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.

Adding A WordPress Featured Links SectionAs you learn more about WordPress, you may occasionally come across references to the term 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.”

The Links Manager lets you easily add external links to your WordPress sidebar menu (e.g. a “Top 10 Resources” section) using a widget.

Info

Before the release of WordPress v 3.5, Links were a built-in feature of the WordPress CMS. From version 3.5 onwards, the Links manager and blogroll sections were removed …

Before …

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

(The Link Manager feature – included in the WordPress dashboard menu until the release of WP v3.5)

After …

The Link Manager is no longer included in the dashboard menu after WP version 3.5

(Post v 3.5 – no WP Links feature)

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

 

How To Add A Link Section To WordPress

Practical 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 you can’t see the Links Manager section when you log into your WP admin area you will need to install a plugin. In this step-by-step tutorial, you will learn how to add, edit, delete and manage links on your sidebar using WordPress plugins.

Link Manager

Link Manager - WordPress Links Management Plugin

(Links Manager WordPress Plugin)

Download URL

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

Description Of Plugin

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 code to WordPress to restore the hidden feature. When we last checked, the 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 site’s template code.

Simple Links

Simple Links

(Simple Links – Links Manager Plugin For WordPress)

Download URL

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

Description

Simple Links attempts to recreate the concept of the built-in Link Manager while addressing the shortcomings of the deprecated functionality.

Plugin Installation

To install the Link Manager plugin on your website, do the following:

From the WordPress admin area, select Plugins > Add New

Plugins Menu - Add New

(Plugins Menu – Add New)

Click on the Install Plugins > Search tab, then type ”link manager” into the search field and hit Enter

How To Install Link Manager

Find the plugin in the search results screen and click Install Now

Plugin Installation

Activate the plugin after installing it …

Installing The Plugin

After activation, WordPress restores the ‘Links’ functionality to your WP admin menu area …

Links management menu

(WordPress links management menu)

Plugin Configuration

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

Link Categories

To create a new link category, click on Links > Link Categories in the admin menu …

Links - Link Categories

(WP Links Menu – Link Categories)

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

Enter information into the following fields:

  • Name: Whatever you type in this field displays as the category your links will be assigned to.
  • Slug: The slug displays in the 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 a link category description.

Click Add New Link Category to save …

Link Categories

(Link Categories)

The category details will be added to the list …

Link Categories page

(Link Categories)

Important Info

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

Default link category name is 'blogroll'

(Default link category name)

You may want to change the default WordPress link category name to something that your visitors can understand. This not only makes it easier for users of your site, but any new links that you add to the Links section will automatically display under the new category name …

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

(Change the default ’blogroll’ to something your visitors will relate to)

To change the ‘Blogroll’ link title, hover your mouse over the item and click on Quick Edit

Quick Edit

(Quick Edit)

Change 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), and click on Update Link Category

Update Link Category

(Edit the link category)

Replace the category ‘Blogroll’ with an appropriate links section name (e.g. ‘Recommended’, ‘Special Deals’ etc).

Let’s now add a description for this link category. To add a link category description, click on Edit under the category name …

Link category description

(Link category description)

Enter your description in the ‘Edit Link Category’ page and click Update

Edit Link Category area

(Edit Link Category area)

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

Once you have configured your link categories, you can add your links.

Adding New Links

To add a new link, go to the main dashboard navigation menu and select Links > Add New

WP Links - Add New

(WP Links – Add New)

You will be taken to the ‘Add New Link’ screen …

Add New Link screen

(Add New Link page)

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

Links - Add New Link button

(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 Addressand Description fields

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

Type in the following information:

  • Name: Enter the link category name.
  • Slug: The slug is the web address part of your link category. Only use lower case letters and do not include 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 typing in your link details, select a Category and Target for your new link …

Categories & Target area - Add New Link

(Add New Link – Categories & Target section)

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

Next, select a target frame for your link in the Target section by choosing one of the radio buttons. This lets you specify how your link should open when clicked on by visitors:

  • _blank means that when a visitor clicks on the link, a separate window will open up in their browser to display the information for that link.
  • _none means that when a visitor clicks on your link, they will leave 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. If you don’t use frames, or if you don’t know what frames are, then ignore this option.
Link Relationship XFN

This section provides some additional link functionality …

Link Relationship (XFN) section

(Link Relationship (XFN))

Link Relationship (XFN) – XFN (XML Friends Network) allows you to define your relationship with the linked person. For example, if you work with Aarohi Fields 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. 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 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, enter nofollow into this field. Separate multiple ‘rel’ attributes with spaces.

To learn more about XFN, visit this site:

Advanced

The last section allows you to enter Advanced features for your links (some themes will ignore this. You can leave the fields in this section empty unless you have a reason to use them) …

Add New Link - Advanced link settings

(Add New Link screen – Advanced area)

The Advanced section fields are as follows:

  • Image Address: Specify an image to be displayed with the link. To use this feature, add the URL of where the image is stored 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 be displayed 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 blank, as these fields are not required.

