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 discover more about WordPress, you may occasionally come across references to the term blogroll.

WordPress refers to a list of hyperlinks pointing to other websites or web pages that display on your sidebar area 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.”

The Links feature lets you add and manage external links to your sidebar menu (e.g. a “Resources” section) using a widget.

Info

Before WordPress version 3.5 was released, Links were a core feature of the WordPress CMS. After the release of WordPress v3.5, the Links manager and blogroll sections were removed …

Before …

WP Links Feature - pre v3.5

(The Links Manager feature was part of the menu until the release of WP v3.5)

After …

Post version 3.5 - no WordPress Links feature

(Post v 3.5 – no WordPress Links Manager)

If you have used an earlier version of WordPress than v 3.5 and upgraded your installation, the Link Manager would have been removed, unless you have previously used it.

 

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 you can’t see a Links item on the main menu when you log into your WP admin area, you can add it via a plugin. This tutorial explains how to add and manage blogroll links on your site’s sidebar using plugins.

Link Manager

Link Manager

(Link Manager)

Plugin Download URL

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

Plugin Description

This plugin displays the built-in Links feature on your WordPress dashboard, even if you upgrade to a later version of WordPress or remove all of your existing links.

Note: This plugin adds 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 one 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

This plugin attempts to recreate the concept of the built-in Link Manager while addressing the shortcomings of the deprecated feature.

How To Install Link Manager

Let’s install the Link Manager plugin.

From the WordPress administration menu, select Plugins > Add New

Plugins Menu - Add New

(Plugins – Add New)

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

How To Install Link Manager

Locate the plugin in the results area and click Install Now

How To Install The Plugin

Activate the plugin after installing it …

Plugin Installation

After activating the plugin, WordPress will display a ‘Links’ section on the admin menu screen …

WordPress links management menu section

(WordPress links management menu section)

Plugin Setup

Before you start adding any new links, we recommend setting up your link categories. This way, you can assign any new links to the link category you have already created.

Link Categories

To create a new link category, click on Links > Link Categories in your dashboard navigation menu …

Links Menu - Link Categories

(Links – Link Categories)

This brings up the ‘Link Categories’ screen.

Type in the following information:

  • Name: Enter the link category name here.
  • Slug: The slug shows up in the web address of the link category. Use lowercase letters only and do not include 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 page)

Your category details will be added to the list …

Link Categories page

(Link Categories screen)

Useful Info

Tip: Blogroll is the default link category name. Unless you specify a category when adding a link, WordPress will automatically assign new links to the default category …

Default link category

(Default link category name is ‘blogroll’)

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 …

Consider changing the default link category name to something your visitors will understand

(we recommend changing the default link category name to something your visitors will understand)

To edit the ‘Blogroll’ link title, hover your mouse over the category name and click on the Quick Edit link …

Editing the default link category name

(Editing 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), and click on Update Link Category

Quick Edit

(Quick Edit)

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

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

You can add/edit the category description

(Link category description)

Enter your link category description field and click Update when finished …

Edit Link Category page

(Edit Link Category page)

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

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

Adding Links

To create a new link, go to your WP admin menu and choose Links > Add New

WP Links - Add New

(Links Menu – Add New)

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

Add New Link page

(Add New Link page)

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

Add New Link button

(Add New Link button)

The ‘Add New Links’ page includes several sections:

Name, Web Address & Description

The first section is where you enter details about your link …

Name, Web Address, Description - Add New Link

(Name, Web Addressand Description)

Enter 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 is the search-engine friendly URL bit of your link category. It must all be in lowercase letters and contain no spaces (use hyphens to separate words).
  • Description: Some themes may display your link category description. (Optional)
Categories & Target

Select a Category and Target for your new link …

Categories & Target section

(Categories & Target – Add New Link)

In the Categories section, tick one of the link categories you have already created, 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 where you want your link to open when a visitor clicks on it:

  • _blank means that a separate browser window will open up to display the content associated with the link. This lets your visitors see the information without leaving your website
  • _none means that when visitors click on the link, they will exit your site and a new site or page will load in your web browser window instead.
  • _top opens links 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) fields - Add New Link

(Add New Link page – Link Relationship (XFN))

Link Relationship (XFN) – XFN stands for XML Friends Network – allows you to define your relationship with the linked person. For example, if you work with Kevin Anderson and you link to his blog, you would probably check co-worker or colleague.

XFN relationships are optional. You can ignore this section and your links will still work. XFN makes the links defined on your site more understandable to some websites and search engines that use this information.

rel – This field lets you specify 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, enter nofollow into this field.

