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 A WordPress Links SectionAs you discover more about WordPress, you may occasionally come across references to the term blogroll.

In WordPress terminology, a list of hyperlinks displayed on your sidebar is sometimes 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 Manager lets you add hyperlinks to a widgetized theme.

Important Info

Prior to the release of WP v3.5, Links were a core feature of the WordPress CMS. After v 3.5, the Link Manager section was removed …

Before …

WP Links Menu - pre version 3.5

(WordPress Links Manager – pre v.3.5)

After …

The Links Manager is no longer part of WordPress after WP v.3.5

(Links – excluded from the menu after WordPress v3.5)

If you have used an earlier version of WordPress than v.3.5 and updated your installation, the Link Manager would have been removed, unless you’ve previously used it.


How To Add A Link Section To WordPress

Practical 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 Links Manager section when you log into your WordPress dashboard you will need to install a plugin. This tutorial explains how to add, edit, delete and manage blogroll links on your sidebar using plugins.

Link Manager

Link Manager WordPress Plugin

(Link Manager Plugin)

Download URL

Plugin Description

Use this plugin to restore the Links feature on your dashboard, even if you upgrade to a later version of WordPress 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 a while, 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 site’s template code.

Simple Links

Simple Links

(Simple Links)

Download URL

Description Of 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, follow the step-by-step instructions below:

From your WordPress dashboard area, select Plugins > Add New

Plugins - Add New

(Plugins Menu – Add New)

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

Plugin Installation

Locate the plugin in the results screen and click Install Now

Installing Link Manager

Activate the plugin after installation …

Plugin Installation

After activation, a ‘Links’ item will show on your dashboard menu …

Links management menu section

(WordPress links management menu section)

Plugin Configuration

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

Link Categories

To create a new link category, go to your admin menu and click on Links > Link Categories

WP Links - Link Categories

(Links Menu – Link Categories)

This loads the ‘Link Categories’ screen in your web browser.

Type in the following information:

  • Name: Enter the category name here.
  • Slug: The slug is the URL bit 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. (Optional)

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

Link Categories

(Link Categories)

The new category will display in the table …

Link Categories area

(Link Categories)

Important Info

Tip: The default WordPress link category is called Blogroll . Unless you specify the category when adding a link, WordPress will assign new links to the default category …

Default link category name is 'blogroll'

(Default link category)

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 your site will automatically be assigned to the new category name …

we recommend changing the default 'blogroll' to something your visitors will understand

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

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

Quick Edit

(Editing the default 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 Update Link Category

Update Link Category

(Update Link Category)

In our example, we’ve replaced the link category name ‘Blogroll’ with an appropriate links section category name (e.g. ‘Recommended’).

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

You can add/edit the category description

(You can add/edit the category description)

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

Edit Link Category page

(Edit Link Category area)

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

After configuring your link categories, you can add your links.

Adding New Links

To create a new link, select Links > Add New in the main navigation menu …

Links Menu - Add New

(Links – Add New)

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

Add New Link page

(Add New Link page)

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

Links screen - Add New Link button

(Add New Link button)

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

Name, Web Address & Description

The first section lets you enter details about your link …

Name, Web Address, Description

(Name, Web Address, Description)

Type in the following information:

  • Name: What you enter in this field displays as the category your links will be assigned to.
  • Slug: The slug is the web address bit of your link category. 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 with their mouse. (Optional)
Categories & Target

Select a Category and Target for the link …

Categories & Target section

(Categories & Target – Add New Link)

In the Categories section, select one of the link categories you have already set up, or click on ’+ Add New Category’ to create a new category link.

Next, select a target frame for your link in the Target section by choosing one of the radio buttons. This lets you specify how your link should open when clicked on by visitors:

  • _blank means that when a visitor clicks on your link, a new browser window will open up to display the information associated with the link.
  • _none means that when visitors click on the link, they will leave 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) - Add New Link screen

(Add New Link – Link Relationship (XFN))

Link Relationship (XFN) – XFN stands for XML Friends Network – allows you to define your relationship with the linked person. For example, if you work with Debbie Silva and you link to her blog, you would probably tick co-worker or colleague.

XFN relationships are optional. 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 lets you specify the ‘rel’ attribute that will be assigned to your link. The rel attribute specifies a relationship 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, index, start, help, etc.

