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 Featured Links To Sidebar MenuAs you become more familiar with WordPress, you may occasionally come across references to the term blogroll.

In WordPress terminology, a list of links 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.”

The Links feature lets you add and manage a links section to your WordPress sidebar area (e.g. a “Top 3 Resources” section) using a widget.

Useful Information

Before WordPress version 3.5 was released, Links were a core feature of the WordPress CMS. After version 3.5, the Links Manager section was kept hidden by default in new WordPress installations …

Before …

The Link Manager feature was part of the WordPress admin menu until the release of WP version 3.5

(The Links Manager – part of the WordPress dashboard menu until the release of WordPress v3.5)

After …

The Links Manager feature  - no longer included in WordPress after WP v 3.5

(The Links Manager feature is no longer included in WordPress after WordPress v.3.5)

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

 

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 you can’t see the Link Manager section when you log into your WordPress dashboard you will need to install a plugin. In this tutorial, you will learn how to add, edit, delete and manage blogroll links on your sidebar using WordPress plugins.

Link Manager

Link Manager WordPress Plugin

(Link Manager – Plugin For WordPress)

Plugin Download URL

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

Description

Use this plugin to display the Links Manager, even if you upgrade to a later version of WordPress or remove all of your existing links.

Note: This plugin adds a single line of template code to your installation 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 template code.

Simple Links

Simple Links

(Simple Links WordPress Plugin)

Download URL

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

Description Of Plugin

Simple Links recreates the same concept as the built-in WordPress Link Manager while removing the shortcomings of the deprecated feature.

How To Install Link Manager

To install the Link Manager plugin on your site, do the following:

From your WP administration area, select Plugins > Add New

Plugins - Add New

(Plugins – Add New)

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

How To Install The Plugin

Find the plugin in the results area and click Install Now

How To Install Link Manager

Activate the plugin after it has been installed …

Plugin Installation

After activating the plugin, WordPress will display a ‘Links’ item on your sidebar menu …

Links menu

(WordPress links management menu section)

Plugin Setup

Before adding links, it’s a good idea to set up your link categories. This way, when adding a new link, you can assign the link to link categories you have already created.

Link Categories

To create a new link category, go to the admin menu and choose Links > Link Categories

WP Links Menu - Link Categories

(WordPress Links Menu – Link Categories)

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

Type in the following information:

  • Name: What you enter in this field is the link category name that will display on your site.
  • Slug: The slug appears in the 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. (Optional)

Click the Add New Link Category button to save …

Link Categories area

(Link Categories screen)

Your link category will display in the table …

Link Categories

(Link Categories screen)

Idea

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

Default link category

(Default link category name is ‘blogroll’)

You may want to change this default WordPress link category name to something better suited to your business. This not only makes it easier for visitors, but any new links that you add to your site will automatically be assigned to the new category name …

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

(we recommend changing the default link category name to something better suited to your business)

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

Quick Edit

(Quick Edit)

Replace both the Name and the Slug with a new category name, then click on the Update link Category button …

Update Link Category

(Update Link Category)

Replace the link category ‘Blogroll’ with (e.g. ‘Recommended’, ‘Resources’ etc).

Let’s create a link category description. To add a link category description, click on Edit under the category name …

Link category description

(You can add/edit your category description)

Enter your description in the ‘Edit Link Category’ screen and click Update you’re done to save your settings …

Edit Link Category area

(Edit Link Category page)

Repeat this process to add as many link categories as you need.

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

Adding Links

To create a new link, click on Links > Add New in your admin menu …

WP Links - Add New

(Links – Add New)

This brings up the ‘Add New Link’ screen …

Add New Link screen

(Add New Link page)

You can also access this page by clicking on the ‘Add New’ button in the main Links screen …

Add New Link button

(Links – Add New Link button)

The ‘Add New Links’ page is divided into various sections:

Name, Web Address & Description

This section is where you enter your link details …

Name, Web Address& Description - Add New Link page

(Name, Web Addressand Description fields)

Type in the following information:

  • Name: What you type in this field is the category name that will display on your site.
  • Slug: The slug shows up 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 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 your link …

Add New Link - Categories & Target

(Categories & Target fields – Add New Link page)

In the Categories section, select one of the link categories you have already added, 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 how the link should open when a visitor clicks on it:

  • _blank means that a new, separate browser window will open up to display the information associated with the link. Your visitor can access the information without leaving your website
  • _none means that when visitors click on your link, they will exit your site and a new site 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. Ignore 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)

(Add New Link page – 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 Tennyson Fields and you link to his blog, you would probably check co-worker or colleague.

XFN relationships are optional for WordPress links. You can ignore this section and all your links will work just fine. 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 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. Other ‘rel’ attributes include author, start, help, index, etc.