You can learn more about XFN by visiting this site:

Advanced

The last section allows you to enter Advanced features for your links (You can ignore this section, unless there’s a good reason to use it) …

Add New Link - Advanced link settings

(Advanced link settings)

The Advanced link settings section contains the following:

  • 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 the image is small (around 16×16 like a favicon).
  • RSS Address: If your theme allows it, the link’s RSS feed can 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).

Enter information in the above fields or just leave this section ignore this section.

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

click on the Add Link button to update your link settings

(Click on Add Link to save your new link)

Important Info

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

Private link checkbox

(Private link checkbox)

Making a link private allows you to toggle link visibility on and off without deleting it (this is useful if you want a link to display during certain periods and hide it afterwards) …

Toggle link visibility on and off

(Making links private toggles their visibility on and off)

To see all the links you have created, go to the dashboard navigation menu and click on Links > All Links

WP Links - All Links

(WordPress Links Menu – All Links)

You will be taken to the ‘Links’ screen. The Links page displays a list of all of your links and link information (e.g. link URL, link categories, rating, etc.) …

Table of Links

(Links page)

Practical Tip

Tip: To display additional columns in the table of links, click on the ‘Screen Options’ tab near the top of the screen …

Screen Options - List of Links

(List of links – Screen Options)

Display/hide information on your table of links by ticking/unticking their checkboxes …

Table of links - Hide or display screen options

(Show/hide links)

How To Edit Links

To modify a link, go to the WP navigation menu and select Links > All Links to bring up the links table …

Links - All Links

(Links – All Links)

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

Editing link information

(Editing your link information)

Make any changes you want to the link fields …

Edit Link screen

(Edit Link page)

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

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

Edit Link: Update Link button

(Edit Link: Update Link button)

How To Remove Links

To delete a link from the Link Manager, go to the main dashboard menu and click on Links > All Links

Links - All Links

(WP Links Menu – All Links)

The ‘Links’ page will display in your browser.

You can delete links individually, delete multiple links by selecting their check boxes, or remove all of your links at once.

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

Deleting your links

(Deleting your links)

To delete links in bulk, either click on the check box next to every link that you want to be removed, or select all links by clicking on the checkbox next to the ‘Name’ column header …

Deleting multiple links

(Deleting 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)

All the links you have selected will be deleted …

Link deletion notification

(links deleted notification)

Using The Plugin

Now that you know how to set up link categories and how to add, edit and delete links, it’s time to make links display on your website or blog.

Links Widget

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

To access and configure your Link widgets, select Appearance > Widgets in the WP admin menu …

WP Appearance - Widgets

(WordPress Appearance – Widgets)

This brings up the ‘Widgets’ page in your browser.

You will notice that a ‘Links’ widget has been added to the Available Widgets section …

Links widget

(Links widget)

Drag the ‘Links’ widget to one of your widget areas in the Widgets screen and drop it wherever you want the links to display …

Drag and drop the links widget to add it to a widgetized menu

(Add a links widget to your WordPress sidebar)

The Links widget provides various options. For example, you can specify what information you would like displayed about your links and how many links you would like displayed on your sidebar …

Link widget - settings

(Link widget - configurable options)

You can also add as many link widgets as you want. This allows you to add and feature link lists sorted by categories on your site …

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

(Add a number of link widgets to your sidebar)

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

Link widget settings - Select Link Category

(Link widget settings – 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 should show up immediately on your website …

An example of how links can be displayed on a 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 more help using widgets? Go here if you would like to learn more about adding widgets:

Links Manager – Additional Information

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

Sorting Your Links

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 …

Sorting links

(Sort links)

Finding Links

Type a search term into the search field and click the Search Links button to find links …

Search links

(Finding your links)

Filter Links

You can filter links by link categories …

Filter links by link categories

(Filter your 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 …

searching and filtering links in the Link Categories page

(searching and filtering 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 category)

Links – Additional Options

If you plan to add a lot of links to your website, 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 links.

Link Library

Link Library WordPress Plugin

(Link Library Plugin)

Plugin URL

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

Plugin Description

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

Link Library links

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

Link Library creates a page on your site containing a list of all of the link categories in your Links area, and 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 link collection that lets your site users become aware of additions to your link library.

To learn more this plugin, go here:

Adding A WordPress Blogroll Section

Congratulations! Now you know how to how to add and manage links in WordPress.

Practical Tip

If you want to learn more about how to insert HTML links into your WordPress posts & pages, refer to this article:

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"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)

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