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How To Add A Link Section To WordPress

As you become more familiar with WordPress, you may occasionally come across something called a blogroll.

A blogroll is a list of links pointing to external sites or blogs that display on your sidebar.

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 display a featured links section on your blog using the WordPress Link Manager plugin.

Prior to the release of version 3.5, Links were a visible feature of the WordPress CMS. After the release of WordPress version 3.5, the Links Manager section was removed …

Before …

(The Links Manager – included in the menu until the release of WP v.3.5)

After …

(The Links Manager feature – no longer displayed in WordPress after WP v3.5)

If you’ve used an earlier version of WordPress than 3.5 and upgraded your installation, the Link Manager would have been removed, unless you’ve 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 appear on the 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 the Links menu section is not visible when you log into your WordPress dashboard, you can add it via a plugin. This step-by-step tutorial explains how to add, edit, delete and manage links on your site’s sidebar using WordPress plugins.

Link Manager

(Link Manager)

Plugin Download URL


Plugin Description

The Link Manager plugin restores the default Links Manager, even if you update WordPress to a later version or remove all of your existing links.

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

Simple Links

(Simple Links WordPress Plugin)

Download URL



This plugin recreates the same concept as the built-in WP Link Manager while addressing the shortcomings of the deprecated feature.

Plugin Installation

To install the Link Manager plugin, follow these instructions:

From the WordPress administration menu, go to 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 installation …

After activation, the ‘Links’ function will be restored to your WP dashboard menu area …

(Links management menu section)

Configuring The Plugin

Before you start adding links, it’s a good idea to first set up your link categories. This way, you can assign any new links to link categories you have already created.

Link Categories

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

(Links – Link Categories)

The ‘Link Categories’ page will load in your web browser.

Type in the following information:

Click Add New Link Category to save your new link category name …

(Link Categories)

The link category will be added to the list …

(Link Categories)

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

(Default link category)

You may want to change this to something better suited to your business. This will not only make it easier for visitors, but any new links that you add to your site will automatically appear under the new category name …

(we recommend changing the default ’blogroll’ to something your visitors will understand)

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

(Quick Edit)

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

(Quick Edit)

In our example, the link category ‘Blogroll’ has been replaced with a more suitable category name (e.g. ‘Recommended’).

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

(You can add/edit the category description)

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

(Edit Link Category page)

Repeat this process and add as many different link categories as you need.

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

How To Add Links

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

(Links – Add New)

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

(Add New Link screen)

You can also reach this page by clicking on ’Add New’ at the top of the main Links page …

(Links – 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 fields)

Type in information into the following sections:

Categories & Target

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

(Categories & Target – Add New Link)

In the Categories section, tick a link category you’ve already set up, or click on ’+ Add New Category’ to add a new category link.

Also, select a target frame radio button for your link in the Target section. This lets you specify where you want the link to open when clicked on:

Link Relationship XFN

This section provides some additional link functionality …

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

Link Relationship (XFN) – XFN stands for XML Friends Network – is a way to define your relationship to the linked person. For example, if you have a professional relationship with Clementine Larsson 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 of your links will still work. XFN makes your links more understandable to some websites 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 is used to define 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.

To learn more about XFN, visit the site below:


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 leave the fields in this section blank unless you have a reason to use them) …

(Advanced link settings – Add New Link)

The Advanced link settings section contains the following:

Enter information in the above fields or just leave this section ignore this section.

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

(Click on Add Link to update your link settings)

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

(Make links private by checking the box)

Making links private lets you toggle link visibility on and off without deleting your links (this is useful if you want to have seasonal links) …

(Toggle link visibility on and off)

To view all the links you have added to the Link Manager, choose Links > All Links in your WP admin menu …

(Links – All Links)

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

(Links table)

Tip: To display additional columns in the Links page, click on the ‘Screen Options’ tab near the top of your screen …

(Links page – Screen Options)

Enable/disable fields on your Links table by ticking/unticking their checkboxes …

(Show/hide links)

Editing Your Link Information

To edit a link, select Links > All Links in your dashboard menu to bring up the table of links …

(Links – All Links)

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

(Editing links)

Change the link …

(Edit Link screen)

After editing the link, you can:

(Edit Link: Update Link button)

Removing Links

To delete links, select Links > All Links in the dashboard navigation menu …

(WordPress Links – All Links)

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

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

To delete links individually, hover over the link title that you want removed and click Delete

(Deleting links)

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

(Delete multiple links)

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

(Bulk-delete links)

Your selected links will be removed …

(Deleted links notice)

Plugin Usage

Now that you know how to configure link categories and how to add, edit and delete links, let’s show you how to display links 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, go to the WP dashboard navigation menu and select Appearance > Widgets

(WordPress Appearance – Widgets)

This takes you to the ‘Widgets’ screen.

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

(Links widget)

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

(Adding a links widget to your WordPress widget bar using drag and drop)

The Links widget provides various settings. For example, you can specify what information you want to show about your links and how many links you want displayed on your sidebar menu …

(Link widget - configurable options)

You can add as many link widgets as you want. This allows you to create and display specific links on your site …

(Add multiple link widgets to your widget bars)

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

(Link widget settings – Select Link Category)

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

(Link widget settings – Sorting options)

After configuring the Links widget, click the Save button to update your settings. Your links will now appear 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 more help using widgets? We have written a detailed article on using widgets here:

Link Manager – Additional Information

If you have added many links, the Link Manager plugin allows you to easily administer these using sort, search, and filter features.

Sorting Your Links

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

(Sort your links)

Find Links

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

(Search links)

Filter Your Links

You can filter links by link categories …

(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 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 lots of links to your site, or if you want 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 your links.

Link Library

(Link Library WordPress Plugin)

Plugin Download URL


Plugin Description

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

(List of links created with Link library. Image: Link Library plugin website.)

Link Library can be used to create a page on your site that contains a list of all of the link categories in your Links area, plus all links listed in 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 links that lets your site users become aware of any additions made to to your link library.

To learn more about Link Library:

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

If you want to learn more about how to easily create HTML links in WordPress posts and pages, see this article:


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