To learn more about XFN, visit the site below:

Advanced

The last section allows you to enter Advanced features for your links (You can leave the fields in this section blank unless you have a reason to use them) …

Add New Link screen - Advanced section

(Advanced link settings)

The Advanced section contain the following fields:

  • Image Address: Lets you specify an image to be displayed with the link. Add the image URL 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 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 into the above fields or just leave this section ignore this section.

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

click on Add Link to save your new link

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

Important

Note: If you select the checkbox next to Keep this link private, your link will not be visible when links are displayed on your site …

Make links private by selecting the checkbox

(Private link checkbox)

Making a link private allows you to add a link and then toggle its visibility on or off without deleting it (this is useful if you want to have seasonal links) …

Toggle link visibility on and off

(Making links private toggles their visibility on and off)

To see all the links you have created, go to your WP admin menu and click on Links > All Links

Links - All Links

(Links – All Links)

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

Links screen

(List of links)

Practical Tip

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

Links page - Screen Options

(Screen Options – Table of links)

Enable/disable fields on your table of links by selecting/deselecting their check boxes …

Show/hide links

(Table of links – Show/hide screen options)

How To Edit Link Information

To edit links in the Link Manager, go to the admin menu and select Links > All Links to bring up the links table …

Links - All Links

(Links Menu – All Links)

Select the link you want to edit and click on Edit to bring up the link’s information …

Editing link information

(Editing your link information)

Make changes to your link details …

Edit Link screen

(Edit Link page)

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

  • Click on Update Link to save your link details,
  • Click on Visit Link to see your link and make sure that you have set up everything correctly (your link will open in a new window),
  • Click Delete to delete the link …

Edit Link: Update Link button

(Update Link button)

How To Remove Links

To delete a link, click on Links > All Links in the admin menu …

Links Menu - All Links

(Links – All Links)

The ‘Links’ page will display in your browser.

You can delete links individually, delete multiple links, or remove all your links at once.

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

Deleting your links

(Delete your links)

To delete multiple links, either click on the check box next to every item that you would like removed, or select all links by clicking on the checkbox next to the ‘Name’ column header at the top of the list …

Delete multiple links

(Delete multiple links)

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

Bulk-deletion of links

(Links: bulk-delete function)

All the links you have selected will be removed …

Link deletion notice

(Deleted links message)

Plugin Usage

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

Links Widget

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

To access and configure your Link widgets, choose Appearance > Widgets in your dashboard menu …

Appearance Menu - Widgets

(WP Appearance Menu – Widgets)

The ‘Widgets’ screen will load in your browser.

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

Links widget

(Links widget)

Drag the ‘Links’ widget to one of the active widget areas and drop it wherever you would like your links to display …

Adding a links widget to your sidebar using drag & drop

(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 to display on your sidebar menu …

Link widget - options

(Link widget - options)

You can also add as many link widgets as you want. This allows you to create and display different links throughout your site …

Add multiple link widgets to your widget bars

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

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

Link widget options - Select Link Category

(Link widget options – Select Link Category)

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

Link widget settings - Sort by options

(Link widget options – Sort by options)

Once you are done configuring your links widget, click the Save button to update your settings. A link section will become visible on your sidebar, footer or whichever widget-ready area you have added the links widget to …

An example of how links can be displayed on a sidebar

(An example of how 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.

Tip

Need help with widgets? We have written a comprehensive article about configuring widgets. Go here to learn more:

Links Manager – Additional Information

If you have many links, the Links Manager plugin lets you easily administer these with sorting, filtering, and searching functionality.

Sorting Links Function

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

You can sort links

(You can easily sort links)

Finding Your Links

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

Search links

(You can find links using the search function)

Filter Your Links

You can filter links by link categories …

Filtering links by link category

(Filtering 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 category 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 under a specific link category …

Links filtered by link category

(Links filtered by category)

Additional Link Options

If you plan to add a lot of links to your site, or if you want 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 links.

Link Library

Link Library WordPress Plugin

(Link Library Plugin)

Plugin URL

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

Plugin Description

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

Link Library links

(Link Library links. Image sourced from Link Library plugin website.)

This plugin creates a page on your website that contains all 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 additions to your link library.

To learn more about this plugin, go here:

How Do I Add Featured Links To My WordPress Site?

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

Tip

We have also created a detailed article about how to easily insert HTML hyperlinks into WordPress here:

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Author: Martin Aranovitch

Martin Aranovitch is the owner of WPCompendium.org and the author of The WordPress User Manual. WPCompendium.org provides hundreds of FREE tutorials that show you how to use WordPress to grow your business online with no coding skills required! Get our FREE "101+ WordPress Tips, Tricks & Hacks For Non-Techies" e-course with loads of useful WordPress tips!

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