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 …

Get Thrive Leads for WordPress

How Do I Add A Blogroll To WordPress?As you learn more about WordPress, you may occasionally come across references to the term blogroll.

A blogroll is a list of hyperlinks pointing to other sites or web pages that display 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 Manager lets you easily add and manage a links section to your WordPress sidebar section (e.g. a “Top 3 Resources” section) using a widget.

Info

Before WordPress v.3.5 was released, Links were a visible feature of the WordPress CMS. From v3.5 onwards, the Links manager and blogroll sections were removed …

Before …

The Links Manager feature  - part of the WordPress admin menu until the release of WordPress v3.5

(WordPress Links Manager – pre v.3.5)

After …

The Link Manager feature  - no longer included in the WordPress admin menu after WP version 3.5

(Post v.3.5 – no WP Links feature)

If you were using the Links Manager in previous versions of WordPress, then it will still be available when you upgrade to newer WordPress versions. If you’ve never used Link Manager, however, or if your website is new, then this function will become invisible – you will not see it on your dashboard menu.

 

How To Add A Link Section To WordPress

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 admin area you will need to install a plugin. This step-by-step tutorial will show you how to add and manage links on your sidebar using plugins.

Link Manager

Link Manager - Plugin For WordPress

(Links Manager WordPress Plugin)

Download URL

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

Description

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

Note: This plugin adds a single line of code to your installation 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 this plugin, then use the plugin below instead, or contact us for help editing your template code.

Simple Links

Simple Links WordPress Plugin

(Simple Links WordPress Plugin)

Download URL

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

Description Of Plugin

Simple Links recreates the concept of the built-in Link Manager while addressing the shortcomings of the deprecated feature.

How To Install The Plugin

To install the Link Manager plugin, follow the instructions below:

In the WP dashboard menu, select Plugins > Add New

Plugins - 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

Find the plugin in the results area and click Install Now

How To Install Link Manager

Activate the plugin after it has been installed …

How To Install The Plugin

Once the plugin is activated, a ‘Links’ item will be displayed in the WP navigation menu area …

Links management menu

(WordPress links menu section)

Plugin Setup

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

Link Categories

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

Links Menu - Link Categories

(WordPress Links Menu – Link Categories)

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

Enter the following information:

  • Name: Enter the link category name.
  • Slug: The slug is the web address part 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.

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

Link Categories area

(Link Categories)

Your link category will now show in the list …

Link Categories screen

(Link Categories)

Important 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 is 'blogroll'

(Default link category)

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

we recommend changing the default 'blogroll' to something your visitors will relate to

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

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

Quick Edit

(Quick Edit)

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 …

Quick Edit

(Editing the default link category name)

Replace the category ‘Blogroll’ with a name more suitable to your purposes (e.g. ‘Recommended’, ‘XYZ Sites’ etc).

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

Link category description

(Link category description)

Add your link category description field and click Update

Edit Link Category area

(Edit Link Category area)

Repeat the above process to add as many different link categories as you need.

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

Adding Links

To create a new link, select Links > Add New in the navigation menu …

Links Menu - Add New

(Links Menu – Add New)

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

Add New Link page

(Add New Link screen)

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

Add New Link button

(Links page – Add New Link button)

The ‘Add New Links’ page is divided into various sections:

Name, Web Address & Description

Enter your link details in this section …

Name, Web Address& Description

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

Type in the following information:

  • Name: Enter the category name.
  • Slug: The slug shows up in the SEO friendly 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 a link category description in the links section, or as a tool tip when visitors hover over the link name.
Categories & Target

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

Add New Link - Categories & Target

(Categories & Target)

In the Categories section, tick a link category you’ve already added, or click on the ‘+ Add New Category’ link to create a new category link.

Next, 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 visitors click on it:

  • _blank means that a new, separate window will open up in their web browser to display the content for that link.
  • _none means that when a visitor clicks on the link, they will exit 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. 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) area - Add New Link

(Add New Link – 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 Dylan Silva 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 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 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. Separate multiple ‘rel’ attributes using spaces.

To learn more about XFN, visit this site:

Advanced

The last section of the Add New Link’ page lets you specify Advanced features for your links (some themes will ignore this. You can leave the fields in this section blank unless there’s a good reason to use them) …

Advanced link settings

(Advanced area)

The Advanced section fields are as follows:

  • Image Address: Specify an image to be displayed with the link. 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 can display next to the link.
  • 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 want to sort links by rating (see the ‘Links’ widget section below).

