add a blogroll to your WordPress web site (with out a plugin)

Do you want to add a blogroll to your WordPress site?

Blogroll is a list of links to other blogs that you own or to blogs that you admire, follow, or even compete with. The blogroll has a long history in blogging culture.

This article will show you how to easily add blogroll in WordPress. We’ll also talk about the history of the blogroll and how you can benefit from it today.

What is a blogroll?

A blogroll is a list of links to other blogs related to your own blog. It can contain links to your other blog pages or the blogs you want or websites you want users to check out.

In its early days, blogging was more personal and community-oriented. Like-minded people are often linked to other blogs they liked. In 2009 we showed a blogroll on WPBeginner.

Blogroll will appear on WPBeginner

The blogroll was a common feature in those days, which is why most blogging platforms supported it by default. However, as blogging became more prevalent and popular, the blogroll feature became less common.

WordPress had a blogroll function from the start. It was called Links first and then renamed Blogroll in WordPress 2.1.

Blogroll function in WordPress 2.1

It was again changed to Links in WordPress 2.5 and stayed that way until WordPress 3.5. At that time, the WordPress team decided to remove the feature from the core.

The feature was still available as a free plugin called Link Manager. However, this plugin hasn’t been updated in years and you no longer need it to add a blogroll in WordPress.

Tip: If you’re interested in how WordPress has changed over time, check out our in-depth article on the history of WordPress.

Why add a blogroll in WordPress?

Blogroll gives your users the ability to visit other blogs you recommend.

Usually these are blogs or websites owned by you or your company. However, you can also add links to other blogs for you to admire or for your users to check out.

This allows your users to discover other blogs you own or visit other websites that you recommend.

Let’s take a look at how to easily add a blogroll in WordPress, manage links, and display it anywhere on your website.

Adding a blogroll in WordPress

WordPress has a great menu management feature, which is why the core team decided to remove the blogroll feature.

Typically, you use navigation menus in WordPress to add links to your website’s navigation bar, footer links, or other places.

However, you can also use the same navigation menu to create and manage a blogroll in WordPress.

Just go to Appearance »Menus Click the “Create New Menu” link.

Create a new menu in WordPress

WordPress will now create a new blank menu for you and ask you to provide a name for it. You can call it a blogroll so that you can easily tell when you are working on your website.

Creating the blogroll menu

Don’t forget to click the “Build Menu” button to save it.

Then click the “Custom Links” tab in the “Add Menu Items” column on the left.

Adding a link to the blogroll menu

Here you need to enter the URL of the blog or website and then add the blog title under “Link text”. Then click the “Add to Menu” button.

You will see an item in the right column, and there is now an item in your empty blogroll menu.

Blogroll link added

Now you can repeat the process to add more links that you want to show in your blogroll. When you’re done, don’t forget to hit the save menu button to save your blogroll links.

Save blogroll links

Open and nofollow blogroll links in the new window

Blogroll links are external links which means they remove users from your website and also pass on SEO link juice.

Now, if you have all of the links in your blogroll and you don’t mind people leaving one of your blogs to view the other, you don’t need to add them.

However, if you don’t have these external links, you may want to open them in a new window and stop following them.

These additional options are hidden by default, but they can easily be hidden.

Just click the “Screen Options” button in the top right corner of the screen. A flydown menu will appear where you need to check the box next to the Link Target and Link Relationship (XFN) options.

Show advanced link options for WordPress menus

After that, scroll down to the links you added earlier and then click on any link to expand it. You can now check the box next to the “Open link in a new tab” option and then type “nofollow” into the “Link Relationship (XFN)” field.

Open a blogroll link in a new window and stop following it

You can repeat the process for any links that you don’t follow or that you want to open in a new window. After doing this, don’t forget to click the “Save Menu” button to save your changes.

Displaying Blogroll on Your WordPress Site

After you’ve created the blogroll, it’s time to add it to your WordPress blog.

The most common place to view a blogroll is in the sidebar of your website.

Just go to the Appearance »Widgets Page and add the ‘Navigation Menu’ widget to your sidebar.

Add a navigation menu widget to the sidebar

Next, enter the title you want to display for Blogroll and select the menu you created earlier from the drop-down menu.

Don’t forget to click the Save button to save your widget settings.

You can now visit your website to view your blogroll in the sidebar. This is what it looked like in our test blog.

Preview of the blogroll sidebar

You can also display the blogroll in the footer area if your WordPress theme has a footer widget area. You can check this out by going to Appearance »Widgets Page.

Footer widget area

Just add the navigation menu widget to the footer widget area and select the blogroll menu. Don’t forget to click the Save button to save your changes.

You can now visit your website to see the blogroll links in action.

Blogroll in the footer widget area

We hope this article has helped you learn how to easily add a blogroll in WordPress. You may also want to read our guide on creating an email newsletter to connect with visitors after they leave your site, as well as our comparison of the best push notification software to increase your traffic.

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