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 Do I Add A Blogroll To WordPress?As you continue to learn more about WordPress, you may occasionally come across the term blogroll.

WordPress refers to a list of hyperlinks pointing to other websites or web pages that display on your sidebar menu 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 easily add a links section to a widgetized theme.

Info

Before WordPress v3.5 was released, Links were a core feature of the WordPress CMS. From v 3.5 onwards, the Links manager and blogroll sections were removed …

Before …

WP Links Manager - pre v.3.5

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

After …

Links  - no longer included in WordPress after WordPress version 3.5

(The Link Manager feature – no longer shown in the dashboard menu after WP v.3.5)

If you’ve used an earlier version than v3.5 and upgraded your installation, then the Link Manager would have been removed, unless you’ve previously used it.

If you can’t see the Links feature when you log into your WordPress admin area 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

(Link Manager WordPress Plugin)

Download URL

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

Description Of Plugin

This plugin displays the built-in Links 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 template code to your installation to restore the hidden feature. When we last checked, the 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/

Plugin Description

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

Installing The Plugin

To install the Link Manager plugin, do the following:

From your WP admin menu, go to Plugins > Add New

Plugins Menu - Add New

(Plugins Menu – Add New)

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

Installing Link Manager

Locate the plugin in the search results area and click Install Now

How To Install Link Manager

Activate the plugin after installing it …

Plugin Installation

After activation, a ‘Links’ item will get added to the sidebar menu …

WordPress links menu

(WordPress links management menu)

Configuring The Plugin

We recommend setting up your link categories first before you start adding links. 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 your admin menu and click on Links > Link Categories

WordPress Links - Link Categories

(WordPress Links Menu – Link Categories)

This takes you to the ‘Link Categories’ screen.

Type in information into the following fields:

  • Name: Enter the category name here.
  • Slug: The slug shows up in the web address of the link category name. Use only lowercase letters without spaces (use hyphens to separate words).
  • Description: Some themes may display your link category description.

When done, click Add New Link Category

Link Categories

(Link Categories area)

The new category will be added to the table …

Link Categories area

(Link Categories page)

Important Info

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

Default link category name

(Default link category name)

You may want to change this to something better suited to your business. This will not only make it easier for visitors, but any new links that you add to your site will automatically appear under the new category name …

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

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

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, and click on the Update link Category button …

Editing the link category name

(Update Link Category)

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

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

Link category description

(You can add/edit your category description)

Enter your description in the ‘Edit Link Category’ page and click Update when done …

Edit Link Category screen

(Edit Link Category screen)

Repeat the above process to add as many link categories as your site requires.

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

How To Add New Links

To create a new link, select Links > Add New in your WP admin menu …

Links - Add New

(Links – Add New)

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

Add New Link page

(Add New Link page)

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

Add New Link button

(Add New Link button)

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

Name, Web Address & Description

Enter your link details in this section …

Name, Web Address, Description fields - Add New Link

(Add New Link screen – Name, Web Addressand Description section)

Type in information into the following sections:

  • Name: Enter the link category name here.
  • Slug: The slug is the web address 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.
Categories & Target

Select a Category and Target for your link …

Categories & Target area - Add New Link

(Add New Link – Categories & Target)

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

Also, select a target frame radio button for your link in the Target section. This lets you specify where you want your link to open when clicked on:

  • _blank means that a separate web browser window will open up to display the content associated with the link. Your visitor can access the link information without leaving your website
  • _none means that when a visitor clicks on your link, they will leave your site and a new site 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 ignore this option.
Link Relationship XFN

This area provides some additional link functionality …

Link Relationship (XFN) fields - Add New Link screen

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

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 Minnie O’Malley 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 your links will still work. XFN makes your links 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 specifies the 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, start, index, help, etc.

You can learn more about XFN by visiting the site below:

WordPress Codex: Defining Relationships With XFN

Advanced

The last section lets you enter Advanced features for your links (some themes will ignore this. You can leave these fields empty unless there’s a good reason to use them) …

Advanced section

(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 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 link’s RSS feed will be displayed next to the link.
  • 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 would like to sort links by rating (see the ‘Links’ widget section below).

Type in your information in the above fields or just leave this section blank.

