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 To Add A Blogroll To Your WordPress SidebarAs you become more familiar with WordPress, you may occasionally come across the term blogroll.

In WordPress terminology, a list of hyperlinks displayed on your sidebar area is often referred to 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.”

You can manage a link section using the Links menu in your Dashboard. These links will display on your site once you add the Links widget.

Info

Before the release of v.3.5, Links were a core feature of the WordPress CMS. From v3.5 onwards, the Links Manager section was removed …

Before …

WordPress Links Manager Feature - pre v.3.5

(WordPress Links Menu – pre version 3.5)

After …

Post v 3.5 - no WordPress Links feature

(The Links Manager is no longer included in the menu after WordPress version 3.5)

If you were using the Links Manager in previous versions of WordPress, then it will still be available when you upgrade to newer WordPress versions. If you’ve never used the Links Manager feature, however, or if your website is new, then this function will become invisible – you will not see it displayed on your 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 the Links feature is not displayed when you log into your WordPress backend, you can add this feature via a plugin. In this step-by-step tutorial, you will learn how to add and manage links on your site’s sidebar using WordPress plugins.

Link Manager

Link Manager Plugin

(Links Manager WordPress Plugin)

Download URL

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

Description Of Plugin

Use this plugin to restore 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 WordPress 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 site’s template code.

Simple Links

Simple Links Plugin

(Simple Links WordPress Plugin)

Download URL

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

Description

This plugin attempts to recreate the same concept as the built-in WP Links Manager while addressing the shortcomings of the deprecated functionality.

Plugin Installation

Let’s install the Link Manager plugin.

From your WP admin area, select Plugins > Add New

Plugins Menu - Add New

(Plugins – Add New)

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

Installing Link Manager

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

Plugin Installation

Activate the plugin …

How To Install The Plugin

After activation, WordPress adds a ‘Links’ section to your WP sidebar menu area …

Links management menu section

(Links menu section)

Plugin Setup

We recommend setting up link categories first before adding links. This way, you can assign new links to link categories you have already created.

Link Categories

To create a link category, select Links > Link Categories in the main admin menu …

Links - Link Categories

(Links Menu – Link Categories)

The ‘Link Categories’ screen will display in your web browser.

Type in the following information:

  • Name: Enter the link category name.
  • Slug: The slug displays in the search-engine friendly URL 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 your link category description.

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

Link Categories

(Link Categories page)

Your category details will be added to the table …

Link Categories area

(Link Categories area)

Idea

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

Default link category

(Default link category)

You may want to change this default WordPress link category name 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 display under the new category name …

Consider changing the default link category name to something your visitors will understand

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

To edit the default category name, hover your mouse over the category name and click on the Quick Edit link …

Edit the default link category name

(Edit the default link category)

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

Quick Edit

(Edit the link category)

In our example, the category ‘Blogroll’ has been replaced with a more suitable category name (e.g. ‘Recommended’).

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

You can add/edit the category description

(Link category description)

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

Edit Link Category page

(Edit Link Category page)

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

Once you have set up your link categories, you can being adding new links.

Adding Links

To create a new link, choose Links > Add New in the main admin menu …

WordPress Links Menu - Add New

(Links Menu – Add New)

The ‘Add New Link’ screen will display in your web browser …

Add New Link screen

(Add New Link page)

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

Add New Link button

(Add New Link button)

The ‘Add New Links’ page has the following sections:

Name, Web Address & Description

This section is where you enter details about your link …

Name, Web Address, Description area

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

Enter the following information:

  • Name: Whatever you enter here will display as the link category name.
  • Slug: The slug is the URL part of your link category name. It must be in lowercase letters and contain no 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

After typing in your link details, select a Category and Target for your new link …

Categories & Target

(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 create a new category link.

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

  • _blank means that a new, separate web browser window will open up to display the content associated with the link. This lets your visitors see the link information without leaving your site
  • _none means that when a visitor clicks on your 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)

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

Link Relationship (XFN) – XFN stands for XML Friends Network – is a way to define your relationship to the linked person. For example, if you work with Taylor O’Malley 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 your links will work just fine. Defining relationships with XFN makes the links defined on your site 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, type nofollow into this field.

You can learn more about XFN by visiting the site below:

Advanced

The last section allows you to specify 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 link settings - Add New Link screen

(Add New Link – Advanced fields)

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 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 RSS feed associated with the link will be displayed next to the 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).

Enter information in the above fields or just leave this section blank, as these fields are not essential for links to work.