To learn more about XFN, visit this site:


The last section of the Add New Link’ screen lets you enter Advanced features for your links (You can leave these fields blank unless you have a reason to use them) …

Advanced area

(Add New Link page – Advanced link settings)

The Advanced link settings section includes the following options:

  • Image Address: Lets you specify an image to be displayed with the link. Add an 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 display next to your link.
  • Notes: This section lets you add notes for your own internal reference.
  • Rating: You can 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 blank.

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

click on the Add Link button to save your new link

(Click on Add Link to save your new link)

Important Info

Note: If you tick Keep this link private, the link will not be visible in your Blogroll section …

Private link checkbox

(Make links private by selecting the checkbox)

Making a link private lets you toggle its visibility on or off without deleting it (this is useful if you would like the link to display during certain times and hide it afterwards) …

Making links private toggles their visibility on and off

(Toggle link visibility on and off)

To see a list of all your links, go to the WP dashboard menu and choose Links > All Links

Links Menu - All Links

(Links – All Links)

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

Links page

(List of links)

Useful Tip

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

Screen Options - Links page

(Links table – Screen Options)

Display/hide fields on your Links table by ticking/unticking their check boxes …

Links screen - Hide or show screen options

(Links page – Show/hide screen options)

How To Edit Link Information

To modify a link in the Link Manager, choose Links > All Links in the navigation menu to bring up your list of links …

Links - All Links

(WordPress Links Menu – All Links)

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

Editing your link information

(Editing your link information)

Make any changes you want to the link …

Edit Link screen

(Edit Link page)

After editing your 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 everything correctly (your link will open up in a new window),
  • Click Delete to delete the link from your list if it’s no longer required …

Update Link button

(Update Link button)

Removing Your Links

To remove a link, go to the main dashboard navigation menu and select Links > All Links

Links Menu - All Links

(Links Menu – All Links)

This loads the ‘Links’ screen in your browser.

You can delete links individually, delete multiple links by selecting their check boxes, or delete all links at once.

To delete individual links, hover your cursor over the link title that you want to remove from the link table and click on Delete

Delete your links

(Deleting links)

To delete links in bulk, 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

(Deleting multiple links)

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

Bulk-delete links

(Links: bulk-delete function)

The links you have selected will be deleted …

Deleted links notification

(Deleted links message)

Using The Plugin

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

Using The Links Widget

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

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

WP Appearance - Widgets

(Appearance Menu – Widgets)

This loads the ‘Widgets’ page in your web 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 your active widget sections and drop it wherever you would like the links section to display …

Drag and drop your links widget to add it to a widgetized area

(Adding a links widget to your widget bar using drag and drop)

The Links widget includes various settings. You can specify what information you would like to show about your links and how many links you would like to display on your sidebar menu …

Link widget - configurable options

(Link widget settings)

You can also add as many link widgets as you want. This allows you to create and display a number of lists of links on your site …

Add multiple link widgets to your sidebar

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

You can 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 options - Sorting options

(Link widget options – Sort by options)

After configuring the Links widget, click the Save button to update your settings. A links should show on your site …

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

(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 with widgets? We have written a comprehensive article about adding widgets. For more details:

Links Manager – Additional Information

If you have loads of links, the Links Manager plugin allows you to easily administer these using search, sort, and filter features.

Sort Your Links

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

Sort links function

(Sort links)

Finding Links

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

Searching links

(Find your links)

Filter Links Function

You can filter links by link categories …

Filter links by category

(Filter links by category)

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

(Search and filter links in the Link Categories page)

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

Links filtered by 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 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 Plugin

(Link Library Plugin)

Plugin Download URL

Plugin Description

This plugin allows you to display a list of your link categories with a complete list of links together with notes and descriptions …

List of links created with Link library

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

Link Library can be used to create a page on your website containing all the link categories in your Links section, and 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 links so that your site users can be made aware of any additions made to to your link library.

Visit this site to learn more this powerful plugin:

How Do I Add A Blogroll To The WordPress Sidebar?

Congratulations! Now you know how to how to add a blogroll and manage links in WordPress.

Practical Tip

To learn more about how to add HTML links to WordPress posts, refer to this article:


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