As you learn more about WordPress, you may occasionally come across something called a blogroll.
A blogroll is a list of hyperlinks pointing to other websites or blogs displayed on your sidebar.
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 and manage links to a widget-ready theme.
Prior to the release of v 3.5, Links were a core feature of the WordPress CMS. From v3.5 onwards, the Link Manager section was removed …
(The Links Manager – part of the WordPress admin menu until the release of WP v 3.5)
(Links is no longer part of WordPress after WP v.3.5)
If you’ve had an earlier version of WordPress than 3.5 installed and updated 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 a Links item on your main menu when you log into your WordPress admin area, you can add this feature via a plugin. This step-by-step tutorial shows you how to add and manage blogroll links on your sidebar using WordPress plugins.
The Link Manager plugin displays 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 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 this plugin, then use the plugin below instead, or contact us for help editing your template code.
This plugin attempts to recreate the concept of the built-in Link Manager while addressing the shortcomings of the deprecated functionality.
To install the Link Manager plugin on your site, follow these instructions:
In the WordPress admin menu, select Plugins > Add New …
(Plugins Menu – Add New)
Select the Install Plugins > Search tab, then type ”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 activation, WordPress adds a ‘Links’ section to your WP navigation menu area …
(Links menu section)
Configuring The Plugin
We recommend setting up link categories first before you start adding any new 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, go to the main navigation menu and click on Links > Link Categories …
(Links – Link Categories)
This brings up the ‘Link Categories’ page in your browser.
Enter information into the following sections:
- Name: What you type in this field will display as the link category name.
- Slug: The slug appears 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.
When finished, click Add New Link Category to save …
(Link Categories area)
The new category will be added to the list …
Tip: Blogroll is the default link category name. Unless you specify the category when adding a new link, WordPress automatically assigns new links to the default category …
(Default link category)
You may want to change this 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 …
(Change the default ’blogroll’ to something your visitors will understand)
To change the default category name, hover your mouse over the category name and click on Quick Edit …
(Editing the default link category name)
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), and click on Update Link Category …
(Edit the link category name)
Replace the link category ‘Blogroll’ with (e.g. ‘Recommended’, ‘Links’ etc).
Let’s add a link category description. To add a link category description, click on the Edit link under the category name …
(Link category description)
Enter your description in the ‘Edit Link Category’ screen and click Update …
(Edit Link Category screen)
Repeat the above process and add as many new link categories as your site requires.
After setting up your link categories, you can add your links.
How To Add New Links
To create a new link, go to your WP dashboard menu and select Links > Add New …
(WordPress Links Menu – Add New)
The ‘Add New Link’ page will load in your browser …
(Add New Link page)
You can also reach this page by clicking on ’Add New’ at the top of the main Links page …
(Links screen – Add New Link button)
The ‘Add New Links’ page includes several sections:
Name, Web Address & Description
Enter your link details in this section …
(Add New Link page – Name, Web Addressand Description)
Enter information into the following fields:
- Name: What you type here will display as the category your links will be assigned to.
- Slug: The slug shows up in the URL of the link category. Only use lower case 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. (Optional)
Categories & Target
Select a Category and Target for your new link …
(Add New Link screen – Categories & Target)
In the Categories section, tick one of the link categories you’ve already created, or click on ’+ Add New Category’ to add a new category link.
Next, select a target frame radio button for your link in the Target section. This lets you specify how your link should open when clicked on:
- _blank means that a separate browser window will open up to display the content associated with the link. This lets your visitors see the information without leaving your page
- _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 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) area)
Link Relationship (XFN) – XFN stands for XML Friends Network – is a way to define your relationship to the linked person. For example, if you have a professional relationship with Samantha Cooper and you link to her blog, you would probably check co-worker or colleague.
XFN relationships are optional for WordPress links. You can ignore this section and all 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 specifies 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, enter nofollow into this field. Other ‘rel’ attributes include author, index, start, help, etc. Separate multiple ‘rel’ keywords with spaces.
You can learn more about XFN by visiting the site below:
The last section allows you to 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 link settings – Add New Link page)
The Advanced link settings section includes the following:
- Image Address: Specify an image to be displayed with the link. To use this feature, add the URL of where the image is stored 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 can display next to the links.
- 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 ignore this section.
