How To Add A Link Section To WordPress

Before the release of WordPress v3.5, Links were a core feature of WordPress. This tutorial shows you how to restore this feature to your site …

How To Add A WordPress Links SectionAs you discover more about WordPress, you may occasionally come across the term blogroll.

WordPress refers to a list of links pointing to other sites or web pages that display on your sidebar menu 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.”

You can display a featured links section on your website using the Link Manager plugin.


Before the release of WordPress v.3.5, Links were a visible feature of the WordPress CMS. After version 3.5, the Links manager and blogroll sections were removed …

Before …

Links  - part of the dashboard menu until the release of WordPress v3.5

(WordPress Links Manager – pre version 3.5)

After …

The Link Manager feature  - excluded from the admin menu after WordPress version 3.5

(The Link Manager is no longer part of WordPress after WordPress v3.5)

If you’ve had an earlier version of WordPress than v.3.5 installed and upgraded your installation, then the Links Manager would have been 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 you can’t see the Link Manager section when you log into your WordPress dashboard you will need to install a plugin. This tutorial explains how to add, edit, delete and manage links on your site’s sidebar using plugins.

Link Manager

Link Manager Plugin

(Link Manager)

Plugin URL


Use this plugin to display the default Links Manager, even if you upgrade WordPress to a later version or remove all of your existing links.

Note: All this plugin does is add a single line of template code to your installation 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 one below instead, or contact us for help editing your site’s template code.

Simple Links

Simple Links

(Simple Links WordPress Plugin)

Plugin Download URL

Description Of Plugin

This plugin attempts to recreate the concept of the built-in WP Links Manager while addressing the shortcomings of the deprecated feature.

Installing Link Manager

Let’s install the Link Manager plugin.

From your WP dashboard menu, select Plugins > Add New

Plugins - Add New

(Plugins – Add New)

Select the Install Plugins > Search tab, then type ”link manager” into the search field and hit Enter

Plugin Installation

Find the plugin in the results area and click Install Now

Installing The Plugin

Activate the plugin …

Installing The Plugin

After activation, WordPress adds a ‘Links’ section to your WP dashboard menu area …

WordPress links menu section

(Links menu section)

Plugin Setup

Before adding links, we recommend setting up your link categories. This way, when adding a new link, you can assign the link to link categories you have already created.

Link Categories

To create a link category, click on Links > Link Categories in the main navigation menu …

Links Menu - Link Categories

(Links – Link Categories)

This loads the ‘Link Categories’ screen in your web browser.

Type in the following information:

  • Name: Enter the category name.
  • Slug: The slug displays in the URL of the link category name. Only use lower case letters and do not include spaces (use hyphens to separate words).
  • Description: Some themes may display a link category description.

When finished, click the Add New Link Category button to save your new link category …

Link Categories

(Link Categories)

The new category will be added to the list …

Link Categories

(Link Categories)


Tip: WordPress calls its default link category Blogroll . Unless you specify the category when creating a new link, WordPress will assign new links to the default category …

Default link category

(Default link category)

You may want to change this to something better suited to your business. This not only makes it easier for visitors, but any new links that you add to your site will automatically be assigned to the new category name …

Consider changing the default link category name to something your visitors will understand

(we recommend changing the default link category name to something better suited to your business)

To change the default category name, hover your mouse over the category name and click on the Quick Edit link …

Quick Edit

(Quick Edit)

Change both the Name and the Slug with a new category name, and click on Update Link Category

Update Link Category

(Quick Edit)

In our example, the link category ‘Blogroll’ has been replaced with an appropriate links section name (e.g. ‘Recommended’).

Let’s insert a link category description. To add a description to an existing link category, click on Edit under the category name …

You can add/edit the category description

(You can add/edit your category description)

Enter your description in the ‘Edit Link Category’ screen and click Update done to save your settings …

Edit Link Category page

(Edit Link Category screen)

Repeat this process to add as many different link categories as you need.

