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.

How To Add A WordPress Links SectionAs you continue to discover more about WordPress, you may occasionally come across the term blogroll.

WordPress refers to a list of links pointing to other websites or pages that display on your sidebar section 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.”

You can display a featured links section on your website using the Link Manager plugin.

Important

Before the release of v.3.5, Links were a core feature of the WordPress CMS. After v3.5, the Links manager and blogroll sections were kept hidden by default in new WordPress installations …

Before …

WordPress Links Manager Feature - pre v3.5

(Links – part of the WordPress menu until the release of WordPress v 3.5)

After …

Links  - excluded from WordPress after WordPress v.3.5

(The Links Manager – excluded from WordPress after WP version 3.5)

If you’ve used an earlier version of WordPress than 3.5 and updated your installation, the Links Manager would have been removed, unless you’ve previously used it.

How To Add A Link Section To WordPress

If the Links menu section is not visible when you log into your WP admin area, you can add this feature via a plugin. In this step-by-step tutorial, you will learn how to add, edit, delete and manage blogroll links on your site’s sidebar using WordPress plugins.

Link Manager

Link Manager - Plugin For WordPress

(Link Manager)

Download URL

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

Description

Use this plugin to display the Link 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 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

(Simple Links WordPress Plugin)

Download URL

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

Description

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

How To Install Link Manager

To install the Link Manager plugin, follow these instructions:

In the WordPress dashboard area, select Plugins > Add New

Plugins - Add New

(Plugins Menu – Add New)

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

Plugin Installation

Locate the plugin in the results area and click Install Now

Plugin Installation

Activate the plugin …

Plugin Installation

After activation, WordPress displays a ‘Links’ item in the dashboard menu …

Links management menu section

(Links menu)

Plugin Setup

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

Link Categories

To create a new link category, go to the main dashboard navigation menu and choose Links > Link Categories

WP Links - Link Categories

(Links – Link Categories)

This takes you to the ‘Link Categories’ screen.

Type in the following information:

  • Name: Enter the link category name.
  • Slug: The slug is the search-engine friendly URL bit of the link category name. Only use lower case letters without spaces (use hyphens to separate words).
  • Description: Some themes may display your link category description.

after entering your information, click Add New Link Category

Link Categories area

(Link Categories)

The link category will now show in the table …

Link Categories

(Link Categories)

Idea

Tip: The default WordPress link category is called Blogroll . Unless you specify the category when adding a link, WordPress automatically assigns new links to the default category …

Default link category name

(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 listed under the new category name …

we recommend changing the default 'blogroll' to something better suited to your business

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

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

Quick Edit

(Editing the link category name)

Replace both the Name and the Slug with a new category name, then click on the Update link Category button …

Edit the default link category

(Quick Edit)

Replace the link category name ‘Blogroll’ with (e.g. ‘Recommended’, ‘Resources’ etc).

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

Link category description

(You can add/edit the category description)

Enter your link category description field and click Update

Edit Link Category area

(Edit Link Category page)

Repeat the above process to add as many different link categories as your site needs.

Once you have set up your link categories, you can start adding your links.

How To Add Links

To add a new link, go to the admin menu and choose Links > Add New

WordPress Links - Add New

(WP Links Menu – Add New)

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

Add New Link screen

(Add New Link page)

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

Links page - Add New Link button

(Add New Link button)

The ‘Add New Links’ page has various sections:

Name, Web Address & Description

This section lets you enter details about your link …

Add New Link page - Name, Web Address& Description area

(Name, Web Address, Description)

Enter the following information:

  • Name: Enter the category name.
  • Slug: The slug shows up in the SEO friendly URL of the link category. Only use lower case letters and do not include 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. (Optional)
Categories & Target

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

Categories & Target fields - Add New Link screen

(Add New Link – Categories & Target)

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

Next, 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 a visitor clicks on it:

  • _blank means that a new window will open up in their web browser to display the information associated with the link.
  • _none means that when visitors click on your link, they will exit your site and a new website or page will load in your 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 area provides some additional link functionality …

Link Relationship (XFN) - Add New Link

(Add New Link screen – 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 Sophie Gould and you link to her blog, you would probably tick co-worker or colleague.

XFN relationships are optional for WordPress links. You can ignore this section and all your links will still work. Defining relationships with XFN makes the links defined on your site 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 is used to define 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.

You can learn more about XFN by visiting the site below:

Advanced

The last section allows you to specify Advanced features for your links (You can leave these fields empty unless there’s a good reason to use them) …

Advanced link settings

(Add New Link page – Advanced link settings)

The Advanced section contain the following fields:

  • Image Address: Lets you specify an image to be displayed with the link. Add the URL of your image and make sure that your image is small (around 16×16 like a favicon).
  • RSS Address: If your theme allows it, the link’s RSS feed will display next to the links.
  • Notes: This section lets you add notes for your own internal reference.
  • Rating: 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 into the above fields or just leave this section blank, as these are not essential for links to work.

