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 A WordPress Featured Links SectionAs you continue to learn more about using WordPress, you may occasionally come across the term blogroll.

WordPress refers to a list of links pointing to other sites or web pages that display on your sidebar 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 add and manage links to your sidebar area (e.g. a “Recommended Resources” section) using a widget.

Important Info

Prior to the release of v 3.5, Links were a core feature of the WordPress CMS. From version 3.5 onwards, the Links manager and blogroll sections were kept hidden by default in new installations …

Before …

WP Links Manager Feature - pre v3.5

(WordPress Links Manager – pre version 3.5)

After …

Post v 3.5 - no WordPress Links Manager feature

(Post v3.5 – no WordPress Links feature)

If you’ve used an earlier version of WordPress than v 3.5 and upgraded your installation, then the Link Manager would be removed, unless you’ve previously used it. If you’ve never used Links Manager, however, or if your site is new, then this function will remain hidden – you will not see it on the dashboard menu.

How To Add A Link Section To WordPress

If you can’t see the Links feature when you log into your WordPress dashboard you will need to install a plugin. This tutorial explains how to add, edit, delete and manage blogroll links on your sidebar using WordPress plugins.

Link Manager

Link Manager Plugin

(Links Manager WordPress Plugin)

Download URL

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

Description

Use this plugin to restore the Links Manager, even if you upgrade WordPress to a later version or remove all of your existing links.

Note: This plugin adds a single line of template code to restore the hidden feature. When we last checked, the plugin had not been updated for some time, but it should still work fine. If you don’t want to use this plugin, then use the plugin below instead, or contact us for help editing your site’s template code.

Simple Links

Simple Links - Link Manager Plugin For WordPress

(Simple Links Plugin)

Download URL

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

Plugin Description

This plugin attempts to recreate the same concept as the built-in Link Manager while addressing the shortcomings of the deprecated feature.

Installing The Plugin

Let’s install the Link Manager plugin.

In the WordPress dashboard menu, go to Plugins > Add New

Plugins - Add New

(Plugins – Add New)

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

How To Install Link Manager

Locate the plugin in the results area and click Install Now

Plugin Installation

Activate the plugin after installation …

Plugin Installation

After activation, a ‘Links’ item will show up in your WP navigation menu area …

Links menu

(Links management menu)

Configuring The Plugin

We recommend setting up link categories first before adding any new links. This way, you can assign any new links to link categories you have already created.

Link Categories

To create a link category, go to the dashboard navigation menu and select Links > Link Categories

Links Menu - Link Categories

(Links Menu – Link Categories)

The ‘Link Categories’ page will display in your browser.

Enter information into the following fields:

  • Name: Whatever you type in this field is the category name that will display on your site.
  • Slug: The slug displays 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. (Optional)

When finished, click Add New Link Category to save your new link category …

Link Categories

(Link Categories)

The category details will now show in the list …

Link Categories page

(Link Categories screen)

Info

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

Default link category name

(Default link category name)

You may want to change the default WordPress link category name to something better suited to your business. 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 be listed under the new category name …

Consider changing the default 'blogroll' to something your visitors will relate to

(Consider changing the default link category name to something better suited to your business)

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

Quick Edit

(Edit the default link category name)

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

Update Link Category

(Editing the link category name)

In our example, the category ‘Blogroll’ has been replaced with an appropriate links section name (e.g. ‘Recommended’).

Let’s insert a description for this link category. To add a description to an existing link category, hover over the item name and click Edit

You can add/edit your category description

(Link category description)

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

Edit Link Category area

(Edit Link Category screen)

Repeat this process and add as many link categories as your site requires.

Once you have finished configuring your link categories, you can being adding new links.

How To Add Links

To add a new link, click on Links > Add New in your dashboard navigation menu …

Links Menu - Add New

(WP Links Menu – Add New)

The ‘Add New Link’ screen will display in your browser …

Add New Link screen

(Add New Link page)

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

Links screen - Add New Link button

(Add New Link button)

The ‘Add New Links’ page has several sections:

Name, Web Address & Description

Enter details about your link in this section …

Name, Web Addressand Description - Add New Link screen

(Name, Web Addressand Description area)

Type in the following information:

  • Name: What you type here will display as the link category name.
  • Slug: The slug shows up in the web address of the link category name. It must be in lowercase letters and contain no spaces (use hyphens to separate words).
  • Description: Some themes may display a link category description in the links section, or as a tool tip when visitors hover over the link name with their mouse.
Categories & Target

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

Categories & Target

(Categories & Target)

In the Categories section, tick a link category 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 you want the link to open when clicked on:

  • _blank means that a new, separate web browser window will open up to display the information associated with the link.
  • _none means that when a visitor clicks on the 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. Don’t worry about this option if you don’t use frames, or if you don’t know what frames are.
Link Relationship XFN

This section provides some additional link functionality …

Link Relationship (XFN) section

(Add New Link screen – Link Relationship (XFN))

Link Relationship (XFN) – XFN (XML Friends Network) lets you define your relationship with the linked person. For example, if you work with Shaurya Jones and you link to his blog, you would probably tick co-worker or colleague.

