As you continue to discover more about WordPress, you may occasionally come across something called a blogroll.
In WordPress terminology, a list of hyperlinks displayed on your sidebar area is often 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 feature lets you easily add and manage external links to a widget-ready theme.
Before WordPress v 3.5 was released, Links were a visible feature of the WordPress CMS. After v.3.5, the Links Manager section was kept hidden by default in new installations …
(WP Links Manager Feature – pre v 3.5)
(Post v3.5 – no WordPress Links Manager)
If you’ve had an earlier version than v 3.5 installed and upgraded your installation, the Link Manager would be removed, unless you have previously used it.
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 the Links menu section is not displayed when you log into your WordPress dashboard, you can add it by installing a plugin. In this tutorial, you will learn how to add and manage blogroll links on your site’s sidebar using plugins.
(Link Manager Plugin)
Description Of Plugin
You can use this plugin to restore the default Links Manager, even if you update WordPress to a later version or remove all of your current links.
Note: This plugin adds a single line of code to your installation to restore the hidden feature. When we last checked, the plugin had not been updated for a while, 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 template code.
(Simple Links – WordPress Link Management Plugin)
Simple Links recreates the same concept as the built-in Link Manager while addressing the shortcomings of the deprecated feature.
Let’s install the Link Manager plugin.
From the WordPress administration area, select Plugins > Add New …
(Plugins – Add New)
Select the Install Plugins > Search tab, type in “link manager” into the search field and hit Enter …
Find the plugin in the results area and click Install Now …
Activate the plugin after it has been installed …
After activation, WordPress displays a ‘Links’ section on the WP sidebar menu screen …
(Links management menu section)
Before you start adding links, we recommend setting up your link categories. This way, when you add a new link, you can assign your link to link categories you have already created.
To create a link category, click on Links > Link Categories in the main navigation menu …
(Links – Link Categories)
The ‘Link Categories’ screen will load in your web browser.
Enter information into the following fields:
- Name: Whatever you enter here will display as the link category name.
- Slug: The slug appears in the URL of the link category. Use only lowercase letters without spaces (use hyphens to separate words).
- Description: Some themes may display your link category description.
When done, click Add New Link Category to save your new link category …
The link category will display in the table …
(Link Categories screen)
Tip: Blogroll is the default link category name. Unless you specify the category when adding a new link, WordPress automatically assigns new links to the default category …
(Default link category name is ‘blogroll’)
You may want to change the default WordPress link category name to something that will make sense to readers. This not only makes it easier for visitors, but any new links that you add to the Links section will automatically display under the new category name …
(Change the default ’blogroll’ to something your visitors will relate to)
To edit the default category name, hover your mouse over the category name and click on the Quick Edit link …
(Editing the default link category)
Change both the Name and the Slug with a new category name, and click on the Update link Category button …
(Update Link Category)
In our example, the category ‘Blogroll’ has been replaced with a more suitable category name (e.g. ‘Recommended’).
Let’s now add a description for this link category. To add a link category description, click on the Edit link under the category name …
(You can add/edit your category description)
Add your description in the ‘Edit Link Category’ screen and click Update …
(Edit Link Category page)
Repeat this process to add as many different link categories as you need.
Once you have set up your link categories, you can add your links.
How To Add New Links
To create a new link, choose Links > Add New in the navigation menu …
(WP Links Menu – Add New)
You will be taken to the ‘Add New Link’ screen …
(Add New Link screen)
You can also reach this page by clicking on the ‘Add New’ button in the main Links page …
(Links screen – Add New Link button)
The ‘Add New Links’ page includes various sections:
Name, Web Address & Description
The first section is where you enter details about your link …
(Name, Web Address, Description section – Add New Link)
Type in the following information:
- Name: Enter the category name.
- Slug: The slug shows up in the URL of the link category name. Use lowercase letters only without 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 with their mouse.
Categories & Target
After typing in your link details, select a Category and Target for your link …
(Categories & Target fields)
In the Categories section, tick a link category you have already set up, or click on ’+ Add New Category’ to create a new category link.
Also, select a target frame radio button for your link in the Target section. This lets you specify how you want your link to open when clicked on:
- _blank means that when visitors click on your link, a new window will open up in their browser to display the content for that link.
- _none means that when a visitor clicks on the link, they will leave your site and a new site 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. Don’t worry about this option if you don’t use frames, or if you don’t know what frames are.
Link Relationship XFN
This section provides some additional link functionality …
(Link Relationship (XFN) – Add New Link)
Link Relationship (XFN) – XFN (XML Friends Network) allows you to define your relationship to the linked person. For example, if you have a professional relationship with Aarohi Anderson and you link to her blog, you would probably tick co-worker or colleague.
XFN relationships are optional for WordPress links. You can ignore this section and all your links will still work. Defining relationships with XFN makes your links more understandable to some sites and search engines that use this information.
rel – This field specifies the ‘rel’ attribute that will be assigned to your link. The rel attribute specifies what relationship exists between the current document and the linked document. For example, if you don’t want search engines to follow your link, type nofollow into this field. Other ‘rel’ attributes include author, index, start, help, etc.
