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 Sidebar Menu?As you continue to learn more about using WordPress, you may occasionally come across references to the term blogroll.

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

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 add and manage a links section to a widget-ready theme.

Important

Before the release of v3.5, Links were a core feature of the WordPress CMS. After the release of v3.5, the Links Manager section was hidden by default in new WordPress installations …

Before …

Links appeared in the WordPress admin menu until the release of WP v.3.5

(The Links Manager feature displayed in the WordPress menu until the release of WordPress v3.5)

After …

Post v 3.5 - no WP Links Manager

(The Links Manager feature – no longer displayed in WordPress after WP version 3.5)

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

 

How To Add A Link Section To WordPress

Useful 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 the Links feature is not visible when you log into your WordPress dashboard you will need to install a plugin. This step-by-step tutorial will show you how to add, edit, delete and manage blogroll links on your site’s sidebar using WordPress plugins.

Link Manager

Link Manager WordPress Plugin

(Link Manager Plugin)

Plugin Download URL

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

Description

You can use this plugin to display the built-in Links menu on your WordPress dashboard, even if you upgrade WordPress to a later version or remove all of your current links.

Note: This plugin adds a single line of template code to restore the hidden feature. When we last checked, this 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 site’s template code.

Simple Links

Simple Links Plugin

(Simple Links – WordPress Link Management Plugin)

Plugin Download URL

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

Plugin Description

This plugin recreates the same concept as the built-in WordPress Links Manager while addressing the shortcomings of the deprecated feature.

Plugin Installation

To install the Link Manager plugin, follow these instructions:

From your WordPress dashboard menu, select Plugins > Add New

Plugins Menu - Add New

(Plugins – Add New)

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

Plugin Installation

Locate the plugin in the search results area and click Install Now

Plugin Installation

Activate the plugin after installing it …

Installing Link Manager

After activating the plugin, a ‘Links’ item will be displayed in your admin menu area …

Links menu

(WordPress links menu)

Configuring Link Manager

Before adding any new 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.

Link Categories

To create a link category, go to the WP admin menu and click on Links > Link Categories

Links - Link Categories

(Links Menu – Link Categories)

This brings up the ‘Link Categories’ screen.

Enter information into the following sections:

  • Name: Enter the category name.
  • Slug: The slug is the SEO friendly URL part of your link category. Use only lowercase letters without spaces (use hyphens to separate words).
  • Description: Some themes may display a link category description. (Optional)

When finished, click the Add New Link Category button …

Link Categories

(Link Categories screen)

Your link category will now show in the list …

Link Categories area

(Link Categories)

Important

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

Default link category

(Default link category name is ‘blogroll’)

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

Change the default 'blogroll' to something better suited to your business

(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 list item and click on Quick Edit

Quick Edit

(Editing the 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 the Update link Category button …

Quick Edit

(Editing the default link category)

Replace the category name ‘Blogroll’ with an appropriate links section name (e.g. ‘Recommended’, ‘Our Sponsors’ etc).

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

You can add/edit the category description

(You can add/edit your category description)

Enter your link category description field and click Update you’re done to save your settings …

Edit Link Category screen

(Edit Link Category area)

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

After setting up your link categories, you can add your links.

How To Add New Links

To create a new link, go to the main navigation menu and select Links > Add New

Links - Add New

(Links Menu – Add New)

This loads the Add New Link’ screen in your browser …

Add New Link screen

(Add New Link page)

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

Add New Link button

(Links screen – Add New Link button)

The ‘Add New Links’ page includes various sections:

Name, Web Address & Description

The first section lets you enter your link details …

Name, Web Address, Description fields - Add New Link

(Name, Web Address, Description section – Add New Link)

Type in information into the following sections:

  • Name: Whatever you type here is the link category name that will display on your site.
  • Slug: The slug shows up in the web address 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. (Optional)
Categories & Target

Select a Category and Target for your new link …

Add New Link screen - Categories & Target fields

(Add New Link – Categories & Target section)

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

Next, select a target frame for your link in the Target section by choosing one of the radio buttons. This lets you specify where you want your link to open when a visitor clicks on it:

  • _blank means that a new browser window will open up to display the content for that link. This lets your visitors access the link information without leaving your page
  • _none means that when visitors click on the link, they will exit your site and a new website or page will load in your browser window instead.
  • _top opens links 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) - Add New Link screen

(Link Relationship (XFN) area)

Link Relationship (XFN) – XFN stands for XML Friends Network – lets you define your relationship to the linked person. For example, if you work with Aditi Larsson 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 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, enter nofollow into this field. Separate multiple ‘rel’ attributes using spaces.

