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 Blogroll 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 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 Manager lets you easily add and manage external links to a widget-ready theme.

Useful Info

Before WordPress version 3.5 was released, Links were a core feature of the WordPress CMS. From version 3.5 onwards, the Link Manager section was removed …

Before …

Links  - part of the WordPress admin menu until the release of WordPress v3.5

(WordPress Links Menu – pre v3.5)

After …

Post v3.5 - no WP Links feature

(Links – no longer included in the WordPress admin menu after WordPress v 3.5)

If you have had an earlier version of WordPress than v3.5 installed and upgraded your installation, then the Links Manager would have been removed, unless you have previously used it.

 

How To Add A Link Section To WordPress

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 a Links section on the main menu when you log into your WP dashboard, you can add this feature via a plugin. In this step-by-step tutorial, you will learn how to add and manage blogroll links on your sidebar using plugins.

Link Manager

Link Manager WordPress Plugin

(Link Manager Plugin)

Plugin Download URL

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

Description Of Plugin

The Link Manager plugin restores the default Link Manager, even if you update to a later version of WordPress or remove all of your existing 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 one below instead, or contact us for help editing your site’s template code.

Simple Links

Simple Links - Link Manager Plugin For WordPress

(Simple Links – Link Manager Plugin For WordPress)

Plugin URL

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

Description Of Plugin

Simple Links attempts to recreate the concept of the built-in Link Manager while removing the shortcomings of the deprecated feature.

Installing The Plugin

To install the Link Manager plugin, follow these step-by-step instructions:

In the WordPress administration area, select Plugins > Add New

Plugins Menu - Add New

(Plugins – Add New)

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

Plugin Installation

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

Plugin Installation

Activate the plugin after installation …

Plugin Installation

After activation, a ‘Links’ item will be added to your WP admin menu area …

WordPress links menu section

(WordPress links management menu section)

Configuring Link Manager

We recommend setting up your link categories first before you start adding links. This way, when you create 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 main navigation menu …

WP Links - Link Categories

(WP Links Menu – Link Categories)

This brings up the ‘Link Categories’ screen in your browser.

Enter information into the following sections:

  • Name: Enter the link category name.
  • Slug: The slug is the web address bit 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.

Click the Add New Link Category button to save …

Link Categories

(Link Categories page)

The category details will now show in the list …

Link Categories

(Link Categories)

Idea

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

Default link category name is 'blogroll'

(Default link category)

You may want to change this 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 …

Change the default 'blogroll' to something better suited to your business

(we recommend changing the default link category name to something your visitors will relate to)

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

Quick Edit

(Quick Edit)

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

Quick Edit

(Edit the default link category name)

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

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

You can add/edit your category description

(You can add/edit the category description)

Add your link category description field and click Update

Edit Link Category area

(Edit Link Category page)

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

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

How To Add Links

To create a new link, go to the main navigation menu and click on Links > Add New

Links - Add New

(WP Links – Add New)

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

Add New Link page

(Add New Link page)

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

Add New Link button

(Links page – Add New Link button)

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

Name, Web Address & Description

This section lets you enter details about your link …

Name, Web Address, Description area

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

Enter information into the following sections:

  • Name: Enter the category name.
  • Slug: The slug shows up in the SEO friendly URL of the 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.
Categories & Target

After adding link details, select a Category and Target for your new link …

Categories & Target area - Add New Link page

(Add New Link screen – Categories & Target)

In the Categories section, select one of the link categories you’ve already added, or click on the ‘+ Add New Category’ link 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 you want your link to 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 information associated with the 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 links 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) section

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

Link Relationship (XFN) – XFN (XML Friends Network) lets you define your relationship with the linked person. For example, if you have a professional relationship with Advik Gould and you link to his blog, you would probably tick co-worker or colleague.

XFN relationships are optional. You can ignore this section and all of your links will still work. Defining relationships with XFN makes the links defined on your site more understandable to some websites 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.