XFN relationships are optional for WordPress links. You can leave everything in this section blank 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 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. Other ‘rel’ attributes include author, help, index, start, etc. Separate multiple ‘rel’ keywords with spaces.

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

Advanced

The last section allows you to enter Advanced features for your links (You can ignore this section, unless there’s a good reason to use it) …

Advanced fields - Add New Link screen

(Advanced link settings)

The Advanced section contain the following fields:

  • Image Address: Lets you specify an image to be displayed with the link. To use this feature, add the URL of your image 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 will display next to the links.
  • 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 into the above fields or just leave this section blank, as these are not essential for links to work.

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

click on Add Link to save your new link

(Click on Add Link to save your new link)

Important

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

You can make links private by checking the box

(You can make links private by selecting the checkbox)

Making links private lets you toggle link visibility on or off without deleting these (this is useful if you would like links to display during certain times and hide them afterwards) …

Toggle link visibility on and off

(Making links private toggles their visibility on and off)

To see all the links you have added, choose Links > All Links in your WP admin menu …

WP Links - All Links

(Links – All Links)

The ‘Links’ page will display in your web browser. The list of links displays your links and link information (e.g. URL, categories, rating, etc.) …

List of Links

(Links page)

Practical Tip

Tip: To view or hide fields in the Links page, click on the ‘Screen Options’ tab at the top of the screen …

List of Links - Screen Options

(Links table – Screen Options)

Display/hide information on your table of links by selecting/deselecting their checkboxes …

Hide or display - Table of links

(Hide or show – Links page)

How To Edit Your Link Information

To edit links, choose Links > All Links in your WP dashboard navigation menu to bring up your links page …

Links Menu - All Links

(Links Menu – All Links)

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

Editing your links

(Editing links)

Make changes to your link details …

Edit Link screen

(Edit Link screen)

After editing your link, you can:

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

Edit Link: Update Link button

(Update Link button)

Removing Your Links

To delete links, click on Links > All Links in your WP navigation menu …

WordPress Links Menu - All Links

(WP Links Menu – All Links)

This brings up the ‘Links’ page in your web browser.

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

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

Delete your links

(Delete your links)

To delete multiple links, either tick the checkboxes next to individual links that you want removed, or select all links by clicking on the check box next to the ‘Name’ column header …

Deleting multiple links

(Delete multiple links)

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

Links: bulk-deletion function

(Bulk-deletion of links)

Your links will be deleted …

Link deletion notification

(Link deletion message)

Plugin Usage

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.

Using The Links Widget

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

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

WP Appearance - Widgets

(Appearance – Widgets)

This brings up the ‘Widgets’ page.

You will notice that a ‘Links’ widget has been added to the Available Widgets section …

Links widget

(Links widget)

To make the ‘Links’ widget active, drag it to one of your active widget sections and drop it wherever you want the links section to show up …

Add a links widget to a widgetized area using drag & drop

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

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

Link widget - configurable settings

(Link widget - settings)

You can also add as many link widgets as you want. This lets you add and display several lists of links throughout your site …

Add a number of link widgets to your sidebar

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

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

Link widget settings - Select Link Category

(Link widget settings – Select Link Category)

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

Link widget settings - Sorting options

(Link widget settings – Sort by options)

Once you are done setting up the Links widget, click Save to update your settings. A links will become visible on your website’s sidebar …

An example of how links can be displayed on a 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.

Practical Tip

Need help using widgets? Go here to learn more about configuring widgets:

Links Manager – Additional Information

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

Sorting Links

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

Sorting your links

(Sort your links)

Searching Links Function

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

You can search your links with the search function

(You can easily find links using the search function)

Filter Links Function

You can filter links by category …

Filtering links by link category

(Filter 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 …

Search and filter links in the Link Categories page

(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 category

(Links filtered by link category)

Links – Additional Options

If you plan to add lots of links to your website or blog, 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 links.

Link Library

Link Library Plugin

(Link Library Plugin)

Plugin URL

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

Plugin Description

Link Library lets you display a list of your link categories and a complete list of links plus descriptions and notes …

List of links created with Link library

(Link Library links. Screenshot taken from Link Library plugin website.)

Link Library creates a page on your website containing all the link categories in your Links section, plus all links listed in 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 be made aware of additions to your link library.

For more information about the benefits of using this powerful plugin, visit the plugin site:

How To Add A WordPress Links Section

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

Practical Tip

We have written a detailed article about inserting hyperlinks into your WordPress posts. For more details:

Get Thrive Leads for WordPress

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Author: Martin Aranovitch

Martin Aranovitch is the founder of WPCompendium.org and has authored hundreds of FREE WordPress tutorials for non-techies and beginners. WPCompendium.org provides detailed step-by-step tutorials that will teach you how to use WordPress with no coding skills required and grow your business online at minimal cost!