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 Do I Add Links To My WordPress Site?As you discover more about WordPress, you may occasionally come across references to the term blogroll.

A blogroll is a list of hyperlinks pointing to other sites or web pages displayed on your sidebar section.

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 a links section to your WordPress sidebar (e.g. a “Recommended Resources” section) using widgets.

Info

Before WordPress v 3.5 was released, Links were a core feature of the WordPress CMS. From v 3.5 onwards, the Links manager and blogroll sections were hidden by default in new installations …

Before …

WP Links Feature - pre v3.5

(The Links Manager feature – part of the WordPress menu until the release of WordPress v 3.5)

After …

Links  - no longer shown in the WordPress menu after WP v3.5

(Links – no longer displayed in the WordPress menu after WordPress v.3.5)

If you’ve had an earlier version of WordPress than v.3.5 installed and upgraded your installation, the Links Manager would be removed, unless you’ve previously used it.

 

How To Add A Link Section To WordPress

Tip

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 Links feature when you log into your WP dashboard you will need to install a plugin. This step-by-step tutorial will show you how to add and manage blogroll links on your site’s sidebar using WordPress plugins.

Link Manager

Link Manager WordPress Plugin

(Link Manager WordPress Plugin)

Download URL

http://wordpress.org/plugins/link-manager

Description

This plugin displays the built-in 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 template code to your installation in order 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 this plugin, then use the one below instead, or contact us for help editing your site’s template code.

Simple Links

Simple Links

(Simple Links – Link Manager Plugin For WordPress)

Plugin Download URL

https://wordpress.org/plugins/simple-links/

Plugin Description

This plugin attempts to recreate the concept of the built-in Link Manager while addressing the shortcomings of the deprecated functionality.

Installing Link Manager

To install the Link Manager plugin, follow these instructions:

In your WordPress administration menu, select Plugins > Add New

Plugins Menu - Add New

(Plugins – Add New)

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

How To Install The Plugin

Locate the plugin in the results area and click Install Now

Plugin Installation

Activate the plugin …

Installing The Plugin

After you have activated the plugin, WordPress will display a ‘Links’ item on your navigation menu …

Links management menu

(Links management menu section)

Plugin Configuration

We recommend setting up link categories first before adding any new links. This way, you can assign any new links to link categories you have already created.

Link Categories

To create a link category, go to the navigation menu and select Links > Link Categories

Links - Link Categories

(Links Menu – Link Categories)

The ‘Link Categories’ screen will display in your browser.

Type in information into the following fields:

  • Name: Whatever you type here displays as the link category name.
  • Slug: The slug is the URL bit of the link category. It must all be in lowercase letters and contain no spaces (use hyphens to separate words).
  • Description: Some themes may display a link category description.

Click Add New Link Category to save …

Link Categories area

(Link Categories)

Your category details will display in the table …

Link Categories screen

(Link Categories page)

Useful Info

Tip: Blogroll is the default link category name. Unless you specify a category for a link, WordPress automatically assigns new links to the default category …

Default link category

(Default link category name is ‘blogroll’)

You may want to change this default link category name to something that will make sense to your blog readers. This not only makes it easier for visitors, but any new links that you add to your site will automatically appear under the new category name …

Consider changing the default 'blogroll' to something better suited to your business

(we recommend changing the default link category name to something your visitors will understand)

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

Edit the default link category name

(Quick Edit)

Replace both the Name and the Slug with a new category name (remember to keep the slug in lowercase letters and replace all spaces with a hyphen), then click on Update Link Category

Editing the link category

(Update Link Category)

Replace the link category name ‘Blogroll’ with a name more suitable to your purposes (e.g. ‘Recommended’, ‘Resources’ etc).

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

Link category description

(You can add/edit the category description)

Enter your description in the ‘Edit Link Category’ screen and click Update

Edit Link Category area

(Edit Link Category area)

Repeat the above process to add as many link categories as your site requires.

After configuring your link categories, you can being adding your links.

Adding New Links

To create a new link, select Links > Add New in your dashboard navigation menu …

WP Links Menu - Add New

(Links – Add New)

This takes you to the ‘Add New Link’ screen …

Add New Link screen

(Add New Link page)

You can also access this page by clicking on the ‘Add New’ button in the main Links screen …

Add New Link button

(Add New Link button)

The ‘Add New Links’ page is divided into the following sections:

Name, Web Address & Description

Enter details about your link in this section …

Add New Link - Name, Web Address& Description

(Add New Link screen – Name, Web Address& Description)

Type in the following information:

  • Name: Enter the link category name.
  • Slug: The slug shows up in the web address of the link category. 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 with their mouse.
Categories & Target

Select a Category and Target for the new link …

Categories & Target - Add New Link

(Categories & Target – Add New Link)

In the Categories section, select a link category you have already created, or click on ’+ Add New Category’ to add a new category.

Next, select a target frame radio button for your link in the Target section. This lets you specify where your link should open when a visitor clicks on it:

  • _blank means that a new browser window will open up to display the information associated with the link.
  • _none means that when visitors click on the link, they will leave 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. If you don’t use frames, or if you don’t know what frames are, then ignore this option.
Link Relationship XFN

This section provides some additional link functionality …

Link Relationship (XFN) fields

(Add New Link – Link Relationship (XFN) fields)

Link Relationship (XFN) – XFN stands for XML Friends Network – allows you to define your relationship with the linked person. For example, if you work with Anna O’Malley and you link to her blog, you would probably check co-worker or colleague.

XFN relationships are optional for WordPress links. You can leave everything in this section blank and your links will still work. XFN makes your links more understandable to some websites and search engines that use this information.

rel – This field specifies 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, enter nofollow into this field. Other ‘rel’ attributes include author, help, index, start, etc. Separate multiple ‘rel’ keywords with spaces.

