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 Blogroll SectionAs you continue to learn more about using 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 easily add links to a widget-ready theme.


Before the release of v 3.5, Links were a visible feature of the WordPress CMS. After the release of WordPress v3.5, the Links manager and blogroll sections were removed …

Before …

Links displayed in the WordPress menu until the release of WP version 3.5

(The Link Manager feature – included in the WordPress menu until the release of WordPress v.3.5)

After …

Post v.3.5 - no WP Links feature

(The Link Manager – excluded from the WordPress admin menu after WordPress v 3.5)

If you were using the Link Manager in previous versions of WordPress, then it will still be available when you upgrade to newer WordPress versions. If you’ve never used the Links Manager feature, however, or if your site installation is new, then this function will remain hidden – it will not be displayed on the menu.


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 the Links feature is not visible 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 WordPress Plugin

(Link Manager – WordPress Links Management Plugin)

Download URL

Description Of Plugin

The Link Manager plugin restores the default Links feature on your dashboard, 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. 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 plugin below instead, or contact us for help editing your site’s template code.

Simple Links

Simple Links Plugin

(Simple Links – Link Manager Plugin For WordPress)

Plugin URL

Plugin Description

Simple Links recreates the concept of the built-in WordPress Links Manager while removing the shortcomings of the deprecated feature.

Installing The Plugin

To install the Link Manager plugin on your website or blog, follow these step-by-step instructions:

In the WP administration area, select Plugins > Add New

Plugins Menu - Add New

(Plugins – Add New)

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

Plugin Installation

Locate the plugin in the search results area and click Install Now

How To Install Link Manager

Activate the plugin …

Installing The Plugin

After activating the plugin, a ‘Links’ item will show in your WP navigation menu …

WordPress links menu

(WordPress links management menu)

Plugin Setup

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

Link Categories

To create a link category, select Links > Link Categories in your navigation menu …

Links - Link Categories

(WP Links – Link Categories)

You will be taken to the ‘Link Categories’ screen.

Enter information into the following sections:

  • Name: Enter the category name.
  • Slug: The slug displays in the SEO friendly URL of the link category. Use only lowercase letters and do not include 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 …

Link Categories

(Link Categories screen)

The link category will now show in the list …

Link Categories page

(Link Categories screen)


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

Default link category name is 'blogroll'

(Default link category name is ‘blogroll’)

You may want to change this to something that will make sense to your readers. This not only makes it easier for users of your site, but any new links that you add to the Links section will automatically be assigned to the new category name …

Change the default 'blogroll' to something better suited to your business

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

To edit the default category name, hover your mouse over the category name and click on Quick Edit

Quick Edit

(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

Quick Edit

(Editing the link category)

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

Let’s now add a link category description. To add a description to an existing link category, click on Edit under the category name …

You can add/edit the category description

(Link category description)

Enter your description in the ‘Edit Link Category’ page and click Update when done …

Edit Link Category page

(Edit Link Category screen)

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

After setting up your link categories, you can start adding your links.

How To Add Links

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

WP Links Menu - Add New

(Links Menu – Add New)

This brings up the Add New Link’ screen in your browser …

Add New Link page

(Add New Link screen)

You can also access this page by clicking on the ‘Add New’ button at the top of the main Links screen …

Links page - Add New Link button

(Add New Link button)

The ‘Add New Links’ page has the following sections:

Name, Web Address & Description

This section is where you enter your link details …

Add New Link - Name, Web Address, Description

(Add New Link page – Name, Web Address, Description area)

Type in information into the following fields:

  • Name: What you enter in this field will display as the category your links will be assigned to.
  • Slug: The slug is the search-engine friendly URL part 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.
Categories & Target

Select a Category and Target for the link …

Categories & Target section - Add New Link screen

(Categories & Target fields – Add New Link)

In the Categories section, select a link category you have already created, or click on ’+ Add New Category’ to create a new category.

Also, select a target frame radio button for your link in the Target section. This lets you specify where the link should open when a visitor clicks on it:

  • _blank means that when visitors click on your link, a separate window will open up in their web browser to display the information associated with the link.
  • _none means that when a visitor clicks on your link, they will leave 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 area provides some additional link functionality …

Link Relationship (XFN) section - Add New Link

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

Link Relationship (XFN) – XFN stands for XML Friends Network – is a way to define your relationship with the linked person. For example, if you work with Atharv Gould and you link to his blog, you would probably check co-worker or colleague.

