As you become more familiar with WordPress, you may occasionally come across references to the term blogroll.
A blogroll is a list of hyperlinks pointing to external sites or pages that display 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 blogroll using the Links menu in your WordPress Dashboard. These links will then display on your website if you have added the Links widget.
Prior to the release of WordPress v.3.5, Links were a built-in feature of the WordPress CMS. From version 3.5 onwards, the Links manager and blogroll sections were removed …
(Links – part of the admin menu until the release of WordPress version 3.5)
(The Link Manager feature – excluded from the admin menu after WordPress v 3.5)
If you’ve used an earlier version than 3.5 and updated your installation, the Links Manager would be removed, unless you have previously used it.
- How To Add A Link Section To WordPress
- Link Manager
- How To Add New Links
- How To Edit Links
- How To Remove Your Links
- Links – Additional Options
- Link Library
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 Link Manager section when you log into your WP admin area you will need to install a plugin. In this tutorial, you will learn how to add and manage blogroll links on your sidebar using WordPress plugins.
(Links Manager WordPress Plugin)
Description Of Plugin
The Link Manager plugin displays the built-in Links menu on your WP dashboard, even if you upgrade to a later version of WordPress or remove all of your existing links.
Note: All this plugin does is add a single line of 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 one below instead, or contact us for help editing your template code.
(Simple Links WordPress Plugin)
This plugin attempts to recreate the concept of the built-in Link Manager while removing the shortcomings of the deprecated feature.
Let’s install the Link Manager plugin.
In the WP administration area, select Plugins > Add New …
(Plugins Menu – Add New)
Click on the Install Plugins > Search tab, then type in “link manager” into the search field and hit Enter …
Locate the plugin in the results screen and click Install Now …
Activate the plugin after installation …
Once you have activated the plugin, the ‘Links’ function is restored to the navigation menu area …
Before you start adding links, it’s a good idea to first set up your link categories. This way, you can assign new links to link categories you have already created.
To create a new link category, go to the WP dashboard navigation menu and choose Links > Link Categories …
(Links – Link Categories)
The ‘Link Categories’ page will display in your web browser.
Enter the following information:
- Name: Enter the link category name.
- Slug: The slug is the search-engine friendly URL part of your link category name. It must all be in lowercase letters and contain no spaces (use hyphens to separate words).
- Description: Some themes may display your link category description.
When finished, click the Add New Link Category button to save your new link category …
The link category will display in the table …
Tip: The default WordPress link category is called Blogroll . Unless you specify the category when adding a link, WordPress automatically assigns new links to the default category …
(Default link category name is ‘blogroll’)
You may want to change the default WordPress link category name to something that your visitors can understand. 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 ’blogroll’ to something your visitors will understand)
To edit the default category name, hover your mouse over the category name and click on 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), and click on the Update link Category button …
Replace the link category name ‘Blogroll’ with a name more suitable to your purposes (e.g. ‘Recommended’, ‘Our Partners’ etc).
Let’s create a link category description. To add a link category description, hover over the item name and click Edit …
(You can add/edit the category description)
Add your link category description field and click Update you’re done to save your settings …
(Edit Link Category page)
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 add a new link, click on Links > Add New in the WP navigation menu …
(Links Menu – Add New)
The ‘Add New Link’ page will load in your browser …
(Add New Link screen)
You can also access this page by clicking on the ‘Add New’ button in the main Links screen …
(Links screen – Add New Link button)
The ‘Add New Links’ page includes several sections:
Name, Web Address & Description
The first section is where you enter details about your link …
(Add New Link screen – Name, Web Address& Description)
Type in information into the following fields:
- Name: Enter the category name.
- Slug: The slug is the URL bit of your link category name. Only use lower case letters and do not include spaces (use hyphens to separate words).
- Description: Some themes may display your link category description. (Optional)
Categories & Target
After adding link details, select a Category and Target for your new link …
(Categories & Target – Add New Link page)
In the Categories section, select one of the link categories you’ve already added, or click on the ‘+ Add New Category’ link 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 visitors click on it:
- _blank means that when a visitor clicks on the link, a separate browser window will open up to display the information for that link.
- _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 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 just ignore this option.
Link Relationship XFN
This section provides some additional link functionality …
(Add New Link – Link Relationship (XFN) fields)
Link Relationship (XFN) – XFN stands for XML Friends Network – lets you define your relationship to the linked person. For example, if you have a professional relationship with Pari Jones and you link to her blog, you would probably tick co-worker or colleague.
