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 A Links Section To The WordPress Sidebar?As you become more familiar with WordPress, you may occasionally come across references to the term blogroll.

A blogroll is a list of links pointing to external websites 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.”

You can manage a link section using the Links menu in your WP Dashboard. These links will then display on your website if you have added the Links widget.

Important Info

Prior to the release of WP v3.5, Links were a built-in feature of the WordPress CMS. From v 3.5 onwards, the Links manager and blogroll sections were removed …

Before …

WordPress Links Manager - pre v3.5

(WordPress Links Feature – pre v 3.5)

After …

The Link Manager is no longer part of the WordPress menu after WordPress v 3.5

(Post v.3.5 – no WordPress Links Manager feature)

If you were using the Links feature in previous versions of WordPress, then it will still be available when your WP installation upgrades to a newer version. If you’ve never used Links Manager, however, or if your WP installation is new, then this function will remain hidden – it will not display on the dashboard menu.


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 you can’t see the Links feature 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 and manage blogroll links on your sidebar using WordPress plugins.

Link Manager

Link Manager - WordPress Links Management Plugin

(Link Manager – WordPress Links Management Plugin)

Plugin Download URL

Description Of Plugin

This plugin displays the default Links Manager, even if you upgrade to a later version of WordPress or remove all of your current links.

Note: All this plugin does is add a single line of template code to restore the hidden feature. The last time we 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 one below instead, or contact us for help editing your template code.

Simple Links

Simple Links - WordPress Link Management Plugin

(Simple Links)

Download URL


This plugin recreates the same concept as the built-in Link Manager while removing the shortcomings of the deprecated functionality.

Installing The Plugin

Let’s install the Link Manager plugin.

From your WordPress administration area, select Plugins > Add New

Plugins - Add New

(Plugins – Add New)

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

How To Install Link Manager

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

Plugin Installation

Activate the plugin …

How To Install Link Manager

After activation, WordPress displays a ‘Links’ item on your WP dashboard menu …

WordPress links management menu

(Links management menu section)

Plugin Setup

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

Link Categories

To create a new link category, choose Links > Link Categories in your WP dashboard menu …

WordPress Links - Link Categories

(Links – Link Categories)

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

Enter information into the following fields:

  • Name: What you type here is the category name that will display on your site.
  • Slug: The slug is the search-engine friendly URL part of the link category name. It must be in lowercase letters and contain no spaces (use hyphens to separate words).
  • Description: Some themes may display a link category description.

after entering your information, click the Add New Link Category button …

Link Categories

(Link Categories area)

Your link category will now show in the table …

Link Categories

(Link Categories page)

Useful Info

Tip: The default WordPress link category is called Blogroll . Unless you specify a category for 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 that your visitors can relate to. This will not only make it easier for visitors, but any new links that you add to the Links section will automatically be assigned to the new category name …

Change the default link category name 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 ‘Blogroll’ link title, hover your mouse over the category name and click on the Quick Edit link …

Quick Edit

(Editing the link category name)

Change both the Name and the Slug with a new category name, then click on the Update link Category button …

Quick Edit

(Update Link Category)

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

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

Link category description

(Link category description)

Add your link category description field and click Update when done …

Edit Link Category page

(Edit Link Category screen)

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

Once you have set up your link categories, you can add your links.

How To Add Links

To create a new link, go to your WP admin menu and select Links > Add New

Links - Add New

(Links – Add New)

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

Add New Link page

(Add New Link screen)

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

Links screen - Add New Link button

(Add New Link button)

The ‘Add New Links’ page has a number of sections:

Name, Web Address & Description

The first section lets you enter details about your link …

Name, Web Address, Description area

(Name, Web Address& Description section)

Enter information into the following fields:

  • Name: Whatever you enter here is the category name that will display on your site.
  • Slug: The slug is the web address bit of your link category name. Use only lowercase letters 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. (Optional)
Categories & Target

Select a Category and Target for the new link …

Categories & Target - Add New Link

(Categories & Target)

In the Categories section, select a link category you’ve already added, 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 your link should open when a visitor clicks on it:

  • _blank means that a separate window will open up in their browser to display the information for that link. This allows your visitors to see the information without leaving your website
  • _none means that when a visitor clicks on your 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 section provides some additional link functionality …

Link Relationship (XFN) - Add New Link

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

Link Relationship (XFN) – XFN (XML Friends Network) is a way to define your relationship to the linked person. For example, if you have a professional relationship with Michael Silva 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. 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 defines 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. Other ‘rel’ attributes include author, help, index, start, etc.