You can learn more about XFN by visiting this site:

Advanced

The last section lets you specify Advanced features for your links (some themes will ignore this. You can leave the fields in this section empty unless you have a reason to use them) …

Advanced link settings - Add New Link

(Advanced section – Add New Link page)

The Advanced section fields are as follows:

  • Image Address: Specify an image to be displayed with the link. To use this feature, add the image URL 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 will display next to the 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 blank, as these fields are not required.

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

click on Add Link 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 in your Blogroll section …

Private link checkbox

(Make your links private)

Making links private allows you to add links and then 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 see all the links you have added to the Link Manager, click on Links > All Links in the navigation menu …

WordPress Links - All Links

(Links – All Links)

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

Links table

(Links screen)

Useful Tip

Tip: To display or hide fields in the list of links, click on the ‘Screen Options’ tab near the top of your screen …

Screen Options - Links screen

(Table of links – Screen Options)

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

Show/hide links

(Show/hide – List of links)

How To Edit Links

To modify a link in the Link Manager, select Links > All Links in the WP admin 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 item’s link information …

Editing links

(Editing your link information)

Make any changes you want to your link …

Edit Link page

(Edit Link page)

After editing your link, you can:

  • Click on Update Link to save your link details,
  • Click on Visit Link to make sure that you have set up the link’s URL correctly (your link will open in a new window),
  • Click Delete to delete the link if it’s no longer required …

Edit Link: Update Link button

(Update Link button)

Removing Links

To delete links, select Links > All Links in your WP dashboard menu …

WP Links Menu - All Links

(Links Menu – All Links)

This takes you to the ‘Links’ page.

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

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

Deleting your links

(Deleting your links)

To delete a number of links at once, either click on the check boxes next to individual items that you would like to remove, or select all links by clicking on the main 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’ menu, and click the Apply button to remove all selected links …

Bulk-deletion of links

(Links: bulk-delete function)

Your selected links will be deleted …

Deleted links notice

(Link deletion notification)

Plugin Usage

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

Links Widget

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

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

WordPress Appearance Menu - Widgets

(Appearance – 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)

To make the ‘Links’ widget active, drag it to one of your active widget areas and drop it wherever you would like the links section to show up …

Drag & drop your links widget to add it to your WordPress sidebar

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

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

Link widget - configurable options

(Link widget - options)

You can also add multiple link widgets to your sidebar and footer. This lets you create and feature link categories on your site …

Add a number of link widgets to your sidebar

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

You can select a link category …

Link widget options - Select Link Category

(Link widget settings – Select Link Category)

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

Link widget options - Sorting options

(Link widget options – Sort by options)

Once you are done setting up the Links widget, click Save to update your settings. A links should show up immediately on your sidebar …

An example of how 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 with widgets? We have written a detailed article on adding widgets here:

Links Manager – Additional Information

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

Sort Links Function

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

Sort your links

(Sort links)

Finding Links Function

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

You can easily find links using the search function

(Searching your links)

Filter Links Function

You can filter links by link categories …

Filtering your links by link categories

(Filter links by link category)

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 grouped 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 intend 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.

Link Library

Link Library Plugin

(Link library – Plugin For WordPress)

Plugin Download URL

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

Plugin Description

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

List of links created with Link library

(List of links created with Link library. Screenshot taken from Link Library plugin site.)

Link Library creates a page on your site that contains all the link categories in your Links section, and 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 links that lets your site users be made aware of any additions made to to your link library.

To learn more about the Link Library plugin:

How Do I Add A Links Section To WordPress?

Congratulations! Now you know how to how to add and manage links to external websites and pages in WordPress.

Practical Tip

We have also written a comprehensive article on how to easily insert hyperlinks into your WordPress posts & pages here:

***

"If you're new to WordPress, this can stand on its own as a training course and will stay with you as you progress from beginner to advanced and even guru status." - Bruce (Columbus, Ohio)

***

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Author: Martin Aranovitch

Martin Aranovitch is the founder of WPCompendium.org and the author of The Small Business Digital Manager. 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.