As you continue to learn more about the benefits of using WordPress, you may occasionally come across something called a blogroll.
WordPress refers to a list of links pointing to other sites or web pages that display on your sidebar area 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.”
You can manage a link section using the Links menu in your WP Dashboard. These links will then display on your website if you have added the Links widget.
Before WordPress v.3.5 was released, Links were a core feature of the WordPress CMS. After the release of v 3.5, the Links Manager section was hidden by default in new WordPress installations …
(The Links Manager appeared in the WordPress menu until the release of WP v 3.5)
(The Link Manager – no longer shown in WordPress after WP v3.5)
If you’ve had an earlier version than 3.5 installed and updated your installation, then the Links Manager would have been removed, unless you have previously used it.
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 you can’t see the Links Manager section when you log into your WordPress admin area you will need to install a plugin. In this step-by-step tutorial, you will learn how to add, edit, delete and manage blogroll links on your site’s sidebar using WordPress plugins.
(Link Manager – WordPress Links Management Plugin)
Plugin Download URL
Description Of Plugin
You can use this plugin to restore the Links feature on your dashboard, even if you update WordPress to a later version or remove all of your current links.
Note: All this plugin does is add a single line of code to WordPress 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 this plugin, then use the one below instead, or contact us for help editing your template code.
Simple Links attempts to recreate the same concept as the built-in WP Links Manager while removing the shortcomings of the deprecated feature.
How To Install Link Manager
Let’s install the Link Manager plugin.
From the WP dashboard menu, go to Plugins > Add New …
(Plugins Menu – Add New)
Click on the Install Plugins > Search tab, type ”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 activation, WordPress displays a ‘Links’ item in the admin menu …
(WordPress links menu section)
Configuring The Plugin
We recommend setting up your link categories first before adding new links. This way, you can assign new links to the link category you have already created.
To create a new link category, click on Links > Link Categories in the navigation menu …
(Links – Link Categories)
This takes you to the ‘Link Categories’ screen.
Enter the following information:
- Name: What you type here displays as the category your links will be assigned to.
- Slug: The slug displays in the 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.
after entering your information, click Add New Link Category to save …
The link category will display in the list …
Tip: The default WordPress link category is called Blogroll . Unless you specify the category when adding a link, WordPress will automatically assign new links to the default category …
(Default link category)
You may want to change this to something that your visitors can relate to. This not only makes 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 better suited to your business)
To change the ‘Blogroll’ link name, hover your mouse over the category name and click on the Quick Edit link …
(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), then click on the Update link Category button …
(Update Link Category)
In our example, we’ve replaced the category ‘Blogroll’ with an appropriate links section name (e.g. ‘Recommended’).
Let’s insert a link category description. To add a link category description, hover over the item name and click Edit …
(You can add/edit your category description)
Enter your description in the ‘Edit Link Category’ page and click Update done to save your settings …
(Edit Link Category page)
Repeat this process to add as many different link categories as you need.
After configuring your link categories, you can add new links.
How To Add New Links
To add a new link, go to the main navigation menu and select Links > Add New …
(Links – Add New)
The ‘Add New Link’ screen will load in your web browser …
(Add New Link screen)
You can also access this screen by clicking on ’Add New’ in the main Links screen …
(Links – Add New Link button)
The ‘Add New Links’ page is divided into several sections:
Name, Web Address & Description
Enter your link details in this section …
(Name, Web Addressand Description fields)
Enter the following information:
- Name: Enter the category name.
- Slug: The slug shows up in the URL of the link category. It must be in lowercase letters and contain no 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. (Optional)
Categories & Target
Select a Category and Target for the new link …
(Categories & Target section)
In the Categories section, select a link category you’ve already set up, or click on ’+ Add New Category’ 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 visitors click on your link, a new window will open up in their browser to display the information 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 web 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 section provides some additional link functionality …
(Link Relationship (XFN) area – Add New Link)
Link Relationship (XFN) – XFN (XML Friends Network) is a way to define your relationship to the linked person. For example, if you work with Florence 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 all your links will still work. 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 a relationship 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 this site:
The last section of the Add New Link’ screen lets you 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 section)
The Advanced section fields are as follows:
- Image Address: Lets you 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 your image is small (around 16×16 like a favicon).
- RSS Address: If your theme allows it, the RSS feed associated with the link can display next to your 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 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 are not essential.
