Mastering the WordPress Links Manager

Finding a list of links on a website is not a rare thing. For example, a lot of blogs have their own blogroll to spread the word about their friends’ blogs, or other websites displayed in a carousel to highlight some links, whether internal or external.

To create these lists, you can just add them in the HTML code and hardcode the links. The problem is that this method isn’t very practical: to modify, remove or add a link, you must modify the source code.

That’s why the links manager exists in WordPress.

What Is the Links Manager and Why Use It?

A Useful Tool to Manage Links

As its name suggests, the Links Manager allows you to manage a list of links, sorted by categories. These links are accessible from the administration panel so you can easily add a new one or modify and remove an existing one.

To display and use the links added in the Links Manager, we have several choices. By default, WordPress provides us a widget to add to a sidebar, which will display your links. But you can also build your own lists thanks to the dedicated API.

Where Is the Links Manager?

The Links Manager was provided by default in WordPress in earlier versions. However, it disappeared with version 3.5; since this release, you couldn’t find the Links Manager on a brand new WordPress installation. Moreover, if you used an earlier version than 3.5 and upgraded your installation, then the Links Manager was removed, unless you used it.

If you used an earlier version of WordPress than 3.5, and had links before the upgrade, then you should have the Link Manager. If you haven’t, you can find it by downloading the Links Manager plugin, which is the official way to retrieve the old tool. You can install it just as you would install any other plugin, or you can install it as a mu-plugin if you think that it should be a part of WordPress.

Note that the plugin is a very short one: actually it is a one line plugin that only adds a filter to activate the Links Manager. That means you can activate the Links Manager by yourself by adding the following line in the functions.php file of your theme.