After configuring your link categories, you can add new links.

How To Add New Links

To create a new link, go to your WP dashboard navigation menu and click on Links > Add New

Links - Add New

(Links Menu – Add New)

The ‘Add New Link’ screen will load in your web browser …

Add New Link page

(Add New Link screen)

You can also access this screen by clicking on the ‘Add New’ button at the top of the main Links screen …

Links - Add New Link button

(Links screen – Add New Link button)

The ‘Add New Links’ page has various sections:

Name, Web Address & Description

Enter details about your link in this section …

Add New Link - Name, Web Address, Description

(Name, Web Address& Description)

Enter information into the following sections:

  • Name: Enter the category name here.
  • Slug: The slug shows up in the SEO friendly 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 link details, select a Category and Target for the new link …

Categories & Target fields - Add New Link page

(Categories & Target area – Add New Link)

In the Categories section, tick a link category you have already set up, or click on the ‘+ Add New Category’ link to create 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 a visitor clicks on it:

  • _blank means that when visitors click on the link, a new, separate web browser window will open up to display the content associated with the link.
  • _none means that when a visitor clicks on the link, they will exit your site and a new site or page will load in your browser window instead.
  • _top opens the link at the top level of the frame system if you’re using frames. Ignore 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) section

(Add New Link – Link Relationship (XFN))

Link Relationship (XFN) – XFN (XML Friends Network) allows you to define your relationship with the linked person. For example, if you have a professional relationship with Liam Cooper and you link to his blog, you would probably check co-worker or colleague.

XFN relationships are optional. You can leave everything in this section blank and your links will still work. XFN makes the links defined on your site more understandable to some sites 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 defines a relationship 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, start, index, help, etc. Separate multiple ‘rel’ keywords with spaces.

You can learn more about XFN by visiting the site below:


The last section allows you to enter Advanced features for your links (some themes will ignore this. You can ignore this section, unless there’s a good reason to use it) …

Advanced fields

(Add New Link – Advanced link settings)

The Advanced section fields include the following:

  • Image Address: Lets you specify an image to be displayed with the link. To use this feature, add an image URL and make sure that your image is small (around 16×16 like a favicon).
  • RSS Address: If your theme allows it, the link’s RSS feed will display next to your link.
  • Notes: Add notes about the link in this section for your own internal reference.
  • Rating: Add a rating score to the link if you would like 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 are done adding your new link information, click on the Add Link button to save your new link …

click on the Add Link button to save your new link

(Click on Add Link to update your link settings)


Note: If you select the checkbox next to Keep this link private, your link will not be visible when links are displayed on your site …

Make your links private

(Private link checkbox)

Making links private lets you add links and then toggle their visibility on or off without deleting your links (this is useful if you want to use seasonal links) …

Toggle link visibility on and off

(Toggle link visibility on and off)

To see all the links you have created, go to the dashboard navigation menu and click on Links > All Links

Links Menu - All Links

(Links – All Links)

The ‘Links’ page will load in your web browser. The table of links displays all your links and link information (e.g. link URL, categories, rating, etc.) …

List of Links

(Links table)

Useful Tip

Tip: To view additional options in the table of links, click on the ‘Screen Options’ tab at the top of the screen …

Links table - Screen Options

(Links screen – Screen Options)

Show/hide fields on your table of links by selecting/deselecting their check boxes …

Show/hide links

(Show/hide links)

Editing Your Link Information

To modify a link in the Link Manager, click on Links > All Links in your WP navigation menu to bring up your links page …

Links Menu - All Links

(Links Menu – All Links)

Select the item you want to edit and click on Edit to bring up the link’s details …

Editing links

(Editing your link information)

Change your link details …

Edit Link screen

(Edit Link screen)

After editing your link, you can:

  • Click on Update Link to save your link details,
  • Click on Visit Link to see your link and check that you have set up everything correctly (your link will open up in a new window),
  • Click Delete to delete the link from your link table …

Edit Link: Update Link button

(Edit Link: Update Link button)

Deleting Your Links

To delete a link, click on Links > All Links in the WP dashboard menu …

Links - All Links

(WordPress Links Menu – All Links)

This brings up the ‘Links’ table.

