As you continue to discover more about the benefits of using WordPress, you may occasionally come across references to the term blogroll.
In WordPress terminology, a list of links displayed on your sidebar area is sometimes 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 hyperlinks to a widget-ready theme.
Before the release of WP v 3.5, Links were a visible feature of the WordPress CMS. From v.3.5 onwards, the Link Manager section was removed …
(WP Links Manager Feature – pre v3.5)
(Links – excluded from WordPress after WordPress v3.5)
If you’ve used an earlier version of WordPress than v.3.5 and upgraded your installation, then the Links Manager would have been removed, unless you have previously used it. If you’ve never used Link Manager, however, or if your WordPress site installation is new, then this function will become invisible – it will not be displayed on your dashboard menu.
- How To Add A Link Section To WordPress
- Link Manager
- Adding New Links
- How To Edit Link Information
- How To Remove Your Links
- Additional Link Options
- Link Library
How To Add A Link Section To WordPress
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 item is not displayed when you log into your WP backend, you can add it via a plugin. This step-by-step tutorial shows you how to add and manage links on your sidebar using WordPress plugins.
(Link Manager Plugin)
Description Of Plugin
The Link Manager plugin displays the default Link Manager, 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 your installation in order 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 site’s template code.
(Simple Links Plugin)
Description Of Plugin
Simple Links attempts to recreate the same concept as the built-in WP Links Manager while addressing the shortcomings of the deprecated feature.
To install the Link Manager plugin, do the following:
From your WordPress administration menu, select Plugins > Add New …
(Plugins – Add New)
Click on the Install Plugins > Search tab, then type in “link manager” into the search field and hit Enter …
Find the plugin in the results screen and click Install Now …
Activate the plugin after installing it …
After activating the plugin, WordPress will add a ‘Links’ section to your navigation menu area …
(Links menu section)
Before adding links, we recommend setting up your link categories. This way, you can assign any new links to the link category you have already created.
To create a new link category, select Links > Link Categories in your WP dashboard navigation menu …
(Links – Link Categories)
This brings up the ‘Link Categories’ page in your web browser.
Type in the following information:
- Name: Whatever you type in this field is the link category name that will display on your site.
- Slug: The slug is the SEO friendly URL bit of the link category name. It must all be in lowercase letters and contain no spaces (use hyphens to separate words).
- Description: Some themes may display a link category description.
Click Add New Link Category to save your new link category …
Your new category will be added to the list …
Tip: The default WordPress link category is called Blogroll . Unless you specify a category for a link, WordPress automatically assigns new links to the default category …
(Default link category name is ‘blogroll’)
You may want to change this to something better suited to your business. This not only makes it easier for users of your site, but any new links that you add to your site will automatically be listed under the new category name …
(Consider changing the default link category name to something better suited to your business)
To edit the default category name, hover your mouse over the item and click on Quick Edit …
Replace both the Name and the Slug with a new category name, then click on the Update link Category button …
Replace the link category name ‘Blogroll’ with a name more suitable to your purposes (e.g. ‘Recommended’, ‘Links’ etc).
Let’s insert a description for this link category. To add a link category description, click on Edit under the category name …
(Link category description)
Add your link category description field and click Update …
(Edit Link Category page)
Repeat this process to add as many different link categories as you need.
After you have finished configuring your link categories, you can being adding your links.
Adding New Links
To add a new link, select Links > Add New in your WP admin menu …
(Links – Add New)
You will be taken to the ‘Add New Link’ page …
(Add New Link screen)
You can also reach this screen by clicking on the ‘Add New’ button at the top of the main Links screen …
(Add New Link button)
The ‘Add New Links’ page includes a number of sections:
Name, Web Address & Description
This section is where you enter your link details …
(Name, Web Address, Description – Add New Link)
Enter information into the following sections:
- Name: Enter the category name here.
- Slug: The slug is the URL bit of your link category. It must all be in lowercase letters and contain no spaces (use hyphens to separate words).
- Description: Some themes may display a link category description. (Optional)
Categories & Target
After adding your link details, select a Category and Target for your link …
(Categories & Target – Add New Link page)
In the Categories section, tick a link category you have already added, or click on the ‘+ Add New Category’ link to add a new category.
Also, select a target frame for your link in the Target section by choosing one of the radio buttons. This lets you specify how the link should open when visitors click on it:
- _blank means that when a visitor clicks on the link, a new, separate window will open up in their web browser to display the information for that link.
- _none means that when visitors click on your link, they will leave your site and a new website 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 ignore this option.
Link Relationship XFN
This section provides some additional link functionality …
(Link Relationship (XFN))
Link Relationship (XFN) – XFN stands for XML Friends Network – allows you to define your relationship with the linked person. For example, if you have a professional relationship with Shaurya Jenkins and you link to his blog, you would probably check co-worker or colleague.
XFN relationships are optional. You can leave everything in this section blank and all your links will work just fine. Defining relationships with XFN makes your links 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.