To learn more about XFN, visit the site below:
The last section allows you to specify Advanced features for your links (You can leave the fields in this section empty unless there’s a good reason to use them) …
The Advanced section contain the following fields:
- Image Address: Specify an image to be displayed with the link. 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 RSS feed associated with the link can be displayed next to the links.
- Notes: Add notes about the link in this section for your own internal reference.
- Rating: You can add a rating score to the link if you want to sort links by rating (see the ‘Links’ widget section below).
Enter information in the above fields or just leave this section ignore this section.
When you have finished adding information about your link, click on the Add Link button to save your new link …
(Click on Add Link to save your new link)
Note: If you select Keep this link private, your link will not be visible in your Blogroll section …
(Make your links private)
Making a link private lets you toggle link visibility on and off without deleting it (this is useful if you would like a link to display during certain periods and hide it afterwards) …
(Toggle link visibility on and off)
To view all your links, go to the WP admin menu and choose Links > All Links …
(Links Menu – All Links)
You will be taken to the ‘Links’ table. The Links table displays your links and link information (e.g. link URL, link categories, rating, etc.) …
Tip: To display additional columns in the Links table, click on the ‘Screen Options’ tab near the top of the screen …
(List of links – Screen Options)
Display/hide fields on your Links table by selecting/deselecting their check boxes …
(Show/hide – List of links)
Editing Your Links
To edit links, go to your WP dashboard menu and choose Links > All Links to bring up your table of links …
(Links Menu – All Links)
Select the link you want to edit and click on Edit to bring up the link’s information …
Make the changes you want to the link fields …
(Edit Link page)
After editing the link, you can:
- Click the Update Link button to save your link details,
- Click on Visit Link to make sure that you have set up everything correctly (your link will open in a new window),
- Click Delete to remove the link if you no longer require it …
(Edit Link: Update Link button)
Deleting Your Links
To remove a link from the Link Manager, select Links > All Links in the WP dashboard navigation menu …
(Links Menu – All Links)
This loads the ‘Links’ screen in your browser.
You can delete links individually, delete multiple links by selecting their check boxes, or perform a bulk delete.
To delete individual links, hover your mouse cursor over the link title that you want to remove and click Delete …
(Deleting your links)
To delete multiple links, either tick the check boxes next to individual links that you would like removed, or select all links by clicking on the check box next to the ‘Name’ column header at the top of the list …
(Deleting multiple links)
Choose Delete from the ‘Bulk Actions’ menu, and click Apply to delete all selected links …
The links you have selected will be deleted …
(links deleted notification)
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 learn how to make links display on your website.
The Link Manager plugin adds a ‘Links’ widget to your ‘Widgets’ section.
To access and configure your Link widgets, choose Appearance > Widgets in the main admin menu …
(Appearance Menu – Widgets)
The ‘Widgets’ page will display in your browser.
You will notice that a ‘Links’ widget has been added to the Available Widgets section …
Drag the ‘Links’ widget to one of your widget bars and drop it wherever you want the links section to display …
(Add a links widget to your WordPress sidebar)
The Links widget offers a number of options. You can specify what information you want to display about your links and how many links you want displayed on your sidebar …
(Link widget options)
You can also add multiple link widgets to your sidebar. This lets you add and display link lists on your site …
(Add multiple link widgets to your widget bars)
You can add and display a list of items for a specific category …
(Link widget settings – Select Link Category)
You can sort links by Link ID, Link title, Link rating, or display links in Random order …
(Link widget options – Sorting options)
Once you are done configuring the links widget, click the Save button to update your settings. A links will show on your site …
(An example of how 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 using widgets? Go here to learn more about widgets:
Links Manager – Additional Information
If you have many links, the Links Manager plugin allows you to easily administer these using search, sort, and filter features.
Sorting Links Function
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 …
(You can sort your links)
Searching Your Links
Find links using the ‘Search Links’ feature …
(Search your links)
Filtering Your Links
You can filter links by category …
(Filter links by link categories)
You can also search and filter links in the Link Categories page. Use the ‘Search Link Categories’ button to find link categories, or click on the category links in the ‘Links’ column …
(searching and filtering links in the Link Categories screen)
This displays a list of all links listed for a specific link category …
(Links filtered by link category)
Additional Link Options
If you plan to add lots of links to your site, or if you intend to add a page containing a list of links to your site (i.e. not just add links on your sidebar), then you may want to consider using a plugin that can help you administer links.
Download Plugin URL
Link Library allows you to publish a list of all your link categories and a complete list of all your links with notes and descriptions …
(Link Library links. Image sourced from Link Library plugin documentation.)
This plugin can be used to create a page on your web site that contains a list of all of the link categories in your Links area, and all links listed in these categories. Additionally, 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 for your link collection so that your site users can be made aware of additions to your link library.
To learn more this WordPress plugin, go here:
Congratulations! Now you know how to add a blogroll to your WordPress site.
To learn more about how to easily add HTML hyperlinks to your WordPress content, see this article:
"I was absolutely amazed at the scope and breadth of these tutorials! The most in-depth training I have ever received on any subject!" - Myke O'Neill, DailyGreenPost.com