XFN relationships are optional. You can ignore this section and all your links will still work. XFN makes your links more understandable to some websites 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 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. Separate multiple ‘rel’ keywords using spaces.
To learn more about XFN, visit this site:
The last section lets you enter Advanced features for your links (some themes will ignore this. You can leave the fields in this section blank unless you have a reason to use them) …
(Advanced link settings – Add New Link)
The Advanced section fields are as follows:
- Image Address: 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 link’s RSS feed can display 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).
Type in your information into the above fields or just leave this section ignore this section.
When you are done adding information about your link, click on Add Link to update your link settings …
(Click on Add Link to update your link settings)
Note: If you tick Keep this link private, your link will not be visible when links are displayed on your site …
(Make links private by checking the box)
Making links private lets you toggle link visibility on or off without deleting your links (this is useful if you would like links to display during certain periods and hide them when they are no longer required) …
(Toggle link visibility on and off)
To see a list of all your links, select Links > All Links in the main dashboard menu …
(Links – All Links)
This loads the ‘Links’ table in your browser. The Links page displays your links and link information (e.g. link URL, link categories, visibility, etc.) …
(Table of links)
Tip: To display additional fields in the Links table, click on the ‘Screen Options’ tab near the top of the screen …
(Screen Options – List of links)
Enable/disable fields on your table of links by ticking/unticking their checkboxes …
(Links table – Show/hide screen options)
How To Edit Links
To edit a link in the Link Manager, select Links > All Links in the main admin menu to bring up your list of links …
(WP Links Menu – All Links)
Select the item to be edited and click on Edit to bring up the item’s link details …
Edit the link fields …
(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 check that you have set up its URL correctly (your link will open in a new window),
- Click Delete to delete the link from your link table …
(Update Link button)
How To Remove Your Links
To remove a link from the Link Manager, click on Links > All Links in the admin menu …
(Links Menu – All Links)
The ‘Links’ page will load in your browser.
You can delete links individually, delete multiple links, or perform a bulk delete.
To delete individual links, hover your mouse cursor over the link that you want removed and click on Delete …
To delete a number of links at once, either tick the check boxes next to individual items that you want to remove, or select all links by clicking on the main checkbox next to the ‘Name’ column header …
(Deleting multiple links)
Choose Delete from the ‘Bulk Actions’ menu, and click the Apply button to delete all selected links …
(Links: bulk-deletion function)
All the links you have selected will be deleted …
(links deleted notice)
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 make links display on your website or blog.
Installing the Links Manager plugin adds a ‘Links’ widget to your ‘Widgets’ page.
To access and configure your Link widgets, select Appearance > Widgets in your dashboard menu …
(Appearance – Widgets)
The ‘Widgets’ screen will load in your browser.
You will notice a ‘Links’ widget in the Available Widgets section …
Drag the ‘Links’ widget to one of the widget bars and drop it wherever you want the links section to display …
(Drag and drop your links widget to add it to your WordPress widget bar)
The Links widget offers various configurable options. You can specify what information you would like to show 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 lets you add and display specific a number of different lists of links throughout your site …
(Add a number of link widgets to your sidebar)
Select a link category from the ‘Select Link Category:’ dropdown menu …
(Link widget settings – Select Link Category)
You can sort links by Link title, Link rating, Link ID, or display links in Random order …
(Link widget settings – Sorting options)
After setting up the links widget, click the Save button to update your settings. A links should display on your sidebar menu …
(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 using widgets? If you want to learn more about configuring widgets, see this article:
Links Manager – Additional Information
If you have added many links, the Links Manager plugin lets you easily administer these using filter, search, and sort features.
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 …
Finding Links Function
Find links using the ‘Search Links’ button …
(You can search links using the search function)
Filter Links Function
You can filter links by link categories …
(Filtering 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 links in the ‘Links’ column …
(Search and filter links in the Link Categories screen)
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 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 consider using a plugin that can help you administer your links.
(Link library – Plugin For WordPress)
Download Plugin URL
This plugin allows you to publish a list of all your link categories with a complete list of all your links together with descriptions and notes …
(List of links created with Link library. Image sourced from Link Library plugin website.)
Link Library creates a page on your site containing a list of all of 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 for your link collection that lets your site users be made aware of additions to your link library.
For more details about the benefits of using this WordPress plugin, go here:
Congratulations! Now you know how to add a link section to your WordPress site.
We have written a detailed article about how to easily add hyperlinks in your WordPress posts. For more details:
"If you're new to WordPress, this can stand on its own as a training course and will stay with you as you progress from beginner to advanced and even guru status." - Bruce (Columbus, Ohio)
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