Create Link Lists and Blogrolls in WordPress - dummies

Create Link Lists and Blogrolls in WordPress

By Lisa Sabin-Wilson

A link list, commonly referred to as a blogroll, is a list of links to other websites and blogs that you’ve collected and want to share with your readers. The link list is displayed in your blog, usually in the sidebar, through the use of widgets, and is typically used to share links with the readers of your website.

You can use a link list in various ways:

  • Share links with other blogs that have linked to your blog

  • Provide additional resources that you think your readers will find useful

  • Provide links to other sites you own

To organize your links, use the Link Manager plugin in the official WordPress Plugin Directory.

Organizing your links

As with posts, you can create multiple categories for your links in the WordPress Dashboard if you want to have more than one link list. By default, the Link Manager plugin provides one link category called Blogroll. Sometimes, having a large list of links below the Blogroll heading is just too generic, and you may want to display groups of links with different headings that further define them.

You can define your links by creating link categories in the Dashboard and then assigning links to the appropriate categories. To create link categories, follow these steps:

  1. Click the down arrow to the right of the Links menu and then click the Link Categories link.

    The Link Categories page opens and displays the Link Categories section on the left side.

  2. Type the name of the link category in the Link Category Name box.

  3. Type the slug of the link category in the Link Category Slug box.

  4. (Optional) Type a description of the link category in the Category Description box.

    Providing a description helps you further define the category intent for your readers. The description can be as short or as long as you like. Some WordPress themes are set up to actually display the category description directly beneath the category name.

  5. Click the Add Category button.

    The Link Categories page refreshes and displays your new link category.

Revisit the Link Categories page any time you want to add, edit, or delete a link. You can create an unlimited number of link categories to sort your link lists by topics.

Adding new links

You’ve created your link categories; now you just need to add some new links! To add a new link, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Add New link on the Links menu.

    The Add New Link page opens.

  2. Type the name of the link in the Name text box.

    This is the actual name of the site that you are adding to your link list.

  3. Type the URL of the link in the Web Address box.

    This is the destination you want your visitors to go to when they click the name of the site. Don’t forget to include the http:// part of the web address; for example,

  4. (Optional) Type a description of the site in the Description box.

    Providing a description helps further define the site for your readers. Some WordPress templates are coded to display the link description directly below the link name through the use of a specific WordPress template tag.

  5. (Optional) Select a category.

    Assign your new link to a category by selecting the box to the left of the category you’ve chosen in the Categories module. If you don’t select a category for your new link, it’s automatically assigned to the default category.

    If you find that the Link Category is not an option that you use regularly, you can collapse (close) this module by clicking anywhere in the Categories title bar. You can also move the Categories module to a different position on the Add New Link page by dragging and dropping it to a new location.

  6. (Optional) Select a target for your new link.

    Click one of the following radio buttons in the Target section:

    • _blank: Loads the link in a new browser window

    • _top: Loads the link in the top frame (if your site is designed with frames)

    • _none: Loads the link in the same browser window

    Choose the third option — None — to let your visitors decide whether they want a bunch of new browser windows opening every time they click a link on your site.

    You can reposition the Target module by dragging and dropping it to a new location on the Add New Link page. You can also collapse this module.

  7. Set the Link Relationship (XFN) options (Optional).

    XFN stands for XHTML Friends Network and allows you to indicate the relationship you have with the people you are linking to by defining how you know, or are associated with, them. The following table lists the different relationships you can assign to your links. Link Relationship (XFN) is kind of a silly bookmark-type assignment that indicates how well you know the person whose site or blog you’re linking to by defining your relationship with her. You can find more information on XFN at XFN (XHTML Friends Network).

    You can reposition the Link Relationship module by dragging and dropping it to a new location on the Add New Link page. You can also collapse (close) this module.

    Link Relationship Description
    Identity Select this box if the link is to a website you own.
    Friendship Select the option (Contact, Acquaintance, Friend, or None) that
    most closely identifies the friendship, if any.
    Physical Select this box if you’ve met the person you’re
    linking to face to face. Sharing pictures over the Internet
    doesn’t count; this selection identifies a person
    you’ve physically met.
    Professional Select one of these boxes if the person you’re linking to
    is a co-worker or colleague.
    Geographical Select Co-Resident if the person you’re linking to lives
    with you, or choose Neighbor or None, depending on which option
    applies to your relationship with the person you’re linking
    Family If the blogger you’re linking to is a family member,
    select the option that tells how the person is related to you.
    Romantic Select the option that applies to the type of romantic
    relationship, if any, you have with the person you’re linking
    to. Do you have a crush on him? Is she your creative muse or
    someone you consider to be a sweetheart?
  8. Set the advanced options for your new link.

    You have four options in the Advanced module:

    • Image Address: Type the URL of the picture that you want to appear next to the link in your link list.

      This option associates an image with the link. To use it, you need to know the direct URL to the image source (such as

      To find the URL for an image displayed on a website, right-click the image and choose Properties from the shortcut menu. Copy and paste all the text from the Address (URL) field to the Image Address box in the WordPress options box.

    • RSS Address: Add the site’s RSS feed alongside the link that appears on your site. (Not all WordPress themes accommodate this feature.)

      To find the RSS URL of the site you’re linking to, visit that site and locate the RSS link. (It’s usually listed in the sidebar or footer of the site.) Right-click the link, and from the shortcut menu, choose Copy Shortcut (in Internet Explorer) or Copy Link Location (in Firefox). Then, in WordPress, paste the link in the RSS Address field.

    • Notes: Type your notes in the Notes field.

      These notes aren’t displayed on your site, so feel free to enter whatever notes you need to further define the details of this link. A month from now, you may not remember who this person is or why you linked to her, so here is where you can add notes to remind yourself.

    • Rating: Use the Rating drop-down menu to rate the link from 0-10, 0 being the worst and 10 being the best. Some WordPress themes display your link list in the order in which you’ve rated your links, from best to worst.

    You can reposition the Advanced module by dragging and dropping it to a new location on the Add New Link page. You can also collapse (close) this module.

  9. To save your changes, scroll up to the top of the Add New Links page, choose whether to make the link public or private, and click the Add Link button.

    To keep the link private, select the Keep This Link Private check box. No one but you can see the link. If you want the link to be publicly displayed on your blog, leave that check box deselected.

    You can reposition the Save module by dragging and dropping it to a new location on the Add New Link page. You can also collapse (close) this module.

    A blank Add New Links page opens, ready for you to add another new link!

Editing existing links

You can edit the links in your blog by clicking the Edit link on the Links menu; the Edit Links page opens.

When you first view the Edit Links page, some links are already assigned to your blog. By default, WordPress provides seven links in your link list. These links go to some helpful websites that contain information and resources for the WordPress software. You can delete these links, but you should save them for future reference.

Here’s what you can do with your links:

  • Edit an existing link: Click the name of the link you’d like to edit. The Edit Link page opens. Edit the fields you need to change; click the Save button at the top right of the page.

  • Sort the links: You can sort by Link ID, Name, Address, or Rating by using the Order by Name drop-down menu. Likewise, you can sort your links by category by using the View All Categories drop-down menu and selecting the Link Category you’d like to filter your links by.

  • Search for specific links using keywords and phrases: Enter your keyword in the text box at the top-right side of the Edit Links page and click the Search Links button. If any links match the keywords and/or phrase you typed, they display on the page.