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.

Adding WordPress Sidebar Featured LinksAs you discover more about WordPress, you may occasionally come across something called a blogroll.

WordPress refers to a list of hyperlinks pointing to other websites or pages that display on your sidebar 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.”

The Links Manager lets you easily add links to a widgetized theme.

Info

Before WordPress v3.5 was released, Links were a built-in feature of the WordPress CMS. After the release of v 3.5, the Links manager and blogroll sections were removed …

Before …

WordPress Links Manager - pre version 3.5

(Links appeared in the menu until the release of WordPress v 3.5)

After …

Post version 3.5 - no WP Links Manager

(Post version 3.5 – no WordPress Links Manager)

If you have used an earlier version than 3.5 and upgraded your installation, the Links Manager would have been removed, unless you have previously used it.

If the Links Manager is not visible when you log into your WP dashboard you will need to install a plugin. This step-by-step tutorial explains how to add and manage blogroll links on your site’s sidebar using WordPress plugins.

Link Manager

Link Manager Plugin

(Link Manager)

Plugin Download URL

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

Description Of Plugin

You can use this plugin to display the Link Manager, even if you update 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. 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 the Link Manager plugin, then use the one below instead, or contact us for help editing your site’s template code.

Simple Links

Simple Links

(Simple Links WordPress Plugin)

Plugin URL

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

Description

This plugin attempts to recreate the same concept as the built-in WordPress Links Manager while removing the shortcomings of the deprecated feature.

Installing Link Manager

Let’s install the Link Manager plugin.

From your WordPress dashboard menu, select Plugins > Add New

Plugins Menu - Add New

(Plugins Menu – 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 screen and click Install Now

How To Install Link Manager

Activate the plugin after it has been installed …

Installing Link Manager

Once you have activated the plugin, WordPress will display a ‘Links’ item on the navigation menu screen …

Links menu section

(Links menu section)

Plugin Setup

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

Link Categories

To create a new link category, select Links > Link Categories in the navigation menu …

Links - Link Categories

(Links Menu – Link Categories)

The ‘Link Categories’ page will load in your web browser.

Enter information into the following sections:

  • Name: Whatever you type here displays as the link category name.
  • Slug: The slug appears in the URL 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 your link category description. (Optional)

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

Link Categories

(Link Categories screen)

The link category will now show in the list …

Link Categories page

(Link Categories)

Important Info

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

Default link 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 be listed under the new category name …

Consider changing the default 'blogroll' to something better suited to your business

(Change the default link category name to something your visitors will understand)

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

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

Quick Edit

(Edit the default link category)

Replace the category name ‘Blogroll’ with (e.g. ‘Recommended’, ‘Our Partners’ etc).

Let’s now add a description for this link category. To add a description to an existing link category, hover over the item name and click Edit

You can add/edit your category description

(Link category description)

Add your link category description field and click Update

Edit Link Category screen

(Edit Link Category screen)

Repeat the above process and add as many link categories as you need.

Once you have finished setting up your link categories, you can being adding your links.

Adding Links

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

WordPress Links - Add New

(Links Menu – Add New)

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

Add New Link page

(Add New Link screen)

You can also access this screen by clicking on ’Add New’ in 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

Enter details about your link in this section …

Name, Web Addressand Description

(Name, Web Address, Description)

Enter the following information:

  • Name: What you enter here displays as the category your links will be assigned to.
  • Slug: The slug appears in the SEO 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 in the links section, or as a tool tip when visitors hover over the link name.
Categories & Target

Select a Category and Target for the link …

Add New Link page - Categories & Target

(Add New Link screen – Categories & Target)

In the Categories section, tick a link category you’ve already added, or click on the ‘+ Add New Category’ link to create a new category link.

Also, select a target frame radio button for your link in the Target section. This lets you specify how the link should open when clicked on by visitors:

  • _blank means that when a visitor clicks on your link, a separate browser window will open up to display the content for that link.
  • _none means that when a visitor clicks on your link, they will exit your site and a new website 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. Ignore 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) area

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

Link Relationship (XFN) – XFN stands for XML Friends Network – allows you to define your relationship to the linked person. For example, if you have a professional relationship with Tallulah Fields 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 of your links will still work. XFN makes the links defined on your site 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 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. Separate multiple ‘rel’ attributes using spaces.

You can learn more about XFN by visiting this site:

WordPress Codex: Defining Relationships With XFN

Advanced

The last section lets you enter Advanced features for your links (You can ignore this section, unless there’s a good reason to use it) …

Advanced link settings

(Advanced link settings)

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 your image 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 link.
  • Notes: This section lets you add notes 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).

Enter information in the above fields or just leave this section ignore this section.

