As you become more familiar with WordPress, you may occasionally come across the term blogroll.
In WordPress terminology, a list of links displayed on your sidebar is sometimes referred to as a blogroll.
According to official WordPress documentation …
“The term ‘blogroll’ was originally used because it was a list of links to other blogs, but you can include links to any sites.”
The Links Manager lets you easily add a links section to your sidebar menu (e.g. a “Top 5 Resources” section) using widgets.
Before the release of WordPress v.3.5, Links were a visible feature of the WordPress CMS. From v3.5 onwards, the Links manager and blogroll sections were removed …
(Links appeared in the dashboard menu until the release of WordPress v3.5)
(Post v.3.5 – no WordPress Links Manager)
If you were using the Links feature in previous versions of WordPress, then it will still be available when you upgrade to newer WordPress versions. If you’ve never used Link Manager, however, or if your WP installation is new, then this function will remain hidden – you will not see it on your dashboard menu.
How To Add A Link Section To WordPress
You can add a link section to your sidebar menu by creating a custom menu, or use a plugin like the one shown in the tutorial below.
If you can’t see a Links section on your main menu when you log into your WordPress admin area, you can add this feature via a plugin. In this tutorial, you will learn how to add, edit, delete and manage blogroll links on your sidebar using WordPress plugins.
Description Of Plugin
Use this plugin to display the Link Manager, even if you update to a later version of WordPress or remove all of your existing links.
Note: This plugin adds a single line of code to restore the hidden feature. The last time we checked, this plugin had not been updated for some time, but it should still work fine. If you don’t want to use the Link Manager plugin, then use the plugin below instead, or contact us for help editing your site’s template code.
(Simple Links WordPress Plugin)
Simple Links attempts to recreate the same concept as the built-in WordPress Links Manager while addressing the shortcomings of the deprecated feature.
Let’s install the Link Manager plugin.
In your WP admin menu, go to Plugins > Add New …
(Plugins – Add New)
Select the Install Plugins > Search tab, then type ”link manager” into the search field and hit Enter …
Locate the plugin in the search results area and click Install Now …
Activate the plugin …
After activation, WordPress will display a ‘Links’ item in your admin menu …
(Links menu section)
Configuring Link Manager
We recommend setting up link categories first before adding any new links. This way, you can assign new links to link categories you have already created.
To create a new link category, select Links > Link Categories in your navigation menu …
(WP Links Menu – Link Categories)
This loads the ‘Link Categories’ page in your browser.
Type in the following information:
- Name: Enter the category name.
- Slug: The slug appears in the web address of the link category name. It must be in lowercase letters and contain no spaces (use hyphens to separate words).
- Description: Some themes may display a link category description.
Click the Add New Link Category button to save …
(Link Categories page)
The link category will be added to the list …
Tip: WordPress calls its default link category Blogroll . Unless you specify a category for a link, WordPress automatically assigns new links to the default category …
(Default link category name is ‘blogroll’)
You may want to change this to something better suited to your business. This not only makes it easier for users of your site, but any new links that you add to the Links section will automatically be listed under the new category name …
(Consider changing the default ’blogroll’ to something better suited to your business)
To edit the ‘Blogroll’ link title, hover your mouse over the category name and click on Quick Edit …
Replace both the Name and the Slug with a new category name, and click on the Update link Category button …
(Edit the link category)
In our example, we’ve replaced the category ‘Blogroll’ with an appropriate links section category name (e.g. ‘Recommended’).
Let’s now add a link category description. To add a description to an existing link category, hover over the link category name and click Edit …
(You can add/edit the category description)
Add your description in the ‘Edit Link Category’ page and click Update …
(Edit Link Category screen)
Repeat the above process and add as many link categories as your site needs.
After setting up your link categories, you can add new links.
To create a new link, go to the main admin menu and click on Links > Add New …
(Links Menu – Add New)
The ‘Add New Link’ page will display in your web browser …
(Add New Link screen)
You can also access this screen by clicking on ’Add New’ in the main Links page …
(Add New Link button)
The ‘Add New Links’ page is divided into a number of sections:
Name, Web Address & Description
Enter details about your link in this section …
(Name, Web Addressand Description)
Type in information into the following fields:
- Name: Enter the link category name.
- Slug: The slug is the web address bit of the link category name. It must all be in lowercase letters and contain no spaces (use hyphens to separate words).
- Description: Some themes may display your link category description in the links section, or as a tool tip when visitors hover over the link name. (Optional)
Categories & Target
After typing in link details, select a Category and Target for the new link …
(Categories & Target – Add New Link)
In the Categories section, select one of the link categories you have already added, or click on ’+ Add New Category’ to add a new category link.
Next, select a target frame radio button for your link in the Target section. This lets you specify where the link should open when clicked on:
- _blank means that when visitors click on the link, a separate window will open up in their browser to display the information associated with the link. This lets your visitors see the information without leaving your page
- _none means that when visitors click on the link, they will leave your site and a new website or page will load in your web browser window instead.
- _top opens the link at the top level of the frame system if you’re using frames. If you don’t use frames, or if you don’t know what frames are, then just ignore this option.
Link Relationship XFN
This area provides some additional link functionality …
(Link Relationship (XFN))
Link Relationship (XFN) – XFN stands for XML Friends Network – is a way to define your relationship to the linked person. For example, if you have a professional relationship with Kellie Schwartz and you link to her blog, you would probably check co-worker or colleague.
XFN relationships are optional. You can ignore this section and your links will work just fine. XFN makes the links defined on your site more understandable to some websites and search engines that use this information.
rel – This field lets you specify the ‘rel’ attribute that will be assigned to your link. The rel attribute is used to define what relationship exists between the current document and the linked document. For example, if you don’t want search engines to follow your link, enter nofollow into this field. Separate multiple ‘rel’ attributes with spaces.
