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 Links To The WordPress Sidebar?As you discover more about WordPress, you may occasionally come across references to the term blogroll.

A blogroll is a list of hyperlinks pointing to other websites or blogs that display on your sidebar.

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 a links section on your site using the WordPress Link Manager plugin.

Important Info

Before WordPress v3.5 was released, Links were a core feature of the WordPress CMS. From v 3.5 onwards, the Link Manager section was removed …

Before …

The Links Manager feature was part of the WordPress menu until the release of WordPress v 3.5

(WordPress Links Feature – pre v.3.5)

After …

Post v.3.5 - no WordPress Links feature

(The Link Manager feature – excluded from WordPress after WP version 3.5)

If your website previously used Link Manager, then it will still be available when you upgrade to newer WordPress versions. If you’ve never used the Link Manager feature, however, or if your WordPress installation is new, then this function will become invisible – you won’t see it displayed on your menu.

 

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 the Links Manager is not visible when you log into your WP dashboard you will need to install a plugin. In this tutorial, you will learn how to add, edit, delete and manage links on your site’s sidebar using plugins.

Link Manager

Link Manager - WordPress Link Management Plugin

(Link Manager – Plugin For WordPress)

Download URL

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

Description

The Link Manager plugin displays the default Links Manager, even if you update WordPress to a later version or remove all of your existing links.

Note: All this plugin does is add a single line of code to restore the hidden feature. When we last checked, the plugin had not been updated for a while, but it should still work fine. If you don’t want to use the Link Manager plugin, then use the plugin below instead, or contact us for help editing your template code.

Simple Links

Simple Links WordPress Plugin

(Simple Links Plugin)

Download URL

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

Plugin Description

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

Plugin Installation

To install the Link Manager plugin, follow these instructions:

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

Plugins Menu - Add New

(Plugins Menu – Add New)

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

Installing Link Manager

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

Installing The Plugin

Activate the plugin after installing it …

Plugin Installation

After activating the plugin, WordPress displays a ‘Links’ section in the WP dashboard menu area …

WordPress links menu section

(WordPress links management menu section)

Plugin Setup

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

Link Categories

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

WordPress Links Menu - Link Categories

(Links Menu – Link Categories)

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

Enter information into the following sections:

  • Name: What you enter here is the category name that will display on your site.
  • Slug: The slug is the web address bit of your link category. Only use lower case letters and do not include spaces (use hyphens to separate words).
  • Description: Some themes may display a link category description.

When done, click the Add New Link Category button to save …

Link Categories

(Link Categories screen)

Your new category will now show in the list …

Link Categories

(Link Categories)

Useful Info

Tip: WordPress calls its default link category Blogroll . Unless you specify the category when adding a link, WordPress automatically assigns new links to the default category …

Default link category

(Default link category name is ‘blogroll’)

You may want to change the default WordPress link category name to something that will make sense to your site visitors. This will not only make it easier for users of your site, but any new links that you add to the Links section will automatically display under the new category name …

Change the default 'blogroll' to something your visitors will relate to

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

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

Edit the link category

(Quick Edit)

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

Edit the default link category

(Edit the default link category name)

Replace the link category name ‘Blogroll’ with an appropriate links section name (e.g. ‘Recommended’, ‘Resources’ etc).

Let’s now add a description for this link category. 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)

Add your description in the ‘Edit Link Category’ page and click Update when finished …

Edit Link Category area

(Edit Link Category screen)

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

After you have finished configuring your link categories, you can start adding your links.

Adding New Links

To add a new link, go to the main dashboard navigation menu and select Links > Add New

WP Links - Add New

(WP Links Menu – Add New)

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

Add New Link page

(Add New Link page)

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

Links - Add New Link button

(Links – Add New Link button)

The ‘Add New Links’ page has several sections:

Name, Web Address & Description

The first section is where you enter details about your link …

Add New Link page - Name, Web Addressand Description area

(Name, Web Address, Description fields)

Enter the following information:

  • Name: What you enter in this field is the category name that will display on your site.
  • Slug: The slug is the web address bit of your link category. Use lowercase letters only and do not include 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.
Categories & Target

Select a Category and Target for your new link …

Categories & Target - Add New Link

(Add New Link – Categories & Target)

In the Categories section, tick one of the link categories you have 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 your link to open when clicked on by visitors:

  • _blank means that when a visitor clicks on your link, a separate window will open up in their web browser to display the content for that link. This lets your visitors access the information without leaving your website
  • _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. 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) area - Add New Link

(Link Relationship (XFN))

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

XFN relationships are optional. You can ignore this section and your links will work just fine. 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 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.

