As you continue to discover more about WordPress, you may occasionally come across references to the term blogroll.
A blogroll is a list of links pointing to other 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.”
The Links Manager lets you easily add and manage a links section to your sidebar area (e.g. a “Recommended Resources” section) using widgets.
Before the release of WP v.3.5, Links were a visible feature of the WordPress CMS. After v 3.5, the Links Manager section was hidden by default in new installations …
(WP Links Manager Feature – pre v 3.5)
(Links – excluded from WordPress after WP v 3.5)
If you’ve used an earlier version of WordPress than 3.5 and updated your installation, then the Links Manager would have been removed, unless you have 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 the Links feature when you log into your WordPress admin area you will need to install a plugin. This tutorial will show you how to add, edit, delete and manage links on your site’s sidebar using plugins.
(Link Manager Plugin)
Description Of Plugin
This plugin restores the built-in Links Manager, even if you upgrade WordPress to a later version or remove all of your current links.
Note: This plugin adds a single line of code to your installation 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 this plugin, then use the plugin below instead, or contact us for help editing your template code.
(Simple Links WordPress Plugin)
Simple Links recreates the concept of the built-in Link Manager while removing the shortcomings of the deprecated functionality.
Installing Link Manager
To install the Link Manager plugin on your website, follow the instructions below:
From your WordPress dashboard area, select Plugins > Add New …
(Plugins – Add New)
Select the Install Plugins > Search tab, then type ”link manager” into the search field and hit Enter …
Locate the plugin in the results area and click Install Now …
Activate the plugin after it has been installed …
After activating the plugin, a ‘Links’ item will show up on the WP dashboard menu …
Configuring Link Manager
We recommend setting up your link categories first before adding links. This way, when adding a new link, you can assign your link to a link category you have already created.
To create a link category, go to your admin menu and click on Links > Link Categories …
(Links Menu – Link Categories)
This brings up the ‘Link Categories’ page.
Type in the following information:
- Name: What you type here displays as the link category name.
- Slug: The slug appears in the web address 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. (Optional)
When done, click the Add New Link Category button …
The category details will now show in the list …
Tip: Blogroll is the default link category name. Unless you specify the category when adding a new link, WordPress will automatically assign new links to the default category …
(Default link category name is ‘blogroll’)
You may want to change this to something that your visitors can relate to. 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 appear under the new category name …
(Change the default ’blogroll’ to something better suited to your business)
To change the ‘Blogroll’ link title, hover your mouse over the list item and click on Quick Edit …
(Edit the 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 …
(Update Link Category)
In our example, the category name ‘Blogroll’ has been replaced with an appropriate links section name (e.g. ‘Recommended’).
Let’s create a description for this link category. To add a link category description, hover over the item name and click Edit …
(Link category description)
Add your link category description field and click Update you’re done to save your settings …
(Edit Link Category screen)
Repeat the above process and add as many new link categories as you need.
After configuring your link categories, you can add your links.
To add a new link, select Links > Add New in your WP admin menu …
(Links – Add New)
This takes you to the ‘Add New Link’ page …
(Add New Link screen)
You can also access this page by clicking on the ‘Add New’ button at the top of the main Links page …
(Links screen – Add New Link button)
The ‘Add New Links’ page is divided into various sections:
Name, Web Address & Description
Enter your link details in this section …
(Add New Link screen – Name, Web Address, Description area)
Enter information into the following fields:
- Name: What you enter here is the link category name that will display on your site.
- Slug: The slug displays in the web address of the link category name. It must all be in lowercase letters and contain no 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.
Categories & Target
After typing in link details, select a Category and Target for the link …
(Add New Link page – Categories & Target fields)
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.
Also, 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:
- _blank means that a new web browser window will open up to display the content associated with the link. Your visitor can access the information without leaving your page
- _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. If you don’t use frames, or if you don’t know what frames are, then ignore this option.
Link Relationship XFN
This area provides some additional link functionality …
(Add New Link – Link Relationship (XFN))
Link Relationship (XFN) – XFN (XML Friends Network) allows you to define your relationship to the linked person. For example, if you have a professional relationship with Clementine Jones 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 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 lets you specify the ‘rel’ attribute that will be assigned to your link. The rel attribute specifies the relationship 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 lets you 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) …
(Add New Link screen – Advanced link settings)
The Advanced section contain the following fields:
- Image Address: Specify an image to be displayed with the link. To use this feature, add the URL of where the image is located 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 display next to your links.