You can learn more about XFN by visiting this site:
The last section of the Add New Link’ page allows you to enter Advanced features for your links (You can ignore this section, unless there’s a good reason to use it) …
(Advanced link settings)
The Advanced link settings section contains the following options:
- Image Address: Specify an image to be displayed with the link. To use this feature, add the URL of your image and make sure that the image is small (around 16×16 like a favicon).
- RSS Address: If your theme allows it, the link’s RSS feed will be displayed next to your links.
- Notes: This section lets you add notes for your own internal reference.
- Rating: You can add a rating score to the link if you would like to sort links by rating (see the ‘Links’ widget section below).
Enter information into the above fields or just leave this section blank.
When you have finished adding information about your link, click on the Add Link button to save your new link …
(Click on the Add Link button to update your link settings)
Note: If you tick the checkbox next to Keep this link private, the link will not be visible in your Links section …
(Private link checkbox)
Making a link private lets you toggle link visibility on or off without deleting it (this is useful if you want your link to display during certain periods and hide it afterwards) …
(Making links private toggles their visibility on and off)
To view a list of all your links, select Links > All Links in the main admin menu …
(Links – All Links)
You will be taken to the ‘Links’ screen. The Links page displays all your links and link information (e.g. link URL, link categories, relationship, etc.) …
Tip: To view additional options in the Links page, click on the ‘Screen Options’ tab near the top of the screen …
(Screen Options – Links table)
Show/hide fields on your table of links by ticking/unticking their check boxes …
(List of links – Hide or display screen options)
To modify a link in the Link Manager, go to your WP dashboard navigation menu and select Links > All Links to bring up the table of links …
(Links – All Links)
Select the link you want to edit and click on Edit to bring up the link’s information …
(Editing your links)
Edit the link fields …
(Edit Link page)
After you’re done editing the link, you can:
- Click the Update Link button to save your link details,
- Click on Visit Link to see your link and make sure that you have set up its URL correctly (your link will open in a new window),
- Click Delete to remove the link if you no longer require it …
(Update Link button)
Deleting Your Links
To delete links from the Link Manager, go to the admin menu and click on Links > All Links …
(Links – All Links)
This brings up the ‘Links’ table in your browser.
You can delete links individually, delete multiple links by selecting their check boxes, or delete all links.
To delete individual links, hover your cursor over the link title you want removed and click on Delete …
To delete a number of links at once, either click on the checkbox next to every link that you want to be removed, or select all links by clicking on the checkbox next to the ‘Name’ column header at the top of the list …
(Delete multiple links)
Choose Delete from the ‘Bulk Actions’ pull-down menu, and click Apply to remove your selected links …
The links you have selected will be removed …
(Deleted links notice)
Using The Link Manager Plugin
Now that you know how to configure link categories and how to add, edit and delete links, it’s time to make links display on your website or blog.
Using The Links Widget
Installing the Links Manager plugin adds a ‘Links’ widget to your ‘Widgets’ page.
To access and configure your Link widgets, go to the admin menu and click on Appearance > Widgets …
(WP Appearance – Widgets)
The ‘Widgets’ page will load in your browser.
You will see that a ‘Links’ widget has been added to the Available Widgets section …
To make the ‘Links’ widget active, drag the widget to one of the active widget sections and drop it wherever you want your links to show up …
(Add a links widget to a widgetized area)
The Links widget provides various configurable settings. You can specify what information you would like displayed about your links and how many links you want displayed on your sidebar …
(Link widget - configurable options)
You can add as many link widgets as you want. This lets you create and feature specific lists of links throughout your site …
(Add multiple link widgets to your widget bars)
You can select a link category …
(Link widget settings – Select Link Category)
You can sort links by Link title, Link rating, Link ID, or display links in Random order …
(Link widget options – Sort by options)
Once you are done setting up the links widget, click Save to update your settings. A link section should show on your website …
(Links can be displayed on your site’s sidebar)
As the above example shows, you can display specific links to your site visitors (e.g. a list for a specific link category only), and add multiple lists of links to your sidebar menu.
Need more help with widgets? We have written a detailed article about using widgets. For more details, go here:
Links Manager – Additional Information
If you have added many links, the Link Manager plugin allows you to easily administer these using search, filter, and sort features.
Sort Your Links
To sort links, hover your mouse cursor over the title of the column you want to sort and click on the little triangle displayed next to the column title …
(Sorting links function)
Type a search term into the search field and click the Search Links button …
(You can search links using the search function)
You can filter links by category …
(Filter links by link category)
You can also search and filter links in the Link Categories screen. Use the ‘Search Link Categories’ button to find link categories, or click on the category links in the ‘Links’ column …
(Search and filter links in the Link Categories screen)
This displays a list of all links listed under a specific link category …
(Links filtered by link category)
Links – Additional Options
If you plan to add a lot of links to your website or blog, or if you want to add a ‘Links’ page to your site (i.e. not just add a links section to your sidebar), then you may want to look at using a plugin that can help you administer links, like Link Library.
(Link Library WordPress Plugin)
Link Library allows you to display a list of all your link categories with a complete list of links plus notes and descriptions …
(Link Library links. Image source: Link Library plugin documentation.)
This plugin creates a page on your web site containing all the link categories in your Links section, and all links defined for these categories. You can select a sub-set of categories to display or not display, show only one category at a time, display a search box and find results based on visitor queries, display a form to accept user submissions that can be moderated by a site administrator, and even generate an RSS feed of your links that lets your site users be made aware of additions to your link library.
To learn more about Link Library:
Congratulations! Now you know how to add a blogroll to WordPress.
We have written a comprehensive article about creating links in your WordPress content. To learn more about this go here:
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