You can delete links individually, delete multiple links by selecting their check boxes, or remove all your links.

To delete links individually, hover your mouse cursor over the link that you want to remove and click on Delete

Delete links

(Delete your links)

To delete multiple links, either click on the check boxes next to individual items that you would like to be removed, or select all links by clicking on the check box next to the ‘Name’ column header …

Delete multiple links

(Delete multiple links)

Choose Delete from the ‘Bulk Actions’ menu, and click the Apply button to delete all selected links …

Bulk-deletion of links

(Bulk-deletion of links)

The selected links will be removed …

Link deletion notice

(links deleted notification)

Plugin Usage

Now that you know how to configure link categories and how to add, edit and delete links, let’s show you how to make links display on your website or blog.

Using The Links Widget

The Link Manager plugin adds a ‘Links’ widget to your ‘Widgets’ page.

To access and configure your Link widgets, choose Appearance > Widgets in the WP dashboard menu …

Appearance - Widgets

(Appearance – Widgets)

The ‘Widgets’ screen will load in your web browser.

You will see that a ‘Links’ widget has been added to the Available Widgets section …

Links widget

(Links widget)

To make the ‘Links’ widget active, drag it to one of your active widget bars in the Widgets page and drop it wherever you want your links to show up …

Drag & drop the links widget to add it to a widgetized area

(Add a links widget to your WordPress widget bar using drag & drop)

The Links widget offers various configurable options. For example, you can specify what information you want to show about your links and how many links you want displayed on your sidebar …

Link widget - configurable settings

(Link widget - configurable options)

You can add multiple link widgets to your sidebar and footer. This allows you to add and display link categories throughout your site …

You can add multiple link widgets to your widget bars

(You can add a number of link widgets to your sidebar)

Display a list of items for a specific category …

Link widget options - Select Link Category

(Link widget settings – Select Link Category)

You can sort links by Link title, Link ID, Link rating, or display links in Random order …

Link widget settings - Sorting options

(Link widget settings – Sorting options)

After configuring the links widget, click Save to update your settings. A link section should now appear on your website’s sidebar …

Links can be displayed on a sidebar

(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.

Useful Tip

Need more help with widgets? We have written a detailed article about adding widgets. Go here to learn more:

Links Manager – Additional Information

If you have added many links, the Link Manager plugin allows you to easily administer these with filtering, searching, and sorting features.

Sorting Links Function

To sort links, hover your cursor over the title of the column you want to sort and click on the little triangle displayed next to the column title …

Sort links

(You can sort links)

Searching Your Links

Type a search term into the search field and click the Search Links button to find links …

You can easily find links with the search function

(Find your links)

Filter Links

You can filter links by categories …

Filter your links by category

(Filter your 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 links in the ‘Links’ column …

searching and filtering links in the Link Categories screen

(Search and filter links in the Link Categories page)

This displays a list of all links listed for a specific link category …

Links filtered by link category

(Links filtered by category)

Links – Additional Options

If you plan to use links extensively on your site, or if you would like to add a ‘Links’ page 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.

Link Library

Link library - Plugin For WordPress

(Link Library)

Plugin Download URL

Plugin Description

This plugin allows you to output a list of your link categories with a complete list of all your links together with descriptions and notes …

List of links created with Link library

(Link Library links. Image sourced from Link Library plugin documentation.)

This plugin creates a page on your web site that contains a list of all of the link categories in your Links area, plus all links listed in 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 for your link collection that lets your site users become aware of any additions made to to your link library.

To learn more about this plugin, go here:

How To Add A WordPress Featured Links Section

Congratulations! Now you know how to add a link section to WordPress.

Useful Tip

We have written a detailed article on adding links in your WordPress posts & pages. Go here to learn more about this:


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