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 LinksAs you become more familiar with WordPress, you may occasionally come across something called a blogroll.

A blogroll is a list of links pointing to other sites 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.”

You can display links on your sidebar using the WordPress Link Manager plugin.

Important

Before the release of v3.5, Links were a visible feature of the WordPress CMS. From v3.5 onwards, the Link Manager section was kept hidden by default in new WordPress installations …

Before …

The Link Manager displayed in the admin menu until the release of WordPress v3.5

(The Links Manager feature – part of the dashboard menu until the release of WP v.3.5)

After …

Post v3.5 - no WP Links Manager feature

(The Link Manager feature – no longer included in the dashboard menu after WordPress v3.5)

If you’ve had an earlier version of WordPress than v 3.5 installed and upgraded your installation, the Links Manager would be removed, unless you have previously used it.

How To Add A Link Section To WordPress

If you can’t see the Links Manager section when you log into your WP admin area you will need to install a plugin. This step-by-step tutorial explains how to add and manage links on your sidebar using plugins.

Link Manager

Link Manager - Plugin For WordPress

(Link Manager – Plugin For WordPress)

Plugin Download URL

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

Plugin Description

This plugin restores the built-in Link 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 template code to restore the hidden feature. When we last 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 template code.

Simple Links

Simple Links Plugin

(Simple Links Plugin)

Plugin Download URL

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

Description Of Plugin

This plugin recreates the concept of the built-in WordPress Link Manager while addressing the shortcomings of the deprecated functionality.

Installing The Plugin

To install the Link Manager plugin on your site, follow the instructions below:

In your WordPress dashboard menu, go to Plugins > Add New

Plugins - Add New

(Plugins – Add New)

Click on the Install Plugins > Search tab, then type in “link manager” into the search field and hit Enter

Installing Link Manager

Locate the plugin in the results area and click Install Now

Plugin Installation

Activate the plugin after it has been installed …

Installing Link Manager

Once the plugin has been activated, a ‘Links’ item will show in your sidebar menu …

Links menu section

(Links menu section)

Configuring Link Manager

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

Link Categories

To create a link category, choose Links > Link Categories in the main dashboard navigation menu …

Links - Link Categories

(WordPress Links – Link Categories)

You will be taken to the ‘Link Categories’ screen.

Enter the following information:

  • Name: What you enter in this field displays as the link category name.
  • Slug: The slug is the web address part of your link category. It must be in lowercase letters and contain no spaces (use hyphens to separate words).
  • Description: Some themes may display a link category description. (Optional)

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

Link Categories

(Link Categories area)

Your category details will be added to the list …

Link Categories page

(Link Categories)

Tip

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

Default link category name

(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 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 relate to

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

To edit the ‘Blogroll’ link name, hover your mouse over the list item and click on the Quick Edit link …

Edit the default link category

(Quick Edit)

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 …

Edit the default link category

(Update Link Category)

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

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

Link category description

(You can add/edit your category description)

Add your link category description field and click Update when you’re done …

Edit Link Category screen

(Edit Link Category area)

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

After setting up your link categories, you can start adding new links.

Adding Links

To add a new link, go to your dashboard menu and choose Links > Add New

WP Links Menu - Add New

(Links Menu – Add New)

This brings up the Add New Link’ screen in your web browser …

Add New Link screen

(Add New Link screen)

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

Links screen - Add New Link button

(Links – Add New Link button)

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

Name, Web Address & Description

Enter your link details in this section …

Name, Web Address, Description

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

Type in information into the following sections:

  • Name: What you type in this field is the category name that will display on your site.
  • 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 a 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 the new link …

Categories & Target fields - Add New Link page

(Categories & Target – Add New Link page)

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

Next, select a target frame radio button for your link in the Target section. This lets you specify how you want the link to open when a visitor clicks on it:

  • _blank means that when a visitor clicks on your link, a new web browser window will open up to display the content 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 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 just ignore this option.
Link Relationship XFN

This area provides some additional link functionality …

Add New Link - Link Relationship (XFN) area

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

Link Relationship (XFN) – XFN (XML Friends Network) is a way to define your relationship with the linked person. For example, if you work with Florence 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 of your links will still work. 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 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, help, start, index, etc. Separate multiple ‘rel’ keywords with spaces.

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 section

(Add New Link – Advanced link settings)

The Advanced link settings section contains the following:

  • Image Address: Lets you specify an image to be displayed with the link. To use this feature, add the URL of your image 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 display next to your 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).

