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 Links To Your WordPress Sidebar MenuAs you become more familiar with WordPress, you may occasionally come across the term blogroll.

In WordPress terminology, a list of hyperlinks displayed on your sidebar area 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 feature lets you add links to your WordPress sidebar area (e.g. a “Resources” section) using a widget.

Important

Before the release of WP v.3.5, Links were a core feature of the WordPress CMS. From version 3.5 onwards, the Link Manager section was kept hidden by default in new installations …

Before …

WP Links Feature - pre v 3.5

(WP Links Feature – pre v.3.5)

After …

Post version 3.5 - no WordPress Links Manager

(The Link Manager – no longer included in the WordPress admin menu after WordPress v.3.5)

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

 

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 you can’t see the Links feature 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 WordPress plugins.

Link Manager

Link Manager

(Link Manager WordPress Plugin)

Download URL

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

Description

You can use this plugin to display the default Links feature on your dashboard, even if you update WordPress to a later version or remove all of your current links.

Note: This plugin adds a single line of code to restore the hidden feature. The last time we checked, this 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 one below instead, or contact us for help editing your site’s template code.

Simple Links

Simple Links - Links Manager Plugin For WordPress

(Simple Links Plugin)

Plugin URL

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

Plugin Description

Simple Links attempts to recreate the same concept as the built-in WordPress Links Manager while addressing the shortcomings of the deprecated feature.

How To Install Link Manager

Let’s install the Link Manager plugin.

In the WP dashboard menu, select Plugins > Add New

Plugins Menu - Add New

(Plugins – Add New)

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

Plugin Installation

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

How To Install The Plugin

Activate the plugin …

Plugin Installation

After activation, a ‘Links’ section will be displayed in the WP navigation menu …

Links menu

(WordPress links management menu section)

Setting Up The Plugin

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

Link Categories

To create a new link category, select Links > Link Categories in the main dashboard navigation menu …

Links - Link Categories

(WP Links Menu – Link Categories)

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

Type in the following information:

  • Name: Enter 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.

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

Link Categories

(Link Categories)

The new category will be added to the table …

Link Categories

(Link Categories)

Idea

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

Default link category

(Default link category name)

You may want to change the default link category name 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 be assigned to the new category name …

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

(Change the default ’blogroll’ to something better suited to your business)

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

Edit the default link category

(Edit the link category)

Replace 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 the Update link Category button …

Quick Edit

(Editing the default link category)

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

Let’s create a description for this link category. 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

(Link category description)

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

Edit Link Category area

(Edit Link Category page)

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

Once you have finished setting up your link categories, you can add your links.

Adding New Links

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

Links - Add New

(Links Menu – Add New)

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

Add New Link page

(Add New Link page)

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

Links - Add New Link button

(Add New Link button)

The ‘Add New Links’ page has a number of sections:

Name, Web Address & Description

This section lets you enter details about your link …

Name, Web Addressand Description fields - Add New Link screen

(Name, Web Address& Description)

Enter information into the following fields:

  • Name: Enter the link category name.
  • Slug: The slug displays 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 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 the new link …

Add New Link - Categories & Target fields

(Categories & Target)

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

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

  • _blank means that a new, separate web browser window will open up to display the content for that link.
  • _none means that when a visitor clicks on your link, they will exit your site and a new website 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 just ignore this option.
Link Relationship XFN

This area provides some additional link functionality …

Link Relationship (XFN) fields - Add New Link

(Add New Link – Link Relationship (XFN))

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

XFN relationships are optional. You can ignore this section and 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 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.

You can learn more about XFN by visiting this site:

Advanced

The last section allows you to enter Advanced features for your links (You can leave the fields in this section blank unless you have a reason to use them) …

Add New Link - Advanced area

(Advanced area)

The Advanced section fields are as follows:

  • Image Address: Lets you specify an image to be displayed with the link. Add the URL of where the image is stored 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 can be displayed next to the links.
  • 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 ignore this section.

