As you become more familiar with WordPress, you may occasionally come across something called a blogroll.
A blogroll is a list of hyperlinks pointing to external sites or blogs displayed 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 links on your website using the Link Manager plugin for WordPress.
Prior to the release of v 3.5, Links were a core feature of the WordPress CMS. From v.3.5 onwards, the Links manager and blogroll sections were removed …
(WordPress Links Manager – pre v.3.5)
(Links is no longer included in the WordPress menu after WP v 3.5)
If you have used an earlier version than v 3.5 and updated your installation, the Links Manager would be removed, unless you’ve previously used it.
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 a Links item on the main menu when you log into your WP backend, you can add it via a plugin. In this tutorial, you will learn how to add, edit, delete and manage links on your site’s sidebar using plugins.
(Links Manager WordPress Plugin)
You can use this plugin to restore the Link Manager, even if you update WordPress to a later version or remove all of your current links.
Note: This plugin adds a single line of template 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 one below instead, or contact us for help editing your template code.
(Simple Links – WordPress Link Management Plugin)
Plugin Download URL
Description Of Plugin
Simple Links recreates the concept of the built-in WordPress Link Manager while removing the shortcomings of the deprecated feature.
How To Install Link Manager
To install the Link Manager plugin, follow these step-by-step instructions:
In your WordPress administration area, go to Plugins > Add New …
(Plugins Menu – Add New)
Select the Install Plugins > Search tab, type in “link manager” into the search field and hit Enter …
Locate the plugin in the results screen and click Install Now …
Activate the plugin after installing it …
After activating the plugin, WordPress will display a ‘Links’ section on your dashboard menu screen …
(Links management menu)
Setting Up The Plugin
We recommend setting up link categories first before you start adding links. This way, when adding a new link, you can assign your link to the link category you have already created.
To create a link category, go to your WP navigation menu and click on Links > Link Categories …
(WP Links Menu – Link Categories)
This brings up the ‘Link Categories’ screen in your browser.
Type in information into the following fields:
- Name: What you type in this field is the link category name that will display on your site.
- Slug: The slug displays in the SEO friendly URL of the link category name. Only use lower case letters and do not include spaces (use hyphens to separate words).
- Description: Some themes may display your link category description. (Optional)
after entering your information, click the Add New Link Category button to save your new link category …
The category details will display in the table …
Tip: The default WordPress link category is called Blogroll . Unless you specify the category when adding a new link, WordPress will 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 will not only make 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 …
(Consider changing the default ’blogroll’ to something your visitors will relate to)
To edit the ‘Blogroll’ link title, hover your mouse over the item and click on the Quick Edit link …
Replace both the Name and the Slug with a new category name, then click on Update Link Category …
(Editing the default link category)
Replace the category ‘Blogroll’ with a more suitable name (e.g. ‘Recommended’, ‘Resources’ etc).
Let’s add a description for this link category. To add a link category description, click on the Edit link under the category name …
(You can add/edit your category description)
Add your description in the ‘Edit Link Category’ screen and click Update …
(Edit Link Category area)
Repeat the above process and add as many link categories as your site requires.
After setting up your link categories, you can add your links.
How To Add New Links
To create a new link, go to the main admin menu and select Links > Add New …
(Links – Add New)
This loads the Add New Link’ page in your web browser …
(Add New Link screen)
You can also access this screen by clicking on ’Add New’ at the top of the main Links page …
(Links page – Add New Link button)
The ‘Add New Links’ page has the following sections:
Name, Web Address & Description
This section lets you enter your link details …
(Name, Web Address, Description section – Add New Link)
Type in information into the following sections:
- Name: Whatever you enter here displays as the category your links will be assigned to.
- Slug: The slug appears in the search-engine friendly URL 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 your link category description in the links section, or as a tool tip when visitors hover over the link name with their mouse. (Optional)
Categories & Target
After adding your link details, select a Category and Target for your new link …
(Add New Link page – Categories & Target section)
In the Categories section, tick one of the link categories you have already set up, or click on ’+ Add New Category’ to create a new category link.
Also, select a target frame for your link in the Target section by choosing one of the radio buttons. This lets you specify how the link should open when clicked on:
- _blank means that a new web browser window will open up to display the information associated with the link. Your visitor can access the information without leaving your page
- _none means that when a visitor clicks on your link, they will exit your site and a new site 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. Ignore 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) section)
Link Relationship (XFN) – XFN (XML Friends Network) is a way to define your relationship with the linked person. For example, if you have a professional relationship with Vivaan Jenkins 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 work just fine. Defining relationships with 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 is used to define what relationship exists 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. Other ‘rel’ attributes include author, index, help, start, etc. Separate multiple ‘rel’ keywords with spaces.