When you have finished adding your new link information, click on the Add Link button to save your new link …

click on the Add Link button to update your link settings

(Click on Add Link to save your new link)

Important Info

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

Private link checkbox

(Make links private by checking the box)

Making a link private lets you toggle link visibility on and off without deleting it (this is useful if you want a link to display during certain periods and hide it after it’s no longer required) …

Making links private toggles their visibility on and off

(Making links private toggles their visibility on and off)

To see all your links, select Links > All Links in the WP dashboard menu …

Links - All Links

(Links Menu – All Links)

This brings up the ‘Links’ table in your web browser. The Links screen displays all your links and link information (e.g. link URL, categories, rating, etc.) …

Links screen

(Links page)

Useful Tip

Tip: To display additional information in the Links table, click on the ‘Screen Options’ tab at the top of the screen …

Table of Links - Screen Options

(Screen Options – List of links)

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

Show/hide links

(Show/hide – Links page)

How To Edit Links

To modify links, choose Links > All Links in the WP admin menu to bring up the table of links …

WP Links - All Links

(Links – All Links)

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

Editing link information

(Editing your links)

Change the link …

Edit Link page

(Edit Link page)

After editing the link, you can:

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

Update Link button

(Update Link button)

How To Delete Your Links

To remove links, go to the navigation menu and choose Links > All Links

WP Links - All Links

(Links – All Links)

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

You can delete links individually, delete multiple links by selecting their check boxes, or perform a bulk delete.

To delete individual links, hover over the link title that you want removed and click on Delete

Delete links

(Delete your links)

To delete a number of links at once, either click on the checkboxes next to individual links that you want to delete, 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

(Delete multiple links)

Select Delete from the ‘Bulk Actions’ pull-down menu, and click the Apply button to remove your selected links …

Links: bulk-deletion function

(Bulk-delete links)

The links you have selected will be removed …

Link deletion notification

(Link deletion notification)

Using The Plugin

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

Links Widget

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

To access and configure your Link widgets, go to the WP navigation menu and select Appearance > Widgets

Appearance - Widgets

(Appearance – Widgets)

This brings up the ‘Widgets’ page in your browser.

You will notice a ‘Links’ widget in the Available Widgets section …

Links widget

(Links widget)

To make the ‘Links’ widget active, drag the widget to one of the active widget bars and drop it wherever you want your links to display …

Adding a links widget to a widgetized menu

(Adding a links widget to a widgetized area)

The Links widget offers a number of configurable options. For example, you can specify what information you want to display about your links and how many links you would like to display on your sidebar …

Link widget options

(Link widget - options)

You can also add as many link widgets to your sidebar and footer as you want. This allows you to create and feature specific multiple link categories on your site …

You can add multiple link widgets to your widget bars

(Add multiple link widgets to your sidebar)

Select a link category from the ‘Select Link Category:’ pull-down menu …

Link widget options - Select Link Category

(Link widget settings – Select Link Category)

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

Link widget settings - Sorting options

(Link widget options – Sort by options)

After configuring the links widget, click the Save button to update your settings. Your link section will become visible on your website or blog’s sidebar …

An example of how 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.

Practical Tip

Need more help with widgets? We have written a comprehensive article on adding widgets. Go here to learn more: How To Add WordPress Widgets To The Sidebar Navigation Area

Links Manager – Additional Information

If you have loads of links, the Link Manager plugin lets you easily administer these using sort, filter, and search functions.

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 your links

(Sort your links)

Finding Your Links

You can search for links using the ‘Search Links’ button …

Searching your links

(Search your links)

Filter Your Links

You can filter links by category …

Filter links by link categories

(Filtering 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 …

Search and filter links in the Link Categories page

(Search and filter 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)

Additional Link Options

If you plan to add lots of links to your website, or if you intend 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 look at using a plugin that can help you administer your links.

Link Library

Link library - WordPress Link Management Plugin

(Link library – Plugin For WordPress)

Plugin URL

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

Plugin Description

Link Library allows you to display a list of your link categories and a complete list of links with descriptions and notes …

List of links created with Link library

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

This useful plugin creates a page on your site containing all 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 for your links so that your site users can become aware of any additions made to to your link library.

To learn more this WordPress plugin, visit the plugin website: Link Library Plugin For WordPress

Adding A WordPress Featured Links Section

Congratulations! Now you know how to add a blogroll to WordPress.

Practical Tip

If you want to learn more about how to easily add HTML links to WordPress posts and pages, see this article: How To Use The Internal Linking Tool In WordPress

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Author: Martin Aranovitch

Martin Aranovitch is the founder of WPCompendium.org and has authored hundreds of FREE WordPress tutorials for non-techies and beginners. WPCompendium.org provides detailed step-by-step tutorials that will teach you how to use WordPress with no coding skills required and grow your business online at minimal cost!

Originally published as How To Add A Link Section To WordPress.