You can learn more about XFN by visiting this site:


The last section 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 - Add New Link screen

(Advanced link settings – Add New Link)

The Advanced section contain the following fields:

  • Image Address: Specify an image to be displayed with the link. 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 RSS feed associated with the link will be displayed next to your links.
  • 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).

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

When you are done 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 Info

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

Private link checkbox

(You can make links private by selecting the checkbox)

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

Toggle link visibility on and off

(Toggle link visibility on and off)

To see a list of all your links, go to your WP dashboard menu and click on Links > All Links

WP Links - All Links

(Links – All Links)

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

Table of Links

(List of links)

Practical Tip

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

List of Links - Screen Options

(Screen Options – Links screen)

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

Hide or display - Table of links

(Links table – Show/hide screen options)

How To Edit Your Links

To modify links in the Link Manager, go to your admin menu and select Links > All Links to bring up your table of links …

Links Menu - All Links

(Links – All Links)

Locate the link to be edited and click on Edit to bring up the link’s details …

Editing your link information

(Editing your link information)

Make changes to your link information …

Edit Link page

(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 check that you have set up its URL correctly (your link will open up in a new window),
  • Click Delete to delete the link …

Update Link button

(Update Link button)

Deleting Links

To delete links, select Links > All Links in the WP dashboard menu …

Links Menu - All Links

(WordPress Links – All Links)

This loads the ‘Links’ page in your web browser.

You can delete links individually, delete multiple links, 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

(Delete your links)

To delete links in bulk, either click on the checkbox next to each link that you want removed, or select all links by clicking on the checkbox next to the ‘Name’ column header …

Delete multiple links

(Delete multiple links)

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

Links: bulk-delete function

(Links: bulk-deletion function)

The selected links will be deleted …

Deleted links notification

(Link deletion notification)

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.

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 dashboard menu …

Appearance - Widgets

(Appearance – Widgets)

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

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

Links widget

(Links widget)

Drag the ‘Links’ widget to one of your active widget sections and drop it wherever you want your links section to show up …

Drag & drop the links widget to add it to your sidebar

(Add a links widget to a widgetized menu)

The Links widget offers various configurable settings. You can specify what information you would like displayed about your links and how many links you want to display on your sidebar menu …

Link widget settings

(Link widget settings)

You can add multiple link widgets to your sidebars and footers. This lets you create and feature specific various links on your site …

Add multiple link widgets to your widget bars

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

You can create and display a list of links for a specific category …

Link widget settings - Select Link Category

(Link widget options – Select Link Category)

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

Link widget settings - Sort by options

(Link widget options – Sorting options)

Once you are done configuring the Links widget, click Save to update your settings. A links will appear on your site …

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.

Useful Tip

Need help using widgets? We have written a comprehensive article about adding 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 filtering, searching, and sorting functionality.

Sorting Links

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

Sorting your links

(You can easily sort your links)

Finding Links

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

Find links

(You can easily find links using the search function)

Filtering Links

You can filter links by link categories …

Filter links by category

(Filter your links by 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 category links in the ‘Links’ column …

searching and filtering links in the Link Categories page

(searching and filtering links in the Link Categories page)

This displays a list of all links listed 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 website or blog, or if you intend 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 WordPress Plugin)

Download Plugin URL

Plugin Description

This plugin gives you the ability to publish a list of your link categories and a complete list of links plus descriptions and notes …

List of links created with Link library

(Link Library links. Image source: Link Library plugin site.)

Link Library 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. 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 additions to your link library.

For more details about using this WordPress plugin, visit the plugin site:

Adding Links To Your WordPress Sidebar

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


We have written a comprehensive article about adding links in WordPress. Go here to learn more:


"Your training is the best in the world! It is simple, yet detailed, direct, understandable, memorable, and complete." Andrea Adams,