- Notes: This section lets you add notes 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).
Type in your information into the above fields or just leave this section ignore this section.
When you have finished adding information about your link, click on the Add Link button to save your new link …
(Click on Add Link to update your link settings)
Note: If you tick Keep this link private, the link will not be visible in your Blogroll section …
(Private link checkbox)
Making links private lets you add links and then toggle their visibility on and off without deleting these (this is useful if you want to add seasonal links) …
(Toggle link visibility on and off)
To see all the links you have added to the Link Manager, click on Links > All Links in your dashboard menu …
(WordPress Links – All Links)
This loads the ‘Links’ page in your web browser. The list of links displays all your links and link information (e.g. link URL, link categories, visibility, etc.) …
(List of links)
Tip: To view additional columns in the Links page, click on the ‘Screen Options’ tab at the top of your screen …
(List of links – Screen Options)
Show/hide information on your table of links by ticking/unticking their check boxes …
(Table of links – Show/hide screen options)
Editing Link Information
To edit a link, click on Links > All Links in the WP admin menu to bring up the list of links …
(Links Menu – All Links)
Select the item you want to edit and click on Edit to bring up the item’s link information …
(Editing link information)
Edit your link details …
(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 check that you have set up the link’s URL correctly (the link will open in a new window),
- Click Delete to remove the link from your table …
(Edit Link: Update Link button)
To delete a link, go to the main navigation menu and click on Links > All Links …
(Links Menu – All Links)
This brings up the ‘Links’ table in your web browser.
You can delete links individually, delete multiple links, or remove all your links at once.
To delete links individually, hover over the link that you want to remove from the link table and click on Delete …
(Deleting your links)
To delete multiple links, either tick the check boxes next to individual items that you would like to delete, or select all links by clicking on the check box next to the ‘Name’ column header …
(Delete multiple links)
Choose Delete from the ‘Bulk Actions’ dropdown menu, and click the Apply button to remove your selected links …
(Bulk-deletion of links)
The links will be deleted …
(links deleted message)
Using The Link Manager Plugin
Now that you know how to set up link categories and how to add, edit and delete links, it’s time 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 the admin menu and click on Appearance > Widgets …
(Appearance Menu – Widgets)
This takes you to the ‘Widgets’ screen.
You will notice that a ‘Links’ widget has been added to the Available Widgets section …
To make the ‘Links’ widget active, drag the widget to one of the active widget areas and drop it wherever you want your links to display …
(Add a links widget to a widgetized menu)
The Links widget includes various configurable settings. You can specify what information you would like to display about your links and how many links you want displayed on your sidebar menu …
(Link widget - settings)
You can add as many link widgets as you want. This lets you create and feature various links throughout your site …
(You can add multiple link widgets to your sidebar)
You can select a link category from the ‘Select Link Category:’ drop-down menu …
(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 settings – Sorting options)
When you have finished setting up your Links widget, click Save to update your settings. A link section will appear on your website’s 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.
Need more help using widgets? Go here to learn more about adding widgets:
Links Manager – Additional Information
If you have many links, the Links Manager plugin lets you easily administer these using searching, filtering, and sorting functionality.
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 …
(You can sort links)
Search Links Function
You can find links using the ‘Search Links’ button …
(You can find links with the search function)
Filtering Your Links
You can filter links by link categories …
(Filter your links by link categories)
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 …
(searching and filtering links in the Link Categories page)
This brings up a list of all links grouped under a specific link category …
(Links filtered by category)
Additional Link Options
If you plan to add lots of links to your website or blog, or if you would like 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.
Plugin Download URL
Link Library lets you publish a list of all your link categories with a complete list of links plus notes and descriptions …
(Link Library links. Image source: Link Library plugin website.)
Link Library 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 links that lets your site users become aware of any additions made to to your link library.
Go here for more details about the benefits of using this plugin:
Congratulations! Now you know how to add a blogroll to your WordPress site.
We have written a comprehensive article on adding HTML hyperlinks in WordPress posts. For more info, see this article:
"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