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 A WordPress Blogroll SectionAs you become more familiar with WordPress, you may occasionally come across the term blogroll.

WordPress refers to a list of hyperlinks pointing to other sites 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 Manager lets you easily add and manage external hyperlinks to your WordPress sidebar (e.g. a “We Use And Recommend” section) using a widget.

Useful Info

Before WordPress version 3.5 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 Feature - pre v3.5

(WordPress Links Manager Feature – pre v.3.5)

After …

The Link Manager is no longer included in the WordPress menu after WP v.3.5

(Links – excluded from WordPress after WordPress v 3.5)

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

 

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 the Links feature is not visible when you log into your WP admin area you will need to install a plugin. This tutorial shows you how to add, edit, delete and manage blogroll links on your site’s sidebar using plugins.

Link Manager

Link Manager

(Link Manager)

Download URL

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

Description Of Plugin

You can use this plugin to restore the built-in Links feature on your dashboard, even if you update WordPress to a later version or remove all of your existing links.

Note: This plugin adds a single line of 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 plugin below instead, or contact us for help editing your template code.

Simple Links

Simple Links Plugin

(Simple Links WordPress Plugin)

Download URL

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

Plugin Description

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

How To Install Link Manager

Let’s install the Link Manager plugin.

From your WP administration menu, select 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

Plugin Installation

Find the plugin in the results area and click Install Now

Installing The Plugin

Activate the plugin after installing it …

Plugin Installation

After the plugin has been activated, the ‘Links’ function is restored to the WP dashboard menu …

WordPress links management menu

(WordPress links menu)

Setting Up Link Manager

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

Link Categories

To create a link category, click on Links > Link Categories in the dashboard menu …

WordPress Links - Link Categories

(Links – Link Categories)

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

Type in the following information:

  • Name: Whatever you enter here will display as the link category name.
  • Slug: The slug displays in the URL of the link category name. Use only lowercase letters and do not include spaces (use hyphens to separate words).
  • Description: Some themes may display your link category description.

Click the Add New Link Category button …

Link Categories

(Link Categories)

Your new category will display in the table …

Link Categories area

(Link Categories)

Info

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

Default link category name

(Default link category)

You may want to change this to something that will make sense to site visitors. 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 link category name to something your visitors will understand

(we recommend changing the default ’blogroll’ to something better suited to your business)

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

Editing the default link category name

(Quick Edit)

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

Editing the default link category name

(Quick Edit)

Replace the category name ‘Blogroll’ with (e.g. ‘Recommended’, ‘Links’ etc).

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 finished to save your settings …

Edit Link Category page

(Edit Link Category screen)

Repeat the above process to add as many different link categories as you need.

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

Adding Links

To create a new link, go to your dashboard navigation menu and choose Links > Add New

Links Menu - Add New

(Links Menu – Add New)

This brings up the ‘Add New Link’ screen …

Add New Link page

(Add New Link page)

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

Links page - Add New Link button

(Links screen – Add New Link button)

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

Name, Web Address & Description

This section lets you enter your link details …

Name, Web Address, Description section - Add New Link page

(Name, Web Address, Description)

Type in information into the following fields:

  • Name: Enter the category name.
  • Slug: The slug shows up in the web address of the link category name. Use only lowercase letters 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. (Optional)
Categories & Target

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

Categories & Target

(Categories & Target – Add New Link screen)

In the Categories section, select one of the link categories you’ve 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 how the link should open when visitors click on it:

  • _blank means that a new web browser window will open up to display the information for that link.
  • _none means that when visitors click on your link, they will leave your site and a new site 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. 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 page - Link Relationship (XFN)

(Link Relationship (XFN))

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 Kevin Schwartz and you link to his blog, you would probably tick co-worker or colleague.

XFN relationships are optional. You can leave everything in this section blank and your links will work just fine. 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 defines 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. Separate multiple ‘rel’ keywords with spaces.

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

Advanced

The last section lets you specify Advanced features for your links (You can leave the fields in this section blank unless there’s a good reason to use them) …

Add New Link - Advanced link settings

(Advanced fields)

The Advanced section fields are as follows:

  • 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 can be displayed next to the link.
  • Notes: Add notes about the link in this section for your own internal reference.
  • Rating: Add a rating score to the link if you want to sort links by rating (see the ‘Links’ widget section below).

Type in your 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 update your link settings)

Info

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

Private link checkbox

(Make your links private)

Making links private lets you add links and then toggle their visibility on and off without deleting these (this is useful if you want to use seasonal links) …

Toggle link visibility on and off

(Making links private toggles their visibility on and off)

To view all the links you have created, go to your WP dashboard menu and select Links > All Links

WordPress Links Menu - All Links

(Links – All Links)

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

Links table

(Links page)

Useful Tip

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

Screen Options - Links screen

(Screen Options – List of links)

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

Show/hide links

(Hide or show – Links screen)

Editing Links

To edit a link in the Link Manager, choose Links > All Links in your WP dashboard navigation menu to bring up the links screen …

WP Links - All Links

(Links – All Links)

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

Editing your link information

(Editing links)

Make any changes you want to your link …

Edit Link page

(Edit Link screen)

After editing your link, you can:

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

Edit Link: Update Link button

(Edit Link: Update Link button)

Deleting Links

To delete a link from the Link Manager, select Links > All Links in the WP navigation menu …

Links Menu - All Links

(Links Menu – All Links)

This takes you to the ‘Links’ screen.

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

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

Delete your links

(Delete links)

To delete a number of links at once, either click on the checkboxes next to individual items that you want removed, or select all links by clicking on the check box next to the ‘Name’ column header …

Delete multiple links

(Delete multiple links)

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

Links: bulk-delete function

(Bulk-delete links)

All the links you have selected will be deleted …

Link deletion notification

(Link deletion notice)

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 display your links on your website.

Using The Links Widget

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

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

Appearance - Widgets

(Appearance – Widgets)

The ‘Widgets’ screen will display in your web browser.

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

Links widget

(Links widget)

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

Adding a links widget to a widgetized area

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

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

Link widget - configurable options

(Link widget - configurable settings)

You can also add as many link widgets to your sidebar as you want. This lets you create and feature specific various link sections throughout your site …

Add multiple link widgets to your widget bars

(Add a number of link widgets to your sidebar)

Display links for a specific category …

Link widget settings - 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 - Sort by options

(Link widget options – Sorting options)

Once you are done configuring the links widget, click Save to update your settings. A link section will display 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 using widgets? To learn more about configuring widgets, refer to this article:

Links Manager – Additional Information

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

Sort Links

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

Sort links

(You can sort your links)

Find Your Links

Find links using the ‘Search Links’ button …

Searching links

(Find your links)

Filter Your Links

You can filter links by link category …

Filtering links by link categories

(Filter 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 …

Search and filter links in the Link Categories screen

(searching and filtering links in the Link Categories screen)

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 website or blog, or if you intend 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 For WordPress

(Link library – WordPress Link Management Plugin)

Plugin Download URL

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

Plugin Description

Link Library allows you to output a list of all 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. Image: Link Library plugin documentation.)

Link Library creates a page on your site 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 for your links so that your site users can be made aware of additions to your link library.

Go here to learn more about this plugin:

How Do I Add A Featured Links Section To WordPress?

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

Practical Tip

Go here if you would like to learn more about how to add hyperlinks in WordPress posts:

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"Wow! I never knew there's so much to learn about WordPress! I bought one of the WordPress for Dummies three years ago, such authors need to be on this course!" - Rich Law, Create A Blog Now

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