To learn more about XFN, visit this site:
The last section of the Add New Link’ screen allows you to specify Advanced features for your links (some themes will ignore this. You can ignore this section, unless there’s a good reason to use it) …
(Add New Link – Advanced link settings)
The Advanced link settings section includes the following:
- Image Address: Specify an image to be displayed with the link. To use this feature, add the 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: 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 your new link information, click on Add Link to save your new link …
(Click on Add Link to save your new link)
Note: If you select the Keep this link private checkbox, your link will not be visible in your Links section …
(Make your links private)
Making links private allows you to toggle link visibility on and off without deleting your links (this is useful if you want to use seasonal links) …
(Toggle link visibility on and off)
To see all your links, go to your dashboard navigation menu and click on Links > All Links …
(Links – All Links)
The ‘Links’ screen will load in your browser. The table of links displays your links and link information (e.g. link URL, link categories, relationship, etc.) …
(Table of links)
Tip: To display additional columns in the table of links, click on the ‘Screen Options’ tab near the top of your screen …
(Links table – Screen Options)
Show/hide information on your Links table by ticking/unticking their check boxes …
(Links page – Show/hide screen options)
How To Edit Link Information
To edit links in the Link Manager, click on Links > All Links in your WP dashboard menu to bring up the list of links …
(Links Menu – All Links)
Locate the link to be edited and click on Edit to bring up the item’s link details …
(Editing your link information)
Edit your link …
(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 check that you have set up everything correctly (your link will open in a new window),
- Click Delete to delete the link from your table …
(Update Link button)
How To Remove Your Links
To remove links from the Link Manager, go to your WP admin menu and click on Links > All Links …
(Links – All Links)
This brings up the ‘Links’ page in your web browser.
You can delete links individually, delete multiple links by selecting their check boxes, or delete all links.
To delete individual links, hover over the link title that you want to remove and click on Delete …
To delete links in bulk, either tick the check box next to each link that you would like removed, or select all links by clicking on the checkbox next to the ‘Name’ column header at the top of the list …
(Deleting multiple links)
Select Delete from the ‘Bulk Actions’ menu, and click the Apply button to remove your selected links …
Your selected links will be deleted …
(links deleted message)
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.
The Link Manager plugin adds a ‘Links’ widget to your ‘Widgets’ screen.
To access and configure your Link widgets, go to the WP navigation menu and choose Appearance > Widgets …
(WordPress Appearance – Widgets)
You will be taken to the ‘Widgets’ page.
You will see that a ‘Links’ widget has been added to the Available Widgets section …
To make the ‘Links’ widget active, drag it to one of the active widget areas and drop it wherever you want the links to show up …
(Drag & drop your links widget to add it to a widgetized area)
The Links widget includes various configurable settings. For example, you can specify what information you want to display about your links and how many links you want to display on your sidebar menu …
(Link widget - settings)
You can add multiple link widgets to your sidebar and footer. This lets you create and feature specific link lists on your site …
(You can add a number of link widgets to your widget bars)
Select a link category from the ‘Select Link Category:’ dropdown menu …
(Link widget settings – Select Link Category)
You can sort links by Link rating, Link ID, Link title, or display links in Random order …
(Link widget settings – Sort by options)
When you have finished configuring your links widget, click the Save button to update your settings. Your link section should become visible on your sidebar menu …
(An example of how 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.
Need more help using widgets? Go here if you would like to learn more about adding widgets:
Links Manager – Additional Information
If you have added many links, the Link Manager plugin allows you to easily administer these using search, filter, and sort functionality.
You can sort links by hovering your cursor over the title of the column you want to sort and clicking on the black triangle displayed next to the column title …
(You can easily sort your links)
Find Your Links
You can search for links using the ‘Search Links’ feature …
(Find links function)
Filter Links Function
You can filter links by link category …
(Filtering links by link category)
You can also search and filter links in the Link Categories screen. 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 page)
This displays a list of all links grouped under a specific 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 WordPress Plugin)
This plugin allows you to display a list of your link categories and a complete list of all your links plus descriptions and notes …
(List of links created with Link library. Image: Link Library plugin website.)
This useful plugin creates a page on your web site containing all the link categories in your Links area, and 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 links so that your site users can become aware of additions to your link library.
Visit the plugin website to learn more this handy plugin:
Congratulations! Now you know how to how to add and manage links in WordPress.
We have also written a comprehensive article on adding hyperlinks into your WordPress posts and 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)
Disclaimer: WordPress and its related trademarks are registered trademarks of Automattic, Inc. This site is not affiliated with nor sponsored by Automattic, Inc. or the WordPress Open Source project. This site and the services and products offered on this site are not associated, affiliated, endorsed, or sponsored by WordPress, nor have they been tested, certified, or reviewed by WordPress. The owner, contributors and/or advertisers may derive financial benefit from sales of items linked to, reviewed, or advertised on this site.
Have you found this post useful? Please feel free to use the links below and share this tutorial with other WordPress users.