot provider. Not all screenshot providers offer all options.

  • Select Locations To Show Screenshots And Favicons?
    You may choose to show screenshots and favicons with all external links in all possible locations or just select one or more from the following locations: Postings in Forum Threads, Postings in Private Conversations, Profile Posts, Signatures in Threads and Conversations, Description and Comments in Items of Showcase by XenAddons, Several Locations in XenGallery by Sonnb, Media and Album Descriptions and Comments in XenForo Media Gallery, Resource Description and Reviews in XenForo Resource Manager and Featured Threads Page and Archive in Featured Threads by CTA

  • Screenshot and Favicon Cache Lifetime
    Enter the number of days that cached screenshots and favicons should be retained for, before they are removed from your system. If the preview or favicon is re-requested after this time, it will automatically be fetched again. Use 0 to retain the previews indefinitely (recommended).
    Default: 0, Min: 0, Max: 3660

  • Screenshot Cache Refresh
    If a value greater than 0 is entered (not recommended), schreenshots cached by the screenshot proxy will be refreshed after this many days have passed. This can be used in conjunction with a long cache lifetime to allow screenshots to be updated periodically while retaining resilience against the screenshot being removed. If a value of 0 is entered, screenshots and favicons will only be updated when the cache entry expires.
    Default: 0, Min: 0, Max: 3660

  • Log link screenshot referrers for X days:
    If enabled, whenever a link screenshot is accessed, referrer information will be maintained. This can be viewed in the logs to determine where the screenshot has been mentioned. Use 0 to keep the referrer data forever.
    Default: Enabled, 60 days

  • Interstitial Whitelist
    Enter the domain names that you don't want to show the interstitial screen when linked from your site. You may enter from one up to several domain names separated by a | character.

  • Interstitial Redirection Delay
    The time of delay (in seconds) before the user is automatically redirected to the external url at the external link interstitial page.
    Default: 2, Min: 1, Max: 10

  • Title Autodetection: Check If Domain Is In Title?
    If 'Title Autodetection' is activated, this add-on checks the page title for any occurrence of the the domain name before the title is used as the link's description. If the page title is very common such as "Home" (which is not very helpful as a link description) the domain name will be prepended to the title. If you don't like this behavior, you can deactivate it here.
    Default & Recommended: Checked

  • Maximum Link Title Length?
    How long should an automatically fetched link title allowed to be? There are web pages with really long titles, disturbing your posts without a reason. If you set a maximum length of title here, the title will get truncated to the specified length. If you set the length as "0" all titles will appear as long as they are.
    Default: 300, Min: 0, Max: 600

  • Place Favicon On Right?
    By default the favicon is placed left from the link. If you want to place it on the right side, check this box. You may also want to activate this if your forum uses a RTL language.
    Default: Unchecked

  • Show External Link Marker In Addition To Favicon?
    Places a tiny external link marker icon to all external links at the opposite side of the favicon. Please note that you need to have Font Awesome installed to be able to see the icon. If you do not use Font Awesome at your site, please ask us for instructions to include it and do not check this box.
    Default: Unchecked

  • Embed Screenshot As Image In First Post Of Selected Nodes?
    If you check this option, the screenshot of the first external link (if there is one) in the first post of each thread will be directly embedded into the post just above the link. The visitors do not need to hover over the link to see the screenshot. Permissions will be applied. Only works, if screenshot processing is activated above.
    Default: Unchecked

  • Forums For Image In First Post
    If you have enabled the screenshot embedding into the first post above, please select all forums where you want this feature to appear. You may select as much forums as you like. If you do not select a forum, no embedding will happen.
    Default: None

Available Permissions in ACP:

Users > Permissions > User Group Permissions
Users > Permissions > User Permissions
  • Can See External Link Screenshots
    Select "Allow" to allow this user group or user to see the screenshots provided by this add-on. The screenshots will appear as tooltips when hovering over external links with a mouse or directly embedded into posts of your forum in the selected locations depending on your configuration.

  • Can See External Link FavIcons
    Select "Allow" to allow this user group or user to see favicons of the website of the external links. The favicons will appear left or right of the external link in the selected locations, depending on your configuration.

  • Disable External Link Interstitial
    Select "Allow" to allow this user group or user to bypass the external interstitial page shown when clicking at any external link.

Available Administrator Actions in ACP:

Tools > Rebuild Caches > Rebuild [WMTech] Link Essentials Screenshot Cache & Prune Broken Screenshots
  • This will rebuild the screenshot cache with pruning all broken screenshots.
    Sometimes screenshot services cannot handle the links you asked for screenshots and deliver error messages. This may happen because you have exceeded your allowed quota of screenshots or you have switched the screenshot service and your former service did not support SSL links, but your new service does. This tool prunes all such broken screenshots and makes it possible to have the screenshots recreated as soon as somebody requests it again.
Tools > Screenshot Proxy Log
  • This will present a list of all your screenshots with important informations about them (like referers). You can see a thumbnail of the screenshot, the url of the screenshot, the number of hits, the size of the screenshot image, when the screenshot was first and last requested and which screenshot service created the screenshot. If there were any errors processing the screenshot those errors will also be listed here.

    We recommend to inspect this log regularly because this is the only way you will recognize if your screenshot service has problems fulfilling your requests.

    You are provided with the option to manually delete screenshots from the Screenshot Proxy Log. Just click at the red cross on the right side of each listing to delete the screenshot. It will be processed automatically again, next time someone requests it.

Available Phrases and Templates in ACP:
Appearance > Templates
Development > Admin Templates
  • All public and admin templates of this add-on start with "wmt_le_" The name of the templates is always self-explanatory.
Appearance > Template Modifications
Development > Admin Template Mods
  • This add-on uses several template modifications instead of deprecated template hooks for the front and back end (ACP) of XenForo. All template modifications are VERY IMPORTANT for this add-on to be able to work. They are designed for the default style only! If you use any custom style, please check if all modifications have been applied correctly by looking at the numbers in the right column of the line with the modification name. If there is a grey or red number, the modification could not be applied thus deactivating some or even all features of this add-on. Contact us or your style designer to solve those issues!
Appearance > Phrases
  • All phrases of this add-on start with "wmt_le_" The name of the phrases is always self-explanatory. You can download the default english language file for this add-on to inspect or translate it >>HERE<<

Available Actions in XenForo Public Forum Web Site:

  • This add-on converts all posted external links to display the page title of the external link and a screenshot of the external link when hovering over the link with the mouse or finger. It also fetches and locally caches the favicon of the external site and displays it beside the link (choose left or right). You may also opt to show an external link identification (a small arrow) beside the link. If an external link is clicked an interstitial page is shown notifying your visitor about leaving your site.

  • There is a feature to automatically embed a screenshot of the first external link in the first post in threads of selected forums into the post.

(feel free to copy this text to your forums help page)

This site marks all posted external links with the favicon of the external site and a small arrow. If you hover over any external link a screenshot of the linked external page will be shown in a tooltip. If you click at any external link you will be notified that you are about to leave our web site.

In addition all posted external links will be converted and posted with the title of the linked external page automatically.
Last edited:
Not open for further replies.