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

click on Add Link to update your link settings

(Click on Add Link to update your link settings)

Important Info

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

Private link checkbox

(Private link checkbox)

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

Toggle link visibility on and off

(Toggle link visibility on and off)

To see all the links you have added, go to the dashboard menu and select Links > All Links

WP Links - All Links

(WordPress Links – All Links)

The ‘Links’ screen will load in your web browser. The Links table displays a list of your links and link information (e.g. URL, categories, relationship, etc.) …

Links page

(Table of links)

Practical Tip

Tip: To show or hide columns in the Links page, click on the ‘Screen Options’ tab near the top of the screen …

Screen Options - Links page

(Screen Options – Links screen)

Enable/disable fields on your table of links by ticking/unticking their check boxes …

List of links - Hide or show screen options

(Hide or display – List of links)

Editing Your Link Information

To edit links in the Link Manager, click on Links > All Links in your admin menu to bring up the table of links …

WordPress Links - All Links

(Links – All Links)

Locate the item you want to edit and click on Edit to bring up the item’s link details …

Editing links

(Editing link information)

Edit the link information …

Edit Link screen

(Edit Link page)

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

  • Click on Update Link to save your link details,
  • Click on Visit Link to check that you have set up everything correctly (the link will open in a new window),
  • Click Delete to remove the link …

Update Link button

(Edit Link: Update Link button)

Deleting Your Links

To delete links from the Link Manager, go to the navigation menu and choose Links > All Links

WP Links Menu - All Links

(WP Links – All Links)

The ‘Links’ table will display in your browser.

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

To delete links individually, hover your cursor over the link that you want to remove from the link table and click on Delete

Delete links

(Delete links)

To delete links in bulk, either click on the check boxes next to individual links that you would like to be removed, or select all links by clicking on the main checkbox next to the ‘Name’ column header at the top of the list …

Deleting multiple links

(Delete multiple links)

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

Bulk-deletion of links

(Bulk-deletion of links)

The selected links will be deleted …

Deleted links notification

(links deleted notice)

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.

Links Widget

Installing the Link Manager plugin adds a ‘Links’ widget to your ‘Widgets’ section.

To access and configure your Link widgets, choose Appearance > Widgets in the main dashboard navigation menu …

WP Appearance Menu - Widgets

(Appearance – Widgets)

You will be taken to the ‘Widgets’ screen.

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

Links widget

(Links widget)

To make the ‘Links’ widget active, drag it to one of the widget sections in the Widgets screen and drop it wherever you want the links to show up …

Adding a links widget to a widgetized menu using drag & drop

(Drag & drop the links widget to add it to a widgetized area)

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 would like displayed on your sidebar …

Link widget options

(Link widget - settings)

You can also add as many link widgets as you want. This lets you create and feature link categories on your site …

Add a number of link widgets to your sidebar

(Add a number of link widgets to your widget bars)

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

Link widget settings - Select Link Category

(Link widget options – Select Link Category)

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

Link widget options - Sorting options

(Link widget options – Sorting options)

Once you are done configuring your links widget, click the Save button to update your settings. Your links will become visible on your sidebar, footer or wherever you have added the links widget to …

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

Useful Tip

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

Links Manager – Additional Information

If you have added many links, the Links Manager plugin lets you easily administer these with filter, search, and sort functions.

Sorting Your Links

To sort links, hover your cursor over the title of the column you want to sort and click on the little triangle displayed next to the column title …

Sorting your links

(Sorting your links)

Find Your Links

Find links using the ‘Search Links’ function …

Searching links

(Search your links)

Filter Links

You can filter links by link category …

Filtering links by link category

(Filter your links by link 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 …

searching and filtering links in the Link Categories page

(Search and filter links in the Link Categories page)

This brings up a list of all links listed for a specific link category …

Links filtered by 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 page containing a list of links 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 your links, like Link Library.

Link Library

Link Library

(Link library – Plugin For WordPress)

Plugin Download URL

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

Plugin Description

Link Library allows you to publish a list of your link categories with a complete list of links plus notes and descriptions …

List of links created with Link library

(List of links created with Link library. Screenshot taken from Link Library plugin site.)

Link Library can be used to create a page on your web site containing all 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 so that your site users can be made aware of additions to your link library.

To learn more about the benefits of using this powerful plugin, go here:

How Do I Add Featured Links To The WordPress Sidebar?

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

Useful Tip

To learn more about creating HTML hyperlinks in WordPress, refer to this article:

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Author: Martin Aranovitch

Martin Aranovitch is the founder of WPCompendium.org and the author of The Small Business Digital Manager. WPCompendium.org provides hundreds of FREE detailed step-by-step tutorials that will teach you how to use WordPress to grow your business online at minimal cost with no coding skills required!

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