A blogroll is a list of links pointing to external sites or web pages displayed on your sidebar menu.
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 widgetized theme.
Before the release of v.3.5, Links were a core feature of the WordPress CMS. After the release of WordPress version 3.5, the Link Manager section was removed …
(The Links Manager feature – included in the menu until the release of WP v3.5)
(Post v3.5 – no WordPress Links Manager feature)
If you’ve had an earlier version than v 3.5 installed and upgraded your installation, the Links Manager would be removed, unless you have previously used it. If you’ve never used the Link Manager feature, however, or if your installation of WordPress is new, then this function will become invisible – it will not be displayed 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 the Links item is not visible when you log into your WP admin area, you can add it via a plugin. In this step-by-step tutorial, you will learn how to add, edit, delete and manage blogroll links on your sidebar using plugins.
Description Of Plugin
Use this plugin to restore the built-in Links Manager, 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 template code to WordPress 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 template code.
(Simple Links – WordPress Link Management Plugin)
Simple Links recreates the concept of the built-in WP Link Manager while removing the shortcomings of the deprecated functionality.
To install the Link Manager plugin, do the following:
From the WordPress administration menu, select Plugins > Add New …
(Plugins Menu – Add New)
Select the Install Plugins > Search tab, type ”link manager” into the search field and hit Enter …
Locate the plugin in the results area and click Install Now …
Activate the plugin after it has been installed …
After you have activated the plugin, a ‘Links’ item will show in your WP dashboard menu …
(WordPress links menu)
We recommend setting up link categories first before you start adding new links. This way, you can assign new links to a link category you have already created.
To create a new link category, go to your admin menu and select Links > Link Categories …
(Links – Link Categories)
This takes you to the ‘Link Categories’ screen.
Type in information into the following fields:
- Name: Enter the link category name.
- Slug: The slug appears in the search-engine friendly URL of the link category name. Use lowercase letters only and do not include spaces (use hyphens to separate words).
- Description: Some themes may display a link category description.
after entering your information, click Add New Link Category to save your new link category name …
Your link category will be added to the table …
(Link Categories page)
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 name)
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 be assigned to the new category name …
(we recommend changing the default ’blogroll’ to something your visitors will understand)
To change the ‘Blogroll’ link name, hover your mouse over the item and click on the Quick Edit link …
(Edit the link category name)
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 …
(Edit the link category name)
Replace the link category ‘Blogroll’ with a more suitable name (e.g. ‘Recommended’, ‘Links’ etc).
Let’s create a description for this link category. To add a link category description, click on the Edit link under the category name …
(Link category description)
Add your description in the ‘Edit Link Category’ page and click Update done to save your settings …
(Edit Link Category area)
Repeat the above process and add as many different link categories as your site needs.
After configuring your link categories, you can add your links.
How To Add Links
To add a new link, go to your WP dashboard menu and select Links > Add New …
(Links Menu – Add New)
This takes you to the ‘Add New Link’ page …
(Add New Link page)
You can also reach this screen by clicking on the ‘Add New’ button at the top of the main Links screen …
(Links – Add New Link button)
The ‘Add New Links’ page includes the following sections:
Name, Web Address & Description
Enter details about your link in this section …
(Add New Link screen – Name, Web Address& Description)
Enter the following information:
- Name: Enter the link category name here.
- Slug: The slug appears in the URL of the link category name. Use only lowercase letters without spaces (use hyphens to separate words).
- Description: Some themes may display your link category description.
Categories & Target
Select a Category and Target for the new link …
(Categories & Target fields – Add New Link)
In the Categories section, select a link category you’ve already added, or click on the ‘+ Add New Category’ link to create a new category.
Also, select a target frame for your link in the Target section by choosing one of the radio buttons. This lets you specify how you want your link to open when visitors click on it:
- _blank means that when visitors click on the link, a new, separate web browser window will open up to display the content associated with the link. This allows your visitors to access the information without leaving your page
- _none means that when visitors click on your link, they will leave your site and a new website 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 area provides some additional link functionality …
(Link Relationship (XFN))
Link Relationship (XFN) – XFN (XML Friends Network) is a way to define your relationship with the linked person. For example, if you work with Daniel Jones 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 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 specifies 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.
To learn more about XFN, visit the site below:
The last section lets you enter Advanced features for your links (You can leave these fields empty unless you have a reason to use them) …
(Add New Link – Advanced link settings)
The Advanced link settings section includes the following options:
- Image Address: Specify an image to be displayed with the link. To use this feature, add an image URL 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 be displayed next to your links.