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

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

click on the Add Link button to update your link settings

(Click on the Add Link button to save your new link)

Info

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

Private link checkbox

(Make links private by checking the box)

Making links private allows you to toggle their visibility on or off without deleting your links (this is useful if you want to have seasonal links) …

Making links private toggles their visibility on and off

(Toggle link visibility on and off)

To view a list of all the links you have added, go to the admin menu and click on Links > All Links

Links Menu - All Links

(WP Links – All Links)

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

List of Links

(Links page)

Tip

Tip: To display additional options in the table of links, click on the ‘Screen Options’ tab near the top of your screen …

Screen Options - List of Links

(Table of links – Screen Options)

Display/hide information on your table of links by ticking/unticking their checkboxes …

Show/hide - Links page

(Table of links – Hide or show screen options)

Editing Link Information

To modify a link in the Link Manager, click on Links > All Links in the WP dashboard navigation menu to bring up your table of links …

WP Links - All Links

(Links – All Links)

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

Editing links

(Editing link information)

Edit the link information …

Edit Link screen

(Edit Link screen)

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

  • Click the Update Link button to save your link details,
  • Click on Visit Link to view your link and check that you have set up your link’s URL correctly (your link will open in a new window),
  • Click Delete to remove the link from your link table if you no longer require it …

Edit Link: Update Link button

(Update Link button)

Deleting Your Links

To delete a link from the Link Manager, go to the WP dashboard navigation menu and select Links > All Links

WP Links - All Links

(Links Menu – All Links)

The ‘Links’ table will display in your browser.

You can delete links individually, delete multiple links, or perform a bulk delete.

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

Deleting your links

(Deleting your links)

To delete multiple links, either tick the check box next to each link that you want to remove, or select all links by clicking on the checkbox next to the ‘Name’ column header at the top of the list …

Delete multiple links

(Deleting multiple links)

Choose Delete from the ‘Bulk Actions’ menu, and click the Apply button to delete all selected links …

Bulk-deletion of links

(Bulk-deletion of links)

The links you have selected will be removed …

Deleted links notification

(links deleted notification)

Plugin Usage

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

Using The Links Widget

Installing the Link Manager plugin adds a ‘Links’ widget to your ‘Widgets’ section.

To access and configure your Link widgets, select Appearance > Widgets in the main navigation menu …

Appearance - Widgets

(WP Appearance Menu – Widgets)

This loads the ‘Widgets’ page in your browser.

You will see that a ‘Links’ widget has been added to the Available Widgets section …

Links widget

(Links widget)

Drag the ‘Links’ widget to one of the active widget areas in the Widgets page and drop it wherever you want your links section to show up …

Add a links widget to your WordPress widget bar using drag and drop

(Drag and drop the links widget to add it to your widget bar)

The Links widget offers a number of configurable settings. You can specify what information you would like displayed about your links and how many links you want to display on your sidebar menu …

Link widget - configurable options

(Link widget - configurable settings)

You can also add multiple link widgets to your sidebars and footers. This lets you create and feature several link lists sorted by categories throughout your site …

Add multiple link widgets to your sidebar

(Add multiple link widgets to your sidebar)

Select a link category to display links for a specific category …

Link widget options - Select Link Category

(Link widget options – Select Link Category)

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

Link widget options - Sort by options

(Link widget settings – Sorting options)

When you have finished configuring the Links widget, click the Save button to update your settings. A links should show on your sidebar, footer or wherever you place the links widget in …

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

Tip

Need help using widgets? Go here to learn more about adding widgets:

Link Manager – Additional Information

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

Sort Links Function

To sort links, hover your mouse over the title of the column you want to sort and click on the black triangle displayed next to the column title …

Sorting your links

(Sort your links)

Find Links Function

Type a search term into the search field and click the Search Links button …

You can find your links with the search function

(You can find your links with the search function)

Filter Links

You can filter links by category …

Filter your links by categories

(Filtering your links by category)

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

searching and filtering links in the Link Categories screen

(searching and filtering links in the Link Categories page)

This brings up a list of all links listed under a specific link category …

Links filtered by 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 ‘Links’ page 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 links, like Link Library.

Link Library

Link Library WordPress Plugin

(Link Library Plugin)

Download Plugin URL

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

Plugin Description

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

List of links created with Link library

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

This plugin can be used to create a page on your website that contains a list of all of the link categories in your Links section, 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 link collection that lets your site users be made aware of additions to your link library.

Visit this site to learn more this great plugin:

How To Add A WordPress Blogroll Section

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

Tip

Go here for a detailed article on inserting hyperlinks into WordPress posts:

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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!