WordPress For Non-Techies: Free WordPress Tutorials – WPCompendium.org

How To Add A Link Section To WordPress

As you continue to learn more about using WordPress, you may occasionally come across references to the term blogroll.

WordPress refers to a list of hyperlinks pointing to other websites or web pages that display on your sidebar menu 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 a links section to a widgetized theme.

Before the release of v.3.5, Links were a core feature of the WordPress CMS. From version 3.5 onwards, the Links Manager section was removed …

Before …

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

After …

(Post v 3.5 – no WP Links feature)

If you have used an earlier version of WordPress than v3.5 and upgraded your installation, the Link Manager would be removed, unless you have previously used it. If you’ve never used the Links feature, however, or if your installation of WordPress is new, then this function will remain hidden – it will not appear on your dashboard menu.


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 feature when you log into your WordPress dashboard you will need to install a plugin. In this tutorial, you will learn how to add and manage blogroll links on your site’s sidebar using WordPress plugins.

Link Manager

(Link Manager WordPress Plugin)

Plugin URL


Description Of Plugin

Use this plugin to restore the Links menu on your dashboard, even if you update to a later version of WordPress or remove all of your existing links.

Note: All this plugin does is add a single line of code to restore the hidden feature. The last time we checked, this 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 one below instead, or contact us for help editing your template code.

Simple Links

(Simple Links Plugin)

Plugin Download URL



Simple Links recreates the concept of the built-in Link Manager while removing the shortcomings of the deprecated functionality.

Plugin Installation

Let’s install the Link Manager plugin.

From the WordPress admin area, select Plugins > Add New

(Plugins – Add New)

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

Locate the plugin in the results screen and click Install Now

Activate the plugin …

After activating the plugin, a ‘Links’ item will show up on the dashboard menu …

(WordPress links management menu)

Plugin Configuration

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

Link Categories

To create a link category, go to your admin menu and select Links > Link Categories

(WordPress Links Menu – Link Categories)

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

Enter information into the following sections:

after entering your information, click the Add New Link Category button to save …

(Link Categories screen)

The category details will be added to the list …

(Link Categories)

Tip: Blogroll is the default link category name. 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 the default WordPress link category name 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 appear under the new category name …

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

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

(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), then click on the Update link Category button …

(Edit the link category)

Replace the category name ‘Blogroll’ with a more suitable name (e.g. ‘Recommended’, ‘Our Sponsors’ etc).

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

(Link category description)

Add your description in the ‘Edit Link Category’ page and click Update finished to save your settings …

(Edit Link Category area)

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

After you have finished configuring your link categories, you can add new links.

How To Add New Links

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

(Links – Add New)

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

(Add New Link screen)

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

(Links page – Add New Link button)

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

Name, Web Address & Description

The first section lets you enter details about your link …

(Add New Link screen – Name, Web Address& Description)

Enter the following information:

Categories & Target

After typing in link details, select a Category and Target for your new link …

(Add New Link – Categories & Target)

In the Categories section, select one of the link categories you’ve already set up, or click on ’+ Add New Category’ to create 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 a visitor clicks on it:

Link Relationship XFN

This area provides some additional link functionality …

(Link Relationship (XFN))

Link Relationship (XFN) – XFN (XML Friends Network) allows you to define your relationship to the linked person. For example, if you have a professional relationship with Arjun Schwartz 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 all of your links will work just fine. XFN makes the links defined on your site more understandable to some sites and search engines that use this information.

rel – This field lets you specify the ‘rel’ attribute that will be assigned to your link. The rel attribute defines the 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.

To learn more about XFN, visit the site below:


The last section of the Add New Link’ screen lets you specify Advanced features for your links (You can leave these fields empty unless there’s a good reason to use them) …

(Add New Link page – Advanced section)

The Advanced link settings section includes the following options:

Type in your information into the above fields or just leave this section blank.

When you are done adding your new link information, click on the Add Link button to update your link settings …

(Click on the Add Link button to update your link settings)

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

(Make your links private)

Making a link private allows you to toggle link visibility on or off without deleting it (this is useful if you want your link to display during certain periods and hide it after it’s no longer required) …

(Toggle link visibility on and off)

To see a list of all your links, go to your admin menu and choose Links > All Links

(WordPress Links Menu – All Links)

This loads the ‘Links’ screen in your browser. The list of links displays your links and link information (e.g. link URL, link categories, visibility, etc.) …

(Links screen)

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

(Screen Options – Links screen)

Show/hide fields on your Links table by ticking/unticking their checkboxes …

(Table of links – Show/hide screen options)

Editing Links

To modify links in the Link Manager, choose Links > All Links in your dashboard menu to bring up the list of links …

(WP Links Menu – All Links)

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

(Editing your links)

Make the changes you want to your link details …

(Edit Link page)

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

(Edit Link: Update Link button)

Removing Your Links

To delete a link, go to the WP navigation menu and select Links > All Links

(Links Menu – All Links)

This brings up the ‘Links’ screen.

You can delete links individually, delete multiple links by selecting their check boxes, or delete all of your links at once.

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

(Deleting links)

To delete links in bulk, either tick the check boxes next to individual links that you would like to remove, or select all links by clicking on the main check box next to the ‘Name’ column header …

(Delete multiple links)

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

(Links: bulk-deletion function)

All the links you have selected will be removed …

(Link deletion message)

Using The Link Manager Plugin

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 links on your site.

Links Widget

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

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

(Appearance – Widgets)

This loads the ‘Widgets’ page in your web browser.

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

(Links widget)

To make the ‘Links’ widget active, drag the widget to one of your widget areas in the Widgets page and drop it wherever you would like your links to show up …

(Adding a links widget to your WordPress sidebar using drag & drop)

The Links widget offers a number of settings. You can specify what information you would like displayed about your links and how many links you would like displayed on your sidebar …

(Link widget settings)

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

(Add multiple link widgets to your widget bars)

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

(Link widget settings – Select Link Category)

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

(Link widget settings – Sort by options)

Once you are done setting up the Links widget, click Save to update your settings. A link section will now appear on your sidebar …

(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 help with widgets? Go here if you would like to learn more about using widgets:

Link Manager – Additional Information

If you have loads of links, the Link Manager plugin allows you to easily administer these with filtering, sorting, and searching features.

Sort Links

To sort links, hover your mouse 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 your links)

Searching Your Links

Find links using the ‘Search Links’ button …

(Searching links)

Filtering Your Links

You can 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 page)

This brings up a list of all links listed under a specific link category …

(Links filtered by category)

Additional Link Options

If you plan to add lots of links to your website, or if you want to add a page containing a list of links 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, like Link Library.

Link Library

(Link Library WordPress Plugin)

Plugin Download URL


Plugin Description

The Link Library plugin allows you to publish a list of your link categories and a complete list of links plus descriptions and notes …

(Link Library links. Image source: Link Library plugin website.)

Link Library can be used to create a page on your website that contains a list of all of the link categories in your Links section, 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 be made aware of additions to your link library.

To learn more this WordPress plugin, go here:

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

We have written a comprehensive article on how to easily add HTML links to WordPress posts. Go here to learn more:


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