- Notes: Add notes about the link in this section for your own internal reference.
- Rating: You can add a rating score to the link if you would like 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.
When you are done adding your new link information, click on Add Link to save your new link …
(Click on Add Link to update your link settings)
Note: If you tick Keep this link private, your link will not be visible when links are displayed on your site …
(Make links private by checking the box)
Making a link private allows you to toggle link visibility on or off without deleting it (this is useful if you would like the link to display during certain times and hide it afterwards) …
(Making links private toggles their visibility on and off)
To view all the links you have created, choose Links > All Links in the navigation menu …
(Links Menu – All Links)
You will be taken to the ‘Links’ screen. The Links table displays all your links and link information (e.g. link URL, categories, visibility, etc.) …
(List of links)
Tip: To display additional fields in the table of links, click on the ‘Screen Options’ tab near the top of the screen …
(List of links – Screen Options)
Enable/disable fields on your table of links by ticking/unticking their check boxes …
Editing Your Link Information
To edit links, choose Links > All Links in the dashboard navigation menu to bring up the links page …
(Links – All Links)
Locate the link you want to edit and click on Edit to bring up the item’s link information …
(Editing your links)
Make changes to the link information …
(Edit Link page)
After you’re done editing the link, you can:
- Click on Update Link to save your link details,
- Click on Visit Link to see your link and make sure that you have set up your link’s URL correctly (your link will open up in a new window),
- Click Delete to remove the link …
(Edit Link: Update Link button)
Deleting Your Links
To delete a link, choose Links > All Links in the admin menu …
(WP Links Menu – All Links)
This loads the ‘Links’ screen in your browser.
You can delete links individually, delete multiple links, or perform a bulk delete.
To delete individual links, hover over the link title that you want to remove and click Delete …
To delete a number of links at once, either click on the check box next to each link that you would like deleted, or select all links by clicking on the checkbox next to the ‘Name’ column header …
(Delete multiple links)
Choose Delete from the ‘Bulk Actions’ menu, and click Apply to delete your selected links …
(Bulk-deletion of links)
The links will be removed …
(links deleted message)
Now that you know how to configure link categories and how to add, edit and delete links, let’s show you how to make links display on your website or blog.
Installing the Link Manager plugin adds a ‘Links’ widget to your ‘Widgets’ screen.
To access and configure your Link widgets, select Appearance > Widgets in your WP dashboard navigation menu …
(Appearance Menu – Widgets)
The ‘Widgets’ page will load in your web browser.
You will notice a ‘Links’ widget in the Available Widgets section …
Drag the ‘Links’ widget to one of your widget sections and drop it wherever you want the links to display …
(Add a links widget to a widgetized menu)
The Links widget provides various options. For example, you can specify what information you want displayed about your links and how many links you want to display on your sidebar menu …
(Link widget - settings)
You can add as many link widgets to your sidebar as you want. This allows you to add and display specific link sections throughout your site …
(Add multiple link widgets to your sidebar)
Select a link category to display specific links …
(Link widget options – Select Link Category)
You can sort links by Link rating, Link title, Link ID, or display links in Random order …
(Link widget options – Sorting options)
When you have finished setting up your links widget, click the Save button to update your settings. Your link section should show up immediately on your site …
(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 more help with widgets? Go here for a detailed article about configuring widgets:
Link Manager – Additional Information
If you have loads of links, the Link Manager plugin lets you easily administer these with sort, search, and filter functions.
To sort links, hover your mouse cursor over the title of the column you want to sort and click on the little black triangle displayed next to the column title …
You can find links using the ‘Search Links’ feature …
(Find your links)
Filtering Your Links
You can filter links by category …
(Filtering 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 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 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 consider using a plugin that can help you administer your links, like Link Library.
Download Plugin URL
This plugin lets you display a list of your link categories with a complete list of all your links plus descriptions and notes …
(List of links created with Link library. Image sourced from Link Library plugin site.)
Link Library creates a page on your web site that contains all the link categories in your Links section, plus 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 for your links that lets your site users be made aware of additions to your link library.
Visit this website to learn more about this plugin:
Congratulations! Now you know how to add a featured links section to your WordPress site.
If you want to learn more about adding HTML hyperlinks in WordPress posts, refer to this article:
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