To learn more about XFN, visit this site:

Advanced

The last section allows you to specify Advanced features for your links (some themes will ignore this. You can leave these fields empty unless you have a reason to use them) …

Advanced link settings - Add New Link screen

(Advanced area – Add New Link screen)

The Advanced link settings section contains the following:

  • Image Address: Lets you 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 link’s RSS feed will 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 would like to sort links by rating (see the ‘Links’ widget section below).

Enter information in the above fields or just leave this section blank, as these fields are not required.

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

click on the Add Link button to save your new link

(Click on Add Link to save your new link)

Important

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

You can make links private by selecting the checkbox

(Make your links private)

Making links private allows you to add links and then toggle their visibility on and off without deleting these (this is useful if you want to have seasonal links) …

Making links private toggles their visibility on and off

(Toggle link visibility on and off)

To see all the links you have created, click on Links > All Links in the main navigation menu …

Links - All Links

(WP Links Menu – All Links)

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

Table of Links

(Table of links)

Useful Tip

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

Table of Links - Screen Options

(Screen Options – Links screen)

Enable/disable information on your table of links by selecting/deselecting their checkboxes …

Table of links - Show/hide screen options

(Hide or show – List of links)

How To Edit Link Information

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

WordPress Links Menu - All Links

(WordPress Links Menu – All Links)

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

Editing links

(Editing links)

Change the link …

Edit Link page

(Edit Link screen)

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 see your link and make sure that you have set up its URL correctly (your link will open in a new window),
  • Click Delete to delete the link from your table of links …

Update Link button

(Update Link button)

Deleting Links

To remove links from the Link Manager, choose Links > All Links in the main admin menu …

Links - All Links

(Links – All Links)

This loads the ‘Links’ page in your browser.

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 that you want to remove from the link table and click on Delete

Deleting links

(Delete links)

To delete links in bulk, either tick the check boxes next to individual links that you want deleted, or select all links by clicking on the checkbox next to the ‘Name’ column header …

Delete multiple links

(Delete multiple links)

Select Delete from the ‘Bulk Actions’ pull-down menu, and click Apply to delete your selected links …

Links: bulk-delete function

(Links: bulk-delete function)

The links will be deleted …

Link deletion notification

(Deleted links notification)

Using The Link Manager Plugin

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

Using The Links Widget

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

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

Appearance - Widgets

(WordPress Appearance Menu – Widgets)

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

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 areas and drop it wherever you would like the links section to show up …

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

(Adding a links widget to your 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 would like to display on your sidebar menu …

Link widget - configurable settings

(Link widget - configurable settings)

You can add multiple link widgets to your sidebar and footer. This lets you add and display links sorted by categories throughout your site …

Add multiple link widgets to your widget bars

(You can add multiple link widgets to your sidebar)

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 options - Sorting options

(Link widget settings – Sorting options)

After setting up your links widget, click Save to update your settings. A link section should show on your website’s sidebar …

Links can be displayed on a sidebar

(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 with widgets? Go here to learn more about adding widgets:

Link Manager – Additional Information

If you have added many links, the Links Manager plugin lets you easily administer these with sorting, searching, and filtering functions.

Sorting Links Function

You can sort links by hovering your mouse cursor over the title of the column you want to sort and clicking on the black triangle displayed next to the column title …

You can easily sort links

(Sorting links function)

Find Links Function

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

Searching links

(Find your links)

Filter Links Function

You can filter links by categories …

Filtering your links by categories

(Filter links by category)

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 category links in the ‘Links’ column …

Search and filter links in the Link Categories page

(Search and filter links in the Link Categories screen)

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

Links filtered by category

(Links filtered by category)

Links – Additional Options

If you plan to add lots of links to your website, or if you would like 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

Link Library WordPress Plugin

(Link Library Plugin)

Plugin Download URL

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

Plugin Description

This plugin lets you display a list of all your link categories and a complete list of links with notes and descriptions …

Link Library links

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

This useful plugin creates 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 links that lets your site users be made aware of any additions made to to your link library.

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

How Do I Add A Featured Links Section To WordPress?

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

Practical Tip

We have written a comprehensive article on how to insert HTML links into your WordPress posts and pages. To learn more about this go here:

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"I have used the tutorials to teach all of my clients and it has probably never been so easy for everyone to learn WordPress ... Now I don't need to buy all these very expensive video courses that often don't deliver what they promise." - Stefan Wendt, Internet Marketing Success Group