When you have finished adding information about your link, click on the Add Link button 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)

Useful Info

Note: If you select Keep this link private, your link will not be visible when links are displayed on your site …

Make your links private

(Make your links private)

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

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 added, go to your WP dashboard menu and choose Links > All Links

Links - All Links

(Links Menu – All Links)

This brings up the ‘Links’ page in your browser. The Links page displays a list of your links and link information (e.g. URL, categories, rating, etc.) …

Links table

(Table of links)

Tip

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

Links screen - Screen Options

(Screen Options – Links table)

Show/hide fields on your Links table by selecting/deselecting their check boxes …

Hide or show - Table of links

(Show/hide – List of links)

Editing Links

To edit a link in the Link Manager, go to your WP admin menu and click on Links > All Links to bring up your table of links …

Links - All Links

(Links Menu – All Links)

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

Editing link information

(Editing link information)

Change the link …

Edit Link screen

(Edit Link page)

After you’re done editing the link, you can:

  • Click on Update Link to save your link details,
  • Click on Visit Link to make sure that you have set up its URL correctly (your link will open up in a new window),
  • Click Delete to delete the link …

Update Link button

(Edit Link: Update Link button)

How To Remove Links

To remove links, select Links > All Links in the WP dashboard navigation menu …

Links - All Links

(Links – All Links)

The ‘Links’ screen will load in your browser.

You can delete links individually, delete multiple links, or delete all of your links at once.

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

Deleting links

(Delete links)

To delete multiple links, either tick the checkbox next to every link that you want to be removed, or select all links by clicking on the main check box next to the ‘Name’ column header at the top of the list …

Delete multiple links

(Deleting multiple links)

Select Delete from the ‘Bulk Actions’ pull-down menu, and click the Apply button to delete all selected links …

Bulk-deletion of links

(Links: bulk-deletion function)

The links you have selected will be removed …

Link deletion notice

(links deleted notification)

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.

Using The Links Widget

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

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

Appearance Menu - Widgets

(Appearance – Widgets)

This takes you to the ‘Widgets’ page.

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

Links widget

(Links widget)

Drag the ‘Links’ widget to one of the active widget areas and drop it wherever you want your links to display …

Adding a links widget to your WordPress sidebar

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

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

Link widget - configurable options

(Link widget - configurable options)

You can add as many link widgets to your sidebar as you want. This lets you add and display a number of link lists on your site …

You can add multiple link widgets to your sidebar

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

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

Link widget options - Select Link Category

(Link widget options – Select Link Category)

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

Link widget options - Sorting options

(Link widget options – Sort by options)

When you have finished setting up your links widget, click Save to update your settings. A link section will show on your website or blog’s sidebar menu …

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.

Useful Tip

Need help using widgets? We have written a comprehensive article about using widgets here:

Link Manager – Additional Information

If you have many links, the Links Manager plugin lets you easily administer these using sort, search, and filter functionality.

Sort Links Function

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

Sort your links

(Sort your links)

Find Your Links

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

Searching links

(Searching links)

Filtering Links

You can filter links by link categories …

Filter links by category

(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 category links in the ‘Links’ column …

Search and filter links in the Link Categories screen

(searching and filtering links in the Link Categories screen)

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

Links filtered by category

(Links filtered by category)

Additional Link Options

If you plan to use links extensively on your website, 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 consider using a plugin that can help you administer your links, like Link Library.

Link Library

Link Library

(Link Library WordPress Plugin)

Plugin Download URL

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

Plugin Description

This plugin lets you output a list of your link categories and a complete list of links plus notes and descriptions …

List of links created with Link library

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

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

For more details about the benefits of using this plugin, go here:

How To Add A WordPress Blogroll Section

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

Useful Tip

We have written a detailed article on inserting links into your WordPress content. To learn more about this go here:

***

"These tutorials have so much information and are easy to understand. If you use WordPress or plan to in the future these will help you with everything you need to know." - Valisa (Mesa, Arizona)

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Author: Martin Aranovitch

Martin Aranovitch is the owner of WPCompendium.org and the author of The WordPress User Manual. 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.