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 …

Adding WordPress Sidebar Featured LinksAs you continue to discover more about the benefits of using WordPress, you may occasionally come across the term blogroll.

WordPress refers to a list of links pointing to other sites 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 add links to a widget-ready theme.

Important

Before WordPress v3.5 was released, Links were a built-in feature of the WordPress CMS. After version 3.5, the Links Manager section was removed …

Before …

Links appeared in the menu until the release of WP v 3.5

(The Links Manager appeared in the WordPress menu until the release of WP v.3.5)

After …

Post version 3.5 - no WP Links feature

(The Link Manager feature – excluded from WordPress after WordPress version 3.5)

If you have had an earlier version than 3.5 installed and updated your installation, the Links Manager would have been 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. In this tutorial, you will learn how to add and manage links on your sidebar using WordPress plugins.

Link Manager

Link Manager Plugin

(Link Manager – Plugin For WordPress)

Download URL

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

Description Of Plugin

You can use this plugin to restore the Links menu on your WP dashboard, even if you update to a later version of WordPress or remove all of your existing links.

Note: All this plugin does is add a single line of template code to WordPress to restore the hidden feature. When we last checked, the 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 - Links Manager Plugin For WordPress

(Simple Links Plugin)

Plugin Download URL

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

Description Of Plugin

Simple Links attempts to recreate the same concept as the built-in Link Manager while removing the shortcomings of the deprecated feature.

Plugin Installation

Let’s install the Link Manager plugin.

In your WordPress dashboard menu, go to Plugins > Add New

Plugins Menu - Add New

(Plugins Menu – Add New)

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

Installing Link Manager

Find the plugin in the search results screen and click Install Now

Installing The Plugin

Activate the plugin …

Installing Link Manager

After activation, a ‘Links’ item will show up in the navigation menu …

WordPress links menu

(WordPress links management menu section)

Setting Up Link Manager

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

Link Categories

To create a new link category, select Links > Link Categories in the navigation menu …

Links - Link Categories

(WordPress Links – Link Categories)

This takes you to the ‘Link Categories’ page.

Type in information into the following fields:

  • Name: What you type in this field is the category name that will display on your site.
  • Slug: The slug is the web address part of your link category name. Use lowercase letters only without spaces (use hyphens to separate words).
  • Description: Some themes may display your link category description.

after entering your information, click Add New Link Category

Link Categories area

(Link Categories page)

Your category details will display in the list …

Link Categories page

(Link Categories screen)

Tip

Tip: WordPress calls its default link category Blogroll . Unless you specify a category when adding a new link, WordPress automatically assigns new links to the default category …

Default link category name is 'blogroll'

(Default link category name)

You may want to change this default link category name 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 your site will automatically appear under the new category name …

we recommend changing the default 'blogroll' to something your visitors will relate to

(Change the default ’blogroll’ to something better suited to your business)

To edit the ‘Blogroll’ link name, hover your mouse over the list item and click on the Quick Edit link …

Editing the default link category

(Edit the default link category)

Change 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

Edit the link category name

(Quick Edit)

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

Let’s create a link category description. To add a description to an existing link category, hover over the item name and click Edit

Link category description

(Link category description)

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

Edit Link Category screen

(Edit Link Category page)

Repeat this process to add as many link categories as your site needs.

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

Adding New Links

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

Links Menu - Add New

(WP Links – Add New)

This brings up the ‘Add New Link’ page …

Add New Link page

(Add New Link screen)

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

Add New Link button

(Links – Add New Link button)

The ‘Add New Links’ page includes various sections:

Name, Web Address & Description

Enter details about your link in this section …

Name, Web Address& Description - Add New Link

(Name, Web Addressand Description – Add New Link page)

Type in information into the following sections:

  • Name: Enter the link category name here.
  • Slug: The slug appears in the URL of the link category. Only use lower case letters without spaces (use hyphens to separate words).
  • Description: Some themes may display a 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 your link …

Categories & Target

(Categories & Target section – Add New Link)

In the Categories section, tick one of the link categories you have already set up, or click on ’+ Add New Category’ to create a new category.

Next, select a target frame radio button for your link in the Target section. This lets you specify where you want your link to open when clicked on by visitors:

  • _blank means that a new window will open up in their web browser to display the content associated with the link.
  • _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. 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 area provides some additional link functionality …

Link Relationship (XFN) area

(Link Relationship (XFN))

Link Relationship (XFN) – XFN (XML Friends Network) allows you to define your relationship to the linked person. For example, if you work with Emma 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 your links will work just fine. Defining relationships with 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 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. Separate multiple ‘rel’ attributes using spaces.

