As you discover more about WordPress, you may occasionally come across the term blogroll.
WordPress refers to a list of hyperlinks pointing to other websites or pages that display on your sidebar 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 links to your WordPress sidebar menu (e.g. a “Resources” section) using a widget.
Prior to the release of v 3.5, Links were a visible feature of the WordPress CMS. From v.3.5 onwards, the Links Manager section was hidden by default in new WordPress installations …
(Links – part of the menu until the release of WordPress v 3.5)
(Post v 3.5 – no WordPress Links Manager)
If you’ve used an earlier version of WordPress than v3.5 and upgraded your installation, then the Links Manager would be removed, unless you’ve 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 Links feature when you log into your WordPress dashboard you will need to install a plugin. This tutorial explains how to add and manage blogroll links on your site’s sidebar using plugins.
(Link Manager WordPress Plugin)
The Link Manager plugin restores the built-in Links Manager, even if you upgrade to a later version of WordPress 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. 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 this plugin, then use the one below instead, or contact us for help editing your template code.
Description Of Plugin
Simple Links recreates the same concept as the built-in WP Link Manager while addressing the shortcomings of the deprecated functionality.
Installing The Plugin
Let’s install the Link Manager plugin.
In your WP administration area, select Plugins > Add New …
(Plugins – Add New)
Click on the Install Plugins > Search tab, then type in “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 installing it …
After activation, a ‘Links’ item will show up in your dashboard menu area …
(WordPress links menu)
We recommend setting up your link categories first before you start adding links. This way, when adding a new link, you can assign the link to link categories you have already created.
To create a new link category, select Links > Link Categories in the main navigation menu …
(Links Menu – Link Categories)
You will be taken to the ‘Link Categories’ screen.
Type in the following information:
- Name: Enter the link category name here.
- Slug: The slug appears in the search-engine friendly URL of the link category name. Use only lowercase letters and do not include spaces (use hyphens to separate words).
- Description: Some themes may display a link category description.
Click Add New Link Category …
Your category details will display in the table …
(Link Categories page)
Tip: Blogroll is the default link category name. Unless you specify a category when adding a new link, WordPress automatically assigns new links to the default category …
(Default link category name)
You may want to change the default link category name to something that will make sense to visitors. This will not only make it easier for users of your site, but any new links that you add to your site will automatically be assigned to the new category name …
(Change the default ’blogroll’ to something better suited to your business)
To edit the ‘Blogroll’ link name, hover your mouse over the item and click on Quick Edit …
(Editing the default link category)
Replace 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 link category ‘Blogroll’ has been replaced with an appropriate links section category name (e.g. ‘Recommended’).
Let’s add a description for this link category. To add a description to an existing link category, click on the Edit link under the category name …
(You can add/edit the category description)
Enter your description in the ‘Edit Link Category’ screen and click Update when done …
(Edit Link Category area)
Repeat this process to add as many different link categories as your site needs.
Once you have finished configuring your link categories, you can start adding your links.
Adding New Links
To create a new link, go to the main admin menu and select Links > Add New …
(Links – Add New)
The ‘Add New Link’ screen will load in your web browser …
(Add New Link screen)
You can also reach this page by clicking on the ‘Add New’ button in the main Links page …
(Add New Link button)
The ‘Add New Links’ page is divided into several sections:
Name, Web Address & Description
Enter details about your link in this section …
(Name, Web Address, Description area – Add New Link)
Type in information into the following fields:
- Name: Enter the link category name here.
- Slug: The slug shows up in the web address of the link category. Use only lowercase letters without spaces (use hyphens to separate words).
- Description: Some themes may display your link category description. (Optional)
Categories & Target
Select a Category and Target for the new link …
(Add New Link – Categories & Target fields)
In the Categories section, select one of the link categories you’ve already created, or click on the ‘+ Add New Category’ link to create a new category link.
Also, select a target frame for your link in the Target section by choosing one of the radio buttons. This lets you specify where your link should open when visitors click on it:
- _blank means that when a visitor clicks on the link, a new, separate browser window will open up to display the content for that link. This lets your visitors access the information without leaving your website
- _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. Ignore this option if you don’t use frames, or if you don’t know what frames are.
Link Relationship XFN
This area provides some additional link functionality …
(Add New Link page – Link Relationship (XFN))
Link Relationship (XFN) – XFN (XML Friends Network) is a way to define your relationship to the linked person. For example, if you work with Jennifer Cooper and you link to her blog, you would probably check co-worker or colleague.
XFN relationships are optional. You can leave everything in this section blank and all of 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 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, type nofollow into this field. Separate multiple ‘rel’ keywords using spaces.