To learn more about XFN, visit the site below:

Advanced

The last section of the Add New Link’ page lets you enter Advanced features for your links (some themes will ignore this. You can leave these fields blank unless there’s a good reason to use them) …

Advanced area - Add New Link

(Add New Link page – Advanced link settings)

The Advanced link settings section includes the following options:

  • Image Address: Lets you specify an image to be displayed with the link. To use this feature, add the URL of where the image is located 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 display next to the links.
  • Notes: This section lets you add notes for your own internal reference.
  • Rating: Add a rating score to the link if you want to sort links by rating (see the ‘Links’ widget section below).

Type in your information into the above fields or just leave this section blank, as these are not essential for links to work.

When you have finished adding your new link information, click on Add Link to update your link settings …

click on the Add Link button to save your new link

(Click on Add Link to update your link settings)

Important Info

Note: If you select the Keep this link private checkbox, your link will not be visible in your Links section …

Private link checkbox

(Private link checkbox)

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

Making links private toggles their visibility on and off

(Making links private toggles their visibility on and off)

To view a list of all your links, go to the dashboard menu and choose Links > All Links

Links Menu - All Links

(WordPress Links Menu – All Links)

This brings up the ‘Links’ screen in your web browser. The Links screen displays all your links and link information (e.g. link URL, link categories, rating, etc.) …

List of Links

(Links table)

Practical Tip

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

Screen Options - Table of Links

(Links page – Screen Options)

Display/hide fields on your table of links by ticking/unticking their checkboxes …

Show/hide links

(Hide or display – Links page)

How To Edit Your Link Information

To edit a link, choose Links > All Links in the dashboard navigation menu to bring up your table of links …

Links - All Links

(Links Menu – All Links)

Select the link to be edited and click on Edit to bring up the link’s information …

Editing link information

(Editing your link information)

Change your link details …

Edit Link page

(Edit Link screen)

After you’re done editing the link, you can:

  • Click on Update Link to save and update your link details,
  • Click on Visit Link to view your link and check that you have set up the link’s URL correctly (the link will open in a new window),
  • Click Delete to delete the link if it’s no longer required …

Update Link button

(Edit Link: Update Link button)

How To Delete Your Links

To delete links, go to the WP dashboard navigation menu and click on Links > All Links

WordPress Links Menu - All Links

(Links Menu – All Links)

This brings up the ‘Links’ screen.

You can delete links individually, delete multiple links by selecting their check boxes, or perform a bulk delete.

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

Deleting your links

(Delete links)

To delete multiple links, either tick the check box next to every item that you want deleted, 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

(Delete multiple links)

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

Links: bulk-deletion function

(Links: bulk-delete function)

All the links you have selected will be removed …

Deleted links notice

(Link deletion notice)

Using The Plugin

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

Using The Links Widget

Installing the Link Manager plugin adds a ‘Links’ widget to your ‘Widgets’ section.

To access and configure your Link widgets, select Appearance > Widgets in your WP admin menu …

WordPress Appearance - Widgets

(Appearance – Widgets)

This takes you to the ‘Widgets’ page.

You will notice a ‘Links’ widget in the Available Widgets section …

Links widget

(Links widget)

To make the ‘Links’ widget active, drag the widget to one of the active widget areas and drop it wherever you want your links section to display …

Drag & drop your links widget to add it to a widgetized menu

(Adding a links widget to your sidebar using drag and drop)

The Links widget provides various options. You can specify what information you would like to display about your links and how many links you would like to display on your sidebar …

Link widget - options

(Link widget - settings)

You can also add as many link widgets as you want. This allows you to create and feature specific a number of lists of links throughout your site …

Add a number of link widgets to your sidebar

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

Display a list of links for a specific category …

Link widget options - Select Link Category

(Link widget options – Select Link Category)

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

Link widget options - Sort by options

(Link widget settings – Sorting options)

When you have finished setting up the links widget, click Save to update your settings. Your links should appear on your sidebar menu …

An example of how links can be displayed on a sidebar

(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.

Tip

Need more help with widgets? We have written a detailed article on widgets. For more details:

Links Manager – Additional Information

If you have loads of links, the Links Manager plugin allows you to easily administer these using filter, search, and sort features.

Sorting Your Links

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

(Sort links)

Finding Your Links

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

Finding links function

(You can search your links with the search function)

Filter Links

You can filter links by category …

Filter links by categories

(Filter links by link categories)

You can also search and filter links in the Link Categories page. Use the ‘Search Link Categories’ button to search for link categories, or click on the links in the ‘Links’ column …

Search and filter links in the Link Categories screen

(Search and filter links in the Link Categories screen)

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

Links filtered by link category

(Links filtered by link category)

Links – Additional Options

If you plan to use links extensively on your site, or if you want 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 look at using a plugin that can help you administer links, like Link Library.

Link Library

Link Library

(Link library – WordPress Link Management Plugin)

Plugin Download URL

http://wordpress.org/plugins/link-library/

Plugin Description

Link Library allows you to display a list of your link categories and a complete list of all your links together with descriptions and notes …

List of links created with Link library

(Link Library links. Screenshot taken from Link Library plugin site.)

This plugin creates a page on your website containing 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 of your link collection so that your site users can be made aware of any additions made to to your link library.

For more details about the benefits of using this WordPress plugin, go here:

Adding A WordPress Blogroll Section

Congratulations! Now you know how to how to add a blogroll and manage links in WordPress.

Useful Tip

We have written a detailed article on how to easily create hyperlinks in WordPress posts and pages. Go here to learn more:

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