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

click on Add Link to save your new link

(Click on Add Link to save your new link)

Important Info

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

Make links private by selecting the checkbox

(Private link checkbox)

Making links private allows you to toggle link visibility on or off without deleting these (this is useful if you would like links to display during certain periods and hide them when not required) …

Making links private toggles their visibility on and off

(Making links private toggles their visibility on and off)

To view a list of all the links you have created, click on Links > All Links in the main navigation menu …

WordPress Links - All Links

(Links Menu – All Links)

You will be taken to the ‘Links’ page. The Links page displays a list of your links and link information (e.g. URL, categories, rating, etc.) …

Links screen

(Links screen)

Tip

Tip: To view or hide columns in the Links table, click on the ‘Screen Options’ tab near the top of your screen …

Screen Options - Links screen

(Screen Options – Links page)

Enable/disable information on your Links table by selecting/deselecting their checkboxes …

Table of links - Show/hide screen options

(Hide or display – Links page)

Editing Link Information

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

WordPress Links Menu - All Links

(WP Links Menu – All Links)

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

Editing your link information

(Editing your links)

Make changes to the link …

Edit Link page

(Edit Link page)

After editing your link, you can:

  • Click the Update Link button to save your link details,
  • Click on Visit Link to see your link and make sure that you have set up everything correctly (the link will open up in a new window),
  • Click Delete to remove the link from your table of links if you no longer require it …

Edit Link: Update Link button

(Update Link button)

Removing Your Links

To delete a link, go to the main navigation menu and click on Links > All Links

Links Menu - All Links

(Links Menu – All Links)

The ‘Links’ table will load in your browser.

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

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

Delete your links

(Deleting links)

To delete a number of links at once, either tick the checkbox next to every item that you would like to remove, or select all links by clicking on the check box next to the ‘Name’ column header …

Deleting multiple links

(Deleting multiple links)

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

Bulk-deletion of links

(Links: bulk-deletion function)

Your links will be deleted …

Link deletion notification

(Link deletion message)

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 website or blog.

Links Widget

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

To access and configure your Link widgets, go to your dashboard menu and click on Appearance > Widgets

Appearance - Widgets

(Appearance – Widgets)

You will be taken to the ‘Widgets’ screen.

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

Links widget

(Links widget)

Drag the ‘Links’ widget to one of the widget sections and drop it wherever you would like the links section to display …

Add a links widget to your WordPress sidebar

(Adding a links widget to a widgetized menu)

The Links widget provides various settings. For example, you can specify what information you want to display about your links and how many links you want displayed on your sidebar menu …

Link widget - configurable options

(Link widget - options)

You can also add as many link widgets to your sidebars and footers as you want. This lets you add and feature various links on your site …

Add multiple link widgets to your sidebar

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

Select a link category to display a specific list of items …

Link widget settings - 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 - Sorting options

(Link widget settings – Sort by options)

Once you are done configuring the links widget, click the Save button to update your settings. Your link section will now appear on your website …

Links can be displayed on your site's 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.

Tip

Need help using widgets? We have written a comprehensive article on using widgets. To learn more about this go here: Adding And Configuring Widgets On The Sidebar

Links Manager – Additional Information

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

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 black triangle displayed next to the column title …

Sorting your links

(You can sort links)

Search Links

Find links using the ‘Search Links’ function …

Find links

(Finding links)

Filter Links

You can filter links by link category …

Filter links by category

(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 …

searching and filtering links in the Link Categories page

(searching and filtering links in the Link Categories page)

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

Links filtered by category

(Links filtered by link category)

Links – Additional Options

If you plan to use links extensively on your website or blog, or if you want to add a ‘Links’ page to your site (i.e. not just add links on your sidebar), then you may want to look at using a plugin that can help you administer your links, like Link Library.

Link Library

Link Library Plugin

(Link Library Plugin)

Plugin Download URL

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

Plugin Description

This plugin gives you the ability to output a list of your link categories and a complete list of all your links together with descriptions and notes …

Link Library links

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

Link Library can be used to create a page on your site that contains a list of all of the link categories in your Links area, plus all links listed in 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 so that your site users can become aware of additions to your link library.

For more information about using this WordPress plugin, go here: Link Library Plugin

How To Add Links To Your WordPress Sidebar

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

Tip

We have written a detailed article on adding links to WordPress. For more info, see this article: How To Use The WordPress Internal Linking Tool

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Author: Martin Aranovitch

Martin Aranovitch is the founder of WPCompendium.org and has authored hundreds of FREE WordPress tutorials for 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.