To learn more about XFN, visit this site:

Advanced

The last section of the Add New Link’ screen allows you to enter Advanced features for your links (some themes will ignore this. You can leave these fields empty unless you have a reason to use them) …

Advanced area

(Advanced section – Add New Link screen)

The Advanced section contain the following fields:

  • Image Address: Specify an image to be displayed with the link. To use this feature, add the URL of where the image is located 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: This section lets you add notes 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 in the above fields or just leave this section ignore this section.

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

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 select Keep this link private, the link will not be visible when links are displayed on your site …

Private link checkbox

(Make links private by selecting the checkbox)

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

Making links private toggles their visibility on and off

(Making links private toggles their visibility on and off)

To view all the links you have created, go to the WP navigation menu and click on Links > All Links

Links - All Links

(Links – All Links)

This brings up the ‘Links’ screen. The Links screen displays all of your links and link information (e.g. link URL, categories, visibility, etc.) …

Table of Links

(Table of links)

Practical Tip

Tip: To show or hide information in the table of links, click on the ‘Screen Options’ tab near the top of your screen …

List of Links - Screen Options

(Screen Options – Links screen)

Enable/disable fields on your Links table by ticking/unticking their check boxes …

Show/hide links

(Show/hide links)

How To Edit Your Link Information

To modify links, go to your WP navigation menu and click on Links > All Links to bring up the list of links …

WordPress Links - All Links

(Links – All Links)

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

Editing links

(Editing links)

Edit your link fields …

Edit Link screen

(Edit Link page)

After editing your link, you can:

  • Click the Update Link button to save and update your link details,
  • Click on Visit Link to make sure that you have set up your link’s URL correctly (the link will open up in a new window),
  • Click Delete to remove the link from your link table …

Edit Link: Update Link button

(Edit Link: Update Link button)

How To Delete Your Links

To remove a link from the Link Manager, go to your WP navigation menu and click on Links > All Links

Links - All Links

(Links – All Links)

You will be taken to the ‘Links’ table.

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

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

Delete links

(Deleting links)

To delete a number of links at once, either tick the checkbox next to every link that you want to delete, or select all links by clicking on the main checkbox next to the ‘Name’ column header …

Deleting multiple links

(Deleting multiple links)

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

Bulk-deletion of links

(Links: bulk-delete function)

The links will be deleted …

Deleted links notice

(links deleted notification)

Using The Plugin

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

Links Widget

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

To access and configure your Link widgets, click on Appearance > Widgets in the WP admin menu …

Appearance Menu - Widgets

(WP Appearance – Widgets)

This brings up the ‘Widgets’ screen 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 the active widget bars in the Widgets screen and drop it wherever you would like your links section to show up …

Adding a links widget to a widgetized area using drag and drop

(Adding a links widget to a widgetized menu)

The Links widget offers various options. You can specify what information you want to display about your links and how many links you would like to display on your sidebar …

Link widget settings

(Link widget - configurable options)

You can also add multiple link widgets to your sidebar. This allows you to create and display various lists of links on your site …

Add multiple link widgets to your widget bars

(Add a number of link widgets to your widget bars)

Select a link category from the ‘Select Link Category:’ pulldown menu …

Link widget options - Select Link Category

(Link widget settings – Select Link Category)

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

Link widget settings - Sorting options

(Link widget settings – Sorting options)

When you have finished setting up the links widget, click Save to update your settings. Your links will appear on your sidebar …

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.

Tip

Need more help with widgets? We have written a comprehensive article on adding widgets. If you would like to know more here:

Links Manager – Additional Information

If you have loads of links, the Links Manager plugin lets you easily administer these with sorting, searching, and filtering functions.

Sort Links Function

You can sort links by hovering your mouse cursor over the title of the column you want to sort and clicking on the little black triangle displayed next to the column title …

You can sort your links

(You can easily sort links)

Find Links

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

Search your links

(Find your links)

Filtering Your Links

You can filter links by category …

Filter links by categories

(Filtering 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

(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 category

(Links filtered by link category)

Links – Additional Options

If you plan to add lots of links to your website, or if you would like to add a ‘Links’ page to your site (i.e. not just add links on your sidebar), then you may want to consider using a plugin that can help you administer your links.

Link Library

Link Library

(Link Library WordPress Plugin)

Plugin URL

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

Plugin Description

Link Library lets you output a list of all your link categories with a complete list of all your links together with notes and descriptions …

Link Library links

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

Link Library creates a page on your website containing a list of all of the link categories in your Links area, plus 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 of your link collection so that your site users can become aware of any additions made to to your link library.

To learn more about Link Library:

How Do I Add Featured Links To The WordPress Sidebar Menu?

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

Useful Tip

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

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