To learn more about XFN, visit this site:
The last section of the Add New Link’ screen lets you enter Advanced features for your links (You can leave the fields in this section blank unless you have a reason to use them) …
(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 your 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 your link.
- 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).
Type in your information in 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 the Add Link button to update your link settings …
(Click on Add Link to save your new link)
Note: If you select Keep this link private, the link will not be visible in your Blogroll section …
(Private link checkbox)
Making a link private lets you toggle its visibility on or off without deleting it (this is useful if you would like the link to display during certain times and hide it after it’s no longer required) …
(Making links private toggles their visibility on and off)
To view all the links you have created, go to the WP dashboard navigation menu and select Links > All Links …
(Links Menu – All Links)
This brings up the ‘Links’ table in your browser. The list of links displays all of your links and link information (e.g. URL, link categories, rating, etc.) …
(Table of links)
Tip: To show or hide columns in the table of links, click on the ‘Screen Options’ tab at the top of the screen …
(Screen Options – List of links)
Display/hide fields on your table of links by ticking/unticking their check boxes …
Editing Your Links
To edit a link, go to your WP dashboard navigation menu and choose Links > All Links to bring up your links screen …
(WordPress Links – All Links)
Locate the item to be edited and click on Edit to bring up the link’s details …
(Editing your link information)
Edit the link …
(Edit Link page)
After you’re done editing your link, you can:
- Click the Update Link button to save and update your link details,
- Click on Visit Link to make sure that you have set up its URL correctly (your link will open up in a new window),
- Click Delete to delete the link from your link table if you no longer require it …
(Edit Link: Update Link button)
How To Delete Your Links
To delete links from the Link Manager, click on Links > All Links in the admin menu …
(Links Menu – All Links)
The ‘Links’ page will load in your browser.
You can delete links individually, delete multiple links, or remove all of your links.
To delete links individually, hover your mouse cursor over the link title that you want to remove from the link table and click Delete …
To delete links in bulk, either click on the checkboxes next to individual links that you want to remove, or select all links by clicking on the main check box next to the ‘Name’ column header at the top of the list …
(Deleting multiple links)
Select Delete from the ‘Bulk Actions’ pull-down menu, and click the Apply button to remove all selected links …
(Bulk-deletion of links)
All the links you have selected will be deleted …
(links deleted notice)
Using The Plugin
Now that you know how to set up link categories and how to add, edit and delete links, it’s time to learn how to display links on your website.
The Link Manager plugin adds a ‘Links’ widget to your ‘Widgets’ page.
To access and configure your Link widgets, select Appearance > Widgets in your WP admin menu …
(Appearance Menu – Widgets)
This brings up the ‘Widgets’ page in your web browser.
You will notice a ‘Links’ widget in the Available Widgets section …
To make the ‘Links’ widget active, drag it to one of your active widget sections and drop it wherever you would like your links section to display …
(Adding a links widget to your WordPress sidebar using drag and drop)
The Links widget provides various settings. For example, you can specify what information you would like displayed about your links and how many links you want to display on your sidebar …
(Link widget - configurable settings)
You can add as many link widgets as you want. This lets you add and display links throughout your site …
(You can add multiple link widgets to your widget bars)
Select a link category to display specific links …
(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 – Sort by options)
Once you are done setting up your Links widget, click the Save button to update your settings. Your link section will become visible on your sidebar menu …
(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? To learn more about adding widgets, see this article:
Links Manager – Additional Information
If you have added many links, the Link Manager plugin lets you easily administer these using sort, filter, and search features.
Sorting Links Function
You can sort links by hovering your cursor over the title of the column you want to sort and clicking on the little triangle displayed next to the column title …
Finding Your Links
Search for links using the ‘Search Links’ feature …
(You can find links with the search function)
You can filter links by link categories …
(Filter your links by category)
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 …
(Search and filter links in the Link Categories screen)
This brings up a list of all links listed under a specific link category …
(Links filtered by category)
Links – Additional Options
If you plan to add lots of links to your website or blog, or if you intend to add a page containing a list of links 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 your links.
(Link library – Plugin For WordPress)
Download Plugin URL
The Link Library plugin gives you the ability to publish a list of your link categories with a complete list of all your links with notes and descriptions …
(List of links created with Link library. Screenshot taken from Link Library plugin site.)
Link Library creates a page on your site containing all the link categories in your Links section, plus 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 links so that your site users can become aware of additions to your link library.
To learn more about this WordPress plugin, visit this site:
Congratulations! Now you know how to add a link section to WordPress.
We have written a detailed article on adding HTML hyperlinks into your WordPress content. For more info, see this article:
"Wow! I never knew there's so much to learn about WordPress! I bought one of the WordPress for Dummies three years ago, such authors need to be on this course!" - Rich Law, Create A Blog Now