The WordPress widget is a powerful tool used within WordPress to add functionality to a site without needing extensive knowledge of coding. As a WordPress user, you already know the platform includes an extensive list of widgets out-of-the-box. In this post, we will address the links widget. If you navigate to Appearance> Widgets from within your WordPress dashboard, you will see the links widget among the options on the left side of the page.
This widget allows you to display a list of links in your sidebar that remain static on every page of your site. It is useful if you are affiliated with other site owners offering similar types of information, products, or services. You can create links to their sites once and then forget about them.
Creating Links to Display
Before you can actually use the widget, you have to create the links you want to display on your pages. To do that, login to your Dashboard and then hold your cursor over the ‘Links’ heading on the left side of your page. Click on ‘All Links’ to see the defaults offered by WordPress or ‘Add New’ to go straight to creating your links. If you choose the former, don’t worry; an option for creating new links will appear on the page.
Once you click on ‘Add New’, you will be presented with a new page; just fill in the relevant data and click the blue ‘Add Link’ button at the right to save your new link. You can enter:
- the link name
- the link’s web address
- a description of the link
- a category for the link
- the link’s target
- link relationship.
Note that not all of this information is required. All you need to create an effective link is a name and web address. Everything else is optional.
Using the Widget
With your links created, using the widget is pretty easy. Just navigate to Appearance> Widgets to bring up the widgets page. Then just drag and drop the ‘Links’ widget to its proper place in the sidebar. Next, click the arrow to expand the widget for configuration purposes. You will be able to set options for:
- sort order
- how each link will be displayed
- the number of links to display in the sidebar.
Be sure to click the blue ‘Save’ button after configuring your widget. Otherwise, your settings will be lost, and you will have to start over. At this point, you are all done. Navigate to any page on your site and you should see your created links appearing in your sidebar.
Editing and Deleting Links
You can change the links that appear in your sidebar at any time by either editing the widget or going to the ‘All Links’ page and making adjustments there. You can add and delete links, change how they are displayed, change the total number you want to show up in the sidebar, and so on.