XFN relationships are optional for WordPress links. 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 specifies the relationship between the current document and the linked document. For example, if you don’t want search engines to follow your link, type nofollow into this field. Other ‘rel’ attributes include author, help, start, index, etc.

To learn more about XFN, visit this site:


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 link settings

(Advanced fields)

The Advanced link settings section includes the following options:

  • Image Address: Specify an image to be displayed with the link. 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 RSS feed associated with the link can display next to your links.
  • Notes: This section lets you add notes 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 in the above fields or just leave this section blank, as these fields are not essential for links to work.

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

click on Add Link to save your new link

(Click on the Add Link button to save your new link)


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

Private link checkbox

(You can make links private by checking the box)

Making links private allows you to toggle link visibility on or off without deleting your links (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 see a list of all the links you have created, go to your WP dashboard navigation menu and choose Links > All Links

WP Links Menu - All Links

(Links Menu – All Links)

This takes you to the ‘Links’ table. The Links table displays your links and link information (e.g. link URL, link categories, relationship, etc.) …

Links page

(Links table)

Practical Tip

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

List of Links - Screen Options

(Screen Options – Links page)

Enable/disable fields on your table of links by ticking/unticking their check boxes …

Hide or display - Links screen

(Table of links – Hide or display screen options)

How To Edit Links

To edit a link in the Link Manager, go to your WP dashboard navigation menu and select Links > All Links to bring up your list of links …

Links Menu - All Links

(Links – All Links)

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

Editing your link information

(Editing links)

Make any changes you want to the link details …

Edit Link page

(Edit Link page)

After editing your link, you can:

  • Click on Update Link to save 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 remove the link from your link table if you no longer require it …

Update Link button

(Edit Link: Update Link button)

Removing Your Links

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

WP Links - All Links

(Links – All Links)

The ‘Links’ page will load in your browser.

You can delete links individually, delete multiple links, or perform a bulk delete.

To delete links individually, hover over the link title that you want to remove from the link table and click Delete

Deleting links

(Delete links)

To delete links in bulk, either tick the checkbox next to each item that you want deleted, or select all links by clicking on the main checkbox next to the ‘Name’ column header at the top of the list …

Delete multiple links

(Delete multiple links)

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

Bulk-deletion of links

(Bulk-delete links)

Your selected links will be removed …

Deleted links notification

(Link deletion message)

Plugin Usage

Now that you know how to set up link categories and how to add, edit and delete links, it’s time to learn how to make links display on your site.

Links Widget

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

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

Appearance - Widgets

(Appearance Menu – Widgets)

This brings up the ‘Widgets’ screen.

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

Links widget

(Links widget)

Drag the ‘Links’ widget to one of your active widget areas in the Widgets page and drop it wherever you want your links section to show up …

Drag and drop the links widget to add it to your WordPress widget bar

(Adding a links widget to your sidebar)

The Links widget includes a number of configurable settings. For example, you can specify what information you want to show about your links and how many links you want to display on your sidebar …

Link widget options

(Link widget - configurable settings)

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

Add a number of link widgets to your sidebar

(You can add multiple link widgets to your sidebar)

You can select a link category …

Link widget settings - Select Link Category

(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 - Sorting options

(Link widget options – Sorting options)

After setting up your Links widget, click the Save button to update your settings. A links should appear on your sidebar menu …

An example of how 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.


Need help with widgets? We have written a detailed article about configuring widgets. For more info, see this article:

Links Manager – Additional Information

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

Sort Links Function

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

You can easily sort links

(Sorting your links)

Searching Links Function

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

Searching your links

(Searching links)

Filter Links

You can filter links by link categories …

Filter your links by link category

(Filtering links by category)

You can also search and filter links in the Link Categories page. Use the ‘Search Link Categories’ button to search for link categories, or click on the category links in the ‘Links’ column …

Search and filter links in the Link Categories screen

(Search and filter links in the Link Categories screen)

This displays 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 use links extensively on your website or blog, or if you intend to add a page containing a list of links 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

(Link Library Plugin)

Plugin Download URL

Plugin Description

The Link Library plugin gives you the ability to display a list of all your link categories with a complete list of all your links with notes and descriptions …

Link Library links

(List of links created with Link library. Screenshot taken from Link Library plugin documentation.)

This useful plugin creates a page on your website 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 of your link collection so that your site users can be made aware of additions to your link library.

To learn more about this plugin, go here:

How To Add A Blogroll To Sidebar Menu

Congratulations! Now you know how to add a featured links section to WordPress.

Practical Tip

We have written a detailed article about how to add links in WordPress posts and pages. Go here to learn more about this:


"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.