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

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

click on Add Link to save your new link

(Click on Add Link to update your link settings)

Important

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

Private link checkbox

(Private link checkbox)

Making a link private lets you toggle its visibility on or off without deleting it (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 all the links you have added to the Link Manager, choose Links > All Links in your WP navigation menu …

Links - All Links

(Links Menu – All Links)

This brings up the ‘Links’ page in your web browser. The table of links displays all of your links and link information (e.g. URL, link categories, visibility, etc.) …

Links page

(Links page)

Tip

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

Links screen - Screen Options

(Links table – Screen Options)

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

Show/hide links

(Show/hide links)

How To Edit Links

To edit a link in the Link Manager, go to the admin menu and choose Links > All Links to bring up the table of links …

Links - All Links

(Links Menu – All Links)

Select the link to be edited and click on Edit to bring up the item’s link information …

Editing your link information

(Editing your link information)

Change the link details …

Edit Link page

(Edit Link screen)

After editing your link, you can:

  • Click the Update Link button to save your link details,
  • Click on Visit Link to view your link and check that you have set up the link’s URL correctly (the link will open in a new window),
  • Click Delete to delete the link …

Update Link button

(Update Link button)

Deleting Links

To delete links from the Link Manager, click on Links > All Links in your WP dashboard menu …

Links - All Links

(Links – All Links)

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

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

To delete individual links, hover over the link you want removed and click on Delete

Deleting your links

(Delete your links)

To delete a number of links at once, either tick the check box next to each link that you want to be removed, or select all links by clicking on the main checkbox next to the ‘Name’ column header …

Deleting multiple links

(Deleting multiple links)

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

Bulk-delete links

(Bulk-delete links)

The links you have selected will be removed …

Link deletion notice

(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.

Using The Links Widget

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

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

WordPress Appearance - Widgets

(Appearance Menu – Widgets)

This brings up the ‘Widgets’ screen.

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

Links widget

(Links widget)

To make the ‘Links’ widget active, drag the widget to one of the widget bars in the Widgets page and drop it wherever you want the links to display …

Adding a links widget to your WordPress sidebar

(Add a links widget to a widgetized area)

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

Link widget - settings

(Link widget options)

You can add multiple link widgets to your sidebar and footer. This allows you to create and display specific links throughout your site …

You can add a number of link widgets to your widget bars

(You can add multiple link widgets to your widget bars)

Display a list of links for a specific category …

Link widget settings - Select Link Category

(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 options - Sort by options

(Link widget settings – Sorting options)

Once you are done setting up your links widget, click Save to update your settings. Your link section should display on your website’s sidebar …

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.

Tip

Need help using widgets? Go here for a detailed article on using widgets:

Link Manager – Additional Information

If you have many links, the Links Manager plugin lets you easily administer these with filtering, sorting, and searching functionality.

Sort Links Function

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 …

You can sort your links

(Sorting links)

Search Links Function

You can search for links using the ‘Search Links’ function …

You can easily find your links with the search function

(Search links function)

Filtering Your Links

You can filter links by link categories …

Filtering your links by categories

(Filtering your 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 page)

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

Links filtered by category

(Links filtered by link category)

Links – Additional Options

If you plan to use links extensively on your site, or if you intend to add a ‘Links’ page 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.

Link Library

Link Library WordPress Plugin

(Link Library)

Download Plugin URL

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

Plugin Description

Link Library gives you the ability to publish a list of your link categories with a complete list of links together with descriptions and notes …

List of links created with Link library

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

This plugin creates a page on your web site that contains 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 links so that your site users can become aware of additions to your link library.

Go here to learn more this handy plugin:

Adding WordPress Sidebar Links

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

Tip

We have written a comprehensive article on how to add links into WordPress posts. If you would like to know more about this here:

***

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Author: Martin Aranovitch

Martin Aranovitch is the owner of WPCompendium.org and the author of The WordPress User Manual. WPCompendium.org provides hundreds of FREE tutorials that show you how to use WordPress to grow your business online with no coding skills required! Get our FREE "101+ WordPress Tips, Tricks & Hacks For Non-Techies" e-course with loads of useful WordPress tips!

Originally published as How To Add A Link Section To WordPress.