When you are done adding information about your link, click on Add Link to update your link settings …
(Click on the Add Link button to update your link settings)
Note: If you select the Keep this link private checkbox, your link will not be visible in your Blogroll section …
(Make links private by selecting the checkbox)
Making a link private lets you toggle its visibility on or off without deleting it (this is useful if you want to have seasonal links) …
(Toggle link visibility on and off)
To see all the links you have added to the Link Manager, click on Links > All Links in your WP dashboard navigation menu …
(WP Links – All Links)
This takes you to the ‘Links’ screen. The Links page displays a list of your links and link information (e.g. link URL, categories, visibility, etc.) …
Tip: To show or hide columns in the Links table, click on the ‘Screen Options’ tab near the top of your screen …
(Table of links – Screen Options)
Display/hide information on your Links table by selecting/deselecting their check boxes …
(Show/hide – Table of links)
How To Edit Your Links
To edit links, click on Links > All Links in the main navigation menu to bring up your list of links …
(WP Links – All Links)
Locate the link to be edited and click on Edit to bring up the link’s information …
(Editing your links)
Make changes to the link fields …
(Edit Link page)
After you’re done editing the link, you can:
- Click on Update Link to save and update your link details,
- Click on Visit Link to see your link and check that you have set up its URL correctly (your link will open up in a new window),
- Click Delete to remove the link if you no longer require it …
(Edit Link: Update Link button)
How To Delete Your Links
To delete a link from the Link Manager, choose Links > All Links in your dashboard menu …
(WordPress Links Menu – All Links)
The ‘Links’ table will display in your web browser.
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 and click Delete …
To delete links in bulk, either click on the check box next to each item that you would like deleted, or select all links by clicking on the main checkbox next to the ‘Name’ column header …
(Delete multiple links)
Choose Delete from the ‘Bulk Actions’ pull-down menu, and click the Apply button to delete your selected links …
(Links: bulk-deletion function)
The links you have selected will be deleted …
(links deleted notice)
Now that you know how to configure link categories and how to add, edit and delete links, it’s time to make links display on your website or blog.
The Links Manager plugin adds a ‘Links’ widget to your ‘Widgets’ page.
To access and configure your Link widgets, choose Appearance > Widgets in the main dashboard menu …
(Appearance Menu – Widgets)
This loads the ‘Widgets’ page in your web browser.
You will see a ‘Links’ widget in the Available Widgets section …
To make the ‘Links’ widget active, drag the widget to one of the widget areas and drop it wherever you would like the links section to show up …
(Add a links widget to a widgetized area)
The Links widget provides various configurable settings. For example, you can specify what information you want to display about your links and how many links you would like displayed on your sidebar …
(Link widget options)
You can also add as many link widgets to your sidebar and footer as you want. This allows you to add and feature link lists throughout your site …
(Add multiple link widgets to your widget bars)
Display a list of links for a specific 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)
When you have finished configuring your links widget, click Save to update your settings. A links will now display on your site …
(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.
Need more help using widgets? Go here to learn more about configuring widgets:
Link Manager – Additional Information
If you have loads of links, the Link Manager plugin lets you easily administer these using filter, search, and sort functions.
Sort Your Links
You can sort links by hovering your mouse cursor over the title of the column you want to sort and clicking on the black triangle displayed next to the column title …
(Sort your links)
Searching Your Links
Type a search term into the search field and click the Search Links button to search for links …
You can filter links by link category …
(Filtering your links by categories)
You can also search and filter links in the Link Categories screen. Use the ‘Search Link Categories’ button to search for link categories, or click on the category links in the ‘Links’ column …
(searching and filtering links in the Link Categories screen)
This displays a list of all links listed for a specific link category …
(Links filtered by link 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 a links section to your sidebar), then you may want to consider using a plugin that can help you administer your links, like Link Library.
The Link Library plugin allows you to display a list of your link categories with a complete list of all your links plus notes and descriptions …
(List of links created with Link library. Screenshot taken from Link Library plugin website.)
This useful plugin can be used to create a page on your web site that contains a list of all of the link categories in your Links section, 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 for your links so that your site users can become aware of any additions made to to your link library.
To learn more this handy plugin, visit this website:
Congratulations! Now you know how to add a featured links section to WordPress.
Go here for a detailed article on how to add links into WordPress:
"I have used the tutorials to teach all of my clients and it has probably never been so easy for everyone to learn WordPress ... Now I don't need to buy all these very expensive video courses that often don't deliver what they promise." - Stefan Wendt, Internet Marketing Success Group