When you are done adding information about your link, click on the Add Link button to save your new link …
(Click on the Add Link button to save your new link)
Note: If you select Keep this link private, your link will not be visible in your Blogroll section …
(Make your links private)
Making a link private lets you toggle link visibility on or off without deleting it (this is useful if you want a 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 a list of all your links, click on Links > All Links in your navigation menu …
(WP Links – All Links)
This loads the ‘Links’ screen in your web browser. The Links table displays a list of all your links and link information (e.g. URL, categories, visibility, etc.) …
(Table of links)
Tip: To view additional columns in the table of links, click on the ‘Screen Options’ tab at the top of the screen …
(Table of links – Screen Options)
Enable/disable fields on your table of links by ticking/unticking their check boxes …
How To Edit Your Links
To modify links, choose Links > All Links in the WP dashboard menu to bring up the links table …
(Links – All Links)
Locate the item to be edited and click on Edit to bring up the item’s link details …
(Editing your link information)
Make changes to the link …
(Edit Link page)
After 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 your link’s URL correctly (your link will open up in a new window),
- Click Delete to remove the link …
(Edit Link: Update Link button)
To delete a link from the Link Manager, select Links > All Links in the navigation menu …
(WordPress Links Menu – All Links)
The ‘Links’ table will load in your web browser.
You can delete links individually, delete multiple links by selecting their check boxes, or delete all links at once.
To delete links individually, hover your cursor over the link title that you want to remove and click Delete …
(Delete your links)
To delete multiple links, either click on the check boxes next to individual links that you would like deleted, or select all links by clicking on the main check box next to the ‘Name’ column header at the top of the list …
(Delete multiple links)
Select Delete from the ‘Bulk Actions’ menu, and click Apply to remove your selected links …
(Links: bulk-deletion function)
Your links will be deleted …
(Link deletion message)
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 website or blog.
Using The Links Widget
Installing the Links Manager plugin adds a ‘Links’ widget to your ‘Widgets’ section.
To access and configure your Link widgets, click on Appearance > Widgets in the main admin menu …
(WordPress Appearance – Widgets)
The ‘Widgets’ screen will load in your web browser.
You will notice a ‘Links’ widget in the Available Widgets section …
Drag the ‘Links’ widget to one of your active widget areas in the Widgets screen and drop it wherever you want the links section to show up …
(Add a links widget to your widget bar using drag & drop)
The Links widget offers various configurable settings. For example, you can specify what information you want displayed about your links and how many links you want displayed on your sidebar …
(Link widget settings)
You can also add as many link widgets to your sidebar and footer as you want. This allows you to create and display specific link categories on your site …
(Add a number of link widgets to your sidebar)
Select a link category from the ‘Select Link Category:’ drop-down menu …
(Link widget options – Select Link Category)
You can sort links by Link title, Link ID, Link rating, or display links in Random order …
(Link widget options – Sorting options)
When you have finished configuring your links widget, click Save to update your settings. A links will show up immediately on your sidebar, footer or whichever widgetized area you place the links widget in …
(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 help with widgets? We have written a detailed article about adding widgets. To learn more about this go here:
Links Manager – Additional Information
If you have added many links, the Links Manager plugin lets you easily administer these using search, sort, and filter functions.
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 black triangle displayed next to the column title …
(Sorting links function)
Find Your Links
Find links using the ‘Search Links’ function …
(You can easily search your links with the search function)
Filter Links Function
You can filter links by link category …
(Filter 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 …
(Search and filter links in the Link Categories page)
This displays a list of all links grouped under a specific link category …
(Links filtered by category)
Links – Additional Options
If you plan to use links extensively on your website or blog, 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 consider using a plugin that can help you administer links.
Plugin Download URL
Link Library lets you display a list of your link categories and a complete list of links together with notes and descriptions …
(List of links created with Link library. Image sourced from Link Library plugin documentation.)
This useful plugin creates a page on your site containing a list of all of the link categories in your Links area, 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 for your link collection so that your site users can be made aware of additions to your link library.
Go here for more details about using this handy plugin:
Congratulations! Now you know how to add a featured links section to WordPress.
We have written a detailed article about adding links into your WordPress posts. Go here to learn more:
"I was absolutely amazed at the scope and breadth of these tutorials! The most in-depth training I have ever received on any subject!" - Myke O'Neill, DailyGreenPost.com