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

click on the Add Link button to save your new link

(Click on Add Link to save your new link)

Important

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

Private link checkbox

(You can make links private by selecting the checkbox)

Making links private allows you to toggle their visibility on and off without deleting your links (this is useful if you want to use seasonal links) …

Making links private toggles their visibility on and off

(Making links private toggles their visibility on and off)

To see a list of all your links, choose Links > All Links in the WP dashboard navigation menu …

Links - All Links

(WordPress Links – All Links)

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

Links page

(Links table)

Tip

Tip: To display or hide fields in the list of links, click on the ‘Screen Options’ tab near the top of the screen …

Screen Options - Links table

(List of links – Screen Options)

Display/hide fields on your Links table by selecting/deselecting their check boxes …

Show/hide links

(Links screen – Show/hide screen options)

Editing Link Information

To modify links in the Link Manager, choose Links > All Links in the main dashboard navigation menu to bring up your links table …

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 links

(Editing your link information)

Change the link information …

Edit Link screen

(Edit Link page)

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

  • Click the Update Link button to save and update your link details,
  • Click on Visit Link to check that you have set up your link’s URL correctly (the link will open up in a new window),
  • Click Delete to delete the link from your table if it’s no longer required …

Edit Link: Update Link button

(Update Link button)

Deleting Links

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

WordPress Links Menu - All Links

(WP Links – All Links)

The ‘Links’ table will load in your browser.

You can delete links individually, delete multiple links by selecting their check boxes, or perform a bulk delete.

To delete links individually, hover your cursor over the link you want removed and click on Delete

Deleting your links

(Deleting links)

To delete multiple links, either tick the check boxes next to individual links that you want to delete, or select all links by clicking on the checkbox next to the ‘Name’ column header …

Delete multiple links

(Deleting multiple links)

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

Links: bulk-deletion function

(Bulk-deletion of links)

All the links you have selected will be removed …

Deleted links notification

(links deleted notification)

Plugin Usage

Now that you know how to configure link categories and how to add, edit and delete links, it’s time to display your links 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, choose Appearance > Widgets in the navigation menu …

Appearance Menu - Widgets

(Appearance – Widgets)

You will be taken to the ‘Widgets’ screen.

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

Links widget

(Links widget)

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

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

(Adding a links widget to a widgetized area using drag and drop)

The Links widget includes various configurable settings. You can specify what information you want to display about your links and how many links you would like displayed on your sidebar …

Link widget - settings

(Link widget - options)

You can add as many link widgets to your sidebar and footer as you want. This lets you add and feature link categories on your site …

You can add multiple link widgets to your widget bars

(Add a number of link widgets to your sidebar)

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

Link widget settings - Select Link Category

(Link widget options – Select Link Category)

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

Link widget options - Sort by options

(Link widget settings – Sort by options)

After setting up the Links widget, click Save to update your settings. A links will show up immediately on your website …

An example of how links can be displayed on your site's sidebar

(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.

Useful Tip

Need help using widgets? Go here to learn more about configuring widgets:

Links Manager – Additional Information

If you have many links, the Links Manager plugin allows you to easily administer these using searching, filtering, and sorting functionality.

Sort Your Links

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

You can easily sort links

(Sort links)

Searching Links Function

Find links using the ‘Search Links’ function …

Find links

(Search your links)

Filter Links

You can filter links by category …

Filter links by category

(Filter your links by categories)

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

Search and filter links in the Link Categories page

(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 link category

(Links filtered by link category)

Links – Additional Options

If you plan to add lots of links to your website or blog, or if you intend to add a ‘Links’ page 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 links.

Link Library

Link Library WordPress Plugin

(Link library – Plugin For WordPress)

Download Plugin URL

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

Plugin Description

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

List of links created with Link library

(Link Library links. Image: Link Library plugin documentation.)

Link Library creates a page on your web site containing a list of all of the link categories in your Links area, 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 for your link collection so that your site users can be made aware of additions to your link library.

Visit the plugin website to learn more about this plugin:

Adding A WordPress Blogroll Section

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

Tip

We have written a detailed article on adding links in WordPress. Go here to learn more about this:

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Author: Martin Aranovitch

Martin Aranovitch is the founder of WPCompendium.org and has authored hundreds of FREE WordPress tutorials for non-techies and beginners. WPCompendium.org provides detailed step-by-step tutorials that will teach you how to use WordPress with no coding skills required and grow your business online at minimal cost!