When you are done adding information about your link, click on the Add Link button to save your new link …

click on Add Link to save your new link

(Click on Add Link to update your link settings)

Useful Info

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

Private link checkbox

(You can make links private by checking the box)

Making a link private lets you toggle its visibility on and off without deleting it (this is useful if you want your link to display during certain periods and hide it afterwards) …

Making links private toggles their visibility on and off

(Toggle link visibility on and off)

To view all the links you have added to the Link Manager, choose Links > All Links in your dashboard menu …

WordPress Links - All Links

(WordPress Links Menu – All Links)

The ‘Links’ table will display in your browser. The Links screen displays a list of all your links and link information (e.g. URL, link categories, relationship, etc.) …

List of Links

(Links screen)

Practical Tip

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

Screen Options - Table of Links

(List of links – Screen Options)

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

Show/hide - List of links

(Links page – Hide or show screen options)

Editing Links

To edit a link in the Link Manager, select Links > All Links in the main dashboard menu to bring up your table of links …

Links Menu - All Links

(WP Links Menu – All Links)

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

Editing your links

(Editing your link information)

Change your link …

Edit Link page

(Edit Link page)

After you’re done editing the link, you can:

  • Click the Update Link button to save your link details,
  • Click on Visit Link to make sure that you have set up the link’s URL correctly (the link will open up in a new window),
  • Click Delete to delete the link from your table …

Edit Link: Update Link button

(Edit Link: Update Link button)

How To Delete Links

To delete links, go to the WP dashboard menu and choose Links > All Links

Links - All Links

(Links Menu – All Links)

This brings up 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 your mouse cursor over the link title that you want to remove from the link table and click Delete

Delete links

(Delete your links)

To delete multiple links, either tick the check box next to each item that you want to remove, 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’ menu, and click Apply to delete all selected links …

Links: bulk-delete function

(Links: bulk-delete function)

The links you have selected will be removed …

Link deletion notification

(links deleted notice)

Plugin Usage

Now that you know how to configure link categories and how to add, edit and delete links, it’s time to learn how to make links display on your site.

Using The Links Widget

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

To access and configure your Link widgets, go to your navigation menu and choose Appearance > Widgets

WordPress Appearance - Widgets

(Appearance – 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)

To make the ‘Links’ widget active, drag the widget to one of your widget sections in the Widgets screen and drop it wherever you want your links section to show up …

Add a links widget to a widgetized menu

(Add a links widget to your sidebar)

The Links widget provides a number of options. You can specify what information you want to display about your links and how many links you want displayed on your sidebar …

Link widget - settings

(Link widget - configurable settings)

You can also add multiple link widgets to your sidebar and footer. This allows you to add and display specific a number of links on your site …

You can add multiple link widgets to your sidebar

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

Select a link category to display a specific list of items …

Link widget options - Select Link Category

(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 - Sorting options

(Link widget settings – Sort by options)

Once you are done setting up your Links widget, click Save to update your settings. A link section will now be visible on your website’s sidebar menu …

An example of how links can be displayed on your site's sidebar

(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.

Useful Tip

Need more help using widgets? We have written a detailed article on configuring widgets. To learn more about this go here:

Links Manager – Additional Information

If you have added many links, the Links Manager plugin allows you to easily administer these using sort, filter, and search functionality.

Sorting Your Links

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

Sort links

(Sorting links function)

Find Links Function

Find links using the ‘Search Links’ button …

You can easily find your links using the search function

(You can easily find your links using the search function)

Filter Links

You can filter links by categories …

Filter your links by categories

(Filter your links by category)

You can also search and filter links in the Link Categories screen. Use the ‘Search Link Categories’ button to find link categories, or click on the links in the ‘Links’ column …

Search and filter links in the Link Categories page

(searching and filtering links in the Link Categories page)

This displays a list of all links listed for a specific link category …

Links filtered by link category

(Links filtered by link category)

Links – Additional Options

If you plan to add lots of links to your website or blog, or if you intend to add a ‘Links’ page 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 your links.

Link Library

Link library - Plugin For WordPress

(Link library – Plugin For WordPress)

Download Plugin URL

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

Plugin Description

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

Link Library links

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

Link Library can be used to create a page on your site that contains all the link categories in your Links section, plus all links defined for 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 link collection that lets your site users become aware of any additions made to to your link library.

To learn more this useful plugin, visit the plugin site:

Adding Featured Links To Your WordPress Sidebar Menu

Congratulations! Now you know how to add a featured links section to WordPress.

Practical Tip

We have written a comprehensive article on creating hyperlinks in your WordPress content. Go here to learn more:

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