You can learn more about XFN by visiting the site below:
The last section lets you enter Advanced features for your links (You can leave these fields blank unless there’s a good reason to use them) …
(Advanced section – Add New Link)
The Advanced link settings section contains the following:
- Image Address: Lets you specify an image to be displayed with the link. To use this feature, 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 your link.
- 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).
Enter information into the above fields or just leave this section ignore this section.
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 save your new link)
Note: If you select the Keep this link private checkbox, your link will not be visible when links are displayed on your site …
(Private link checkbox)
Making a link private lets you toggle its visibility on or off without deleting it (this is useful if you want your link to display during certain times and hide it afterwards) …
(Making links private toggles their visibility on and off)
To view all your links, go to the navigation menu and select Links > All Links …
(Links Menu – All Links)
You will be taken to the ‘Links’ screen. The table of links displays all of your links and link information (e.g. link URL, categories, relationship, etc.) …
Tip: To view or hide information in the Links page, click on the ‘Screen Options’ tab at the top of the screen …
(Screen Options – List of links)
Enable/disable fields on your Links table by ticking/unticking their check boxes …
How To Edit Your Link Information
To edit a link in the Link Manager, select Links > All Links in the main dashboard menu to bring up the table of links …
(WordPress Links Menu – All Links)
Select the link you want to edit and click on Edit to bring up the item’s link information …
(Editing your links)
Edit your link fields …
(Edit Link screen)
After editing your link, you can:
- Click on Update Link to save and update your link details,
- Click on Visit Link to check that you have set up everything correctly (the link will open up in a new window),
- Click Delete to delete the link from your list …
(Edit Link: Update Link button)
How To Remove Links
To remove links from the Link Manager, choose Links > All Links in your admin menu …
(Links – All Links)
The ‘Links’ screen will load in your web browser.
You can delete links individually, delete multiple links by selecting their check boxes, or perform a bulk delete.
To delete individual links, hover over the link that you want to remove and click Delete …
(Deleting your links)
To delete a number of links at once, either click on the check boxes next to individual links that you want deleted, or select all links by clicking on the main check box next to the ‘Name’ column header at the top of the list …
(Delete multiple links)
Choose Delete from the ‘Bulk Actions’ menu, and click Apply to remove all selected links …
(Bulk-deletion of links)
The links you have selected will be deleted …
(Deleted links notification)
Now that you know how to set up link categories and how to add, edit and delete links, it’s time to display links on your website.
The Links Manager plugin adds a ‘Links’ widget to your ‘Widgets’ page.
To access and configure your Link widgets, select Appearance > Widgets in your admin menu …
(Appearance – Widgets)
You will be taken to the ‘Widgets’ page.
You will see that a ‘Links’ widget has been added to the Available Widgets section …
Drag the ‘Links’ widget to one of your widget sections in the Widgets page and drop it wherever you want the links section to show up …
(Drag & drop the links widget to add it to a widgetized area)
The Links widget provides various configurable options. For example, you can specify what information you would like to show about your links and how many links you would like to display on your sidebar …
(Link widget - options)
You can also add multiple link widgets to your sidebar. This allows you to add and display link categories on your site …
(You can add multiple link widgets to your sidebar)
Select a link category from the ‘Select Link Category:’ drop-down menu …
(Link widget options – Select Link Category)
You can sort links by Link ID, Link rating, Link title, or display links in Random order …
(Link widget options – Sort by options)
Once you are done setting up your links widget, click Save to update your settings. A link section should 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 more help with widgets? To learn more about adding widgets, refer to this article:
Links Manager – Additional Information
If you have many links, the Link Manager plugin lets you easily administer these with searching, sorting, and filtering functionality.
Sorting Links Function
To sort links, hover your mouse over the title of the column you want to sort and click on the black triangle displayed next to the column title …
(Sorting your links)
Searching Your Links
You can find links using the ‘Search Links’ function …
(You can easily find links with the search function)
You can filter links by link category …
(Filter links by link category)
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 category links in the ‘Links’ column …
(Search and filter links in the Link Categories page)
This displays 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 blog, 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, like Link Library.
(Link Library WordPress Plugin)
Download Plugin URL
This plugin allows you to publish a list of your link categories with a complete list of links plus descriptions and notes …
(Link Library links. Image: Link Library plugin site.)
Link Library can be used to create a page on your web site that contains all the link categories in your Links section, and 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 of your link collection that lets your site users become aware of additions to your link library.
Go here to learn more about this powerful plugin:
Congratulations! Now you know how to how to add a blogroll and manage links in your WordPress sidebar menu.
We have written a detailed article on how to easily insert hyperlinks into WordPress. For more details:
"If you're new to WordPress, this can stand on its own as a training course and will stay with you as you progress from beginner to advanced and even guru status." - Bruce (Columbus, Ohio)