You can learn more about XFN by visiting this site:

Advanced

The last section of the Add New Link’ screen lets you 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

(Advanced area)

The Advanced link settings section contains the following:

  • 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 your image is small (around 16×16 like a favicon).
  • RSS Address: If your theme allows it, the link’s RSS feed can be displayed next to the 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 want 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 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 the Add Link button to save your new link)

Important

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

You can make links private by selecting the checkbox

(Private link checkbox)

Making links private allows you to toggle link visibility on and off without deleting your links (this is useful if you would like links to display during certain periods and hide them afterwards) …

Toggle link visibility on and off

(Toggle link visibility on and off)

To see all the links you have added to the Link Manager, go to the dashboard menu and select Links > All Links

WP Links - All Links

(Links Menu – All Links)

You will be taken to the ‘Links’ page. The Links page displays your links and link information (e.g. URL, categories, relationship, etc.) …

List of Links

(List of links)

Useful Tip

Tip: To show or hide information in the list of links, click on the ‘Screen Options’ tab near the top of your screen …

Screen Options - Links table

(Screen Options – Table of links)

Enable/disable information on your table of links by ticking/unticking their checkboxes …

Hide or show - Links page

(Links screen – Show/hide screen options)

How To Edit Your Link Information

To edit a link, choose Links > All Links in your admin menu to bring up your links table …

Links Menu - All Links

(Links – All Links)

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

Editing link information

(Editing link information)

Edit the link information …

Edit Link screen

(Edit Link page)

After you’re done editing the 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 remove the link …

Edit Link: Update Link button

(Update Link button)

Deleting Your Links

To delete links from the Link Manager, click on Links > All Links in your dashboard menu …

WP Links Menu - All Links

(WP Links – All Links)

You will be taken to the ‘Links’ table.

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

To delete links individually, hover over the link title that you want to remove from the link table and click Delete

Delete links

(Deleting your links)

To delete a number of links at once, either click on the check boxes next to individual items that you want to delete, or select all links by clicking on the main checkbox next to the ‘Name’ column header at the top of the list …

Deleting multiple links

(Delete multiple links)

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

Links: bulk-delete function

(Bulk-deletion of links)

The links you have selected will be removed …

Deleted links notice

(links deleted message)

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 display links on your site.

Using The Links Widget

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

To access and configure your Link widgets, click on Appearance > Widgets in your navigation menu …

WordPress Appearance - Widgets

(Appearance Menu – Widgets)

This takes you to the ‘Widgets’ page.

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

Links widget

(Links widget)

Drag the ‘Links’ widget to one of your active widget bars and drop it wherever you want the links to display …

Adding a links widget to your widget bar using drag and drop

(Add a links widget to your WordPress widget bar)

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

Link widget settings

(Link widget settings)

You can also add as many link widgets to your sidebars and footers as you want. This allows you to create and feature specific various links sorted by categories on your site …

Add a number of link widgets to your sidebar

(You can add multiple link widgets to your widget bars)

Display a list of items for a specific category …

Link widget settings - Select Link Category

(Link widget options – Select Link Category)

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

Link widget settings - Sorting options

(Link widget options – Sort by options)

When you have finished configuring the Links widget, click Save to update your settings. Your link section will now be visible on your website’s sidebar menu …

Links can be displayed on a sidebar

(An example of how links can be displayed on a 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.

Practical Tip

Need more help using widgets? We have written a comprehensive article about using widgets. Go here to learn more:

Links Manager – Additional Information

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

Sort your links

(Sort links)

Find Links

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

Search links function

(Finding your links)

Filter Your Links

You can filter links by category …

Filter links by categories

(Filtering 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

(searching and filtering links in the Link Categories screen)

This brings up a list of all links grouped under a specific link category …

Links filtered by link category

(Links filtered by link category)

Links – Additional Options

If you plan to add a lot of links to your site, or if you would like 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 your links, like Link Library.

Link Library

Link Library Plugin

(Link library – Plugin For WordPress)

Plugin Download URL

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

Plugin Description

The Link Library plugin allows you to publish a list of your link categories with a complete list of links with descriptions and notes …

Link Library links

(List of links created with Link library. Image source: Link Library plugin site.)

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 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 link collection that lets your site users become aware of any additions made to to your link library.

Go here to learn more this plugin:

Adding A WordPress Blogroll Section

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

Practical Tip

We have written a comprehensive article on inserting HTML links into your WordPress content. Go here to learn more about this:

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"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