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Link Manager aka Blogrolls to be “Sort of” Removed in WordPress 3.5

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Elegant Themes
Link Manager aka Blogrolls to be “Sort of” Removed in WordPress 3.5

About a year ago, we wrote an opinion post here at WPBeginner with the title “Should Blogroll ‘Links’ be removed in favor of WordPress menus?“. We got a decent feedback in the comments and our social media channels (twitter and facebook). Recently while browsing through the upcoming features in WordPress 3.5, we noticed ticket #21307 which is to remove link manager from core.

So why did we title it sort of? Well because it is only being disabled for new users by default. If you have link data in the database, then the link manager will stay as is. But if you don’t have any links, then it will be disabled. In other words, the code for the link manager still stays in the core. This is to make sure that this update doesn’t break your site or delete your data.

However, in the future the plan is to get rid of the link manager code base from the core and make it into a plugin. Andrew Nacin, one of the core contributor already created a plugin called Link Manager. Currently, the purpose of this plugin is to give new users the ability to enable the link manager in version 3.5 if they choose to.

If you are still using the Link Manager or want to use the link manager, then we ask why? You can achieve all that the link manager offers and more with the built-in WordPress menus. To see how, just look at our last article about this issue.

We are definitely excited to have one less menu item. What are your thoughts?


Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress lovers led by Syed Balkhi. Page maintained by Syed Balkhi.

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Comments

  1. Alec Sorensen says:

    Link Manager and menus don’t behave identically, which would be the main reason I’d be tempted to keep the Link Manager. For example, if you get links with get_bookmarks, it will return nothing if you don’t have that link category. However, wp_nav_menu will insert a random menu if it doesn’t find a menu with the right name… That’s a problem.

  2. Clay Asbury says:

    We tried managing a large number of pages & links to resources (+500) on 3.5 recently and found out why the link manager is still needed. Use caution, we lost data due to this problem.

    Due to the volume of links, we used an iteration of Mega Menu (Uber Menu) to maximize horizontal real estate on Main navigation menu using columns to display 2nd and 3rd level items.

    Most pages required some form of secondary navigation as well. We used custom menus for the those.

    Very quickly we ran into a php error well known to the Uber Menu folks referencing “max_input_vars” affecting large menus, forms, etc… t’s set by defaul to 1000.

    You can manually override the limit in php.ini, IF your host allows it. I had to enable root access on one of MediaTemple’s Managed DV VPS servers by editing php.ini directly in /etc. If you’re on GoDaddy, you’re probably out of luck. Placing it in the root directory of your site doesn’t do the trick.

  3. Nico Julius says:

    I’ve build dozens of WordPress blogs and I never needed the blogroll… until now. So I’m glad this function is still available in WordPress 3.5!

  4. Stephanie True Moss says:

    I do not want to see the LinksManager go away! For a simple blogroll using a Menu instead is a viable option, but to limit WordPress by removing such a valuable asset as the LinksManager may be short-sighted.

    I have used theWordPress LinksManager to list QR Code services at – http://QRmedia.us – and the Links Library plugin to display them. I maintain multiple useful lists and the main list of QR Code Generators at – http://QRmedia.us/qr-code-generators-list – has 250 different links. A menu certainly wouldn’t handle that many links!

    I would like the option to use LinksManager in future sites – perhaps the same capabilities added with a plugin can be a viable answer.

    There are so many different ways to use WordPress that it seems awkward that anyone would want to close the door on such a useful part of WordPress – just because many have not figured out how to use it for anything more than a blogroll!

    • Editorial Staff says:

      They don’t plan to get rid of the feature altogether. The goal is to slowly transition it out from the WordPress core into a separate plugin (which we linked to). You will have all the features as is.

      • Your Real Name says:

        Yes, but if a site is currently using the Link Manager function for, oh, say, links, and it is removed from the core without the plugin being installed, what happens to the links? If we install the plugin, will it work off of the same tables in the database and ‘absorb’ the links already there or will they need to be reentered?

        • Editorial Staff says:

          Not sure if you read the article properly. Second paragraph, first line: “it is only being disabled for new users by default. If you have link data in the database, then the link manager will stay as is.”

  5. owcv says:

    The wordpress menu might be nice to create a smal blogroll of some certain links, but if you want to manage hundreds of links with additional information (e.g. with link library plugin) it is useless because of lack of categories and uncomfortable to manage because of the length. I created a link directory and need something more than just a custom menu blogroll or whatever.

  6. Heidi says:

    Um yeah, I don’t know. But I use the links feature to display collections of links on pages via a plugin and it is much more than a “blogroll”

    We run a coupon site and I actually use the Links manager to input printable coupons of different types and display them on pages using a plugin. It automatically alphabetizes those links/coupons. And makes it very easy for me to find and delete a coupon when it has expired. So my pages are always fresh.

    I hope that this feature will not go away. Menus are great but they don’t function the way I need them to.

    Also for those who actually use the Links as a Blogroll for those with a widget on the sidebar there is no way to display a list of random links if you were to use menus. So let’s say you have 50 links in your blogroll but only want to display 5 at a time randomly on the sidebar…

    • Editorial Staff says:

      Heidi, This is not going away in 3.5. It just won’t be visible for new users anymore. The code will still stay there for existing users. The plan is to do a smooth transaction from core to plugin in the later releases.

  7. ✍ Oscar Gonzalez ☺ says:

    I use them quite a bit. here are two examples. http://cco-cpa.com/links/ and http://ptosisresources.com/ptosis-links-and-references/ – they are so easy for novices to add and change without having to worry about how they display up front.

    I wish they left them alone and build upon the references at the bottom, like the xfn manager. With things like Google+ authorship and other sites (to certainly follow suit). This link manager should have been grown and polished rather than removed.

    • ✍ Oscar Gonzalez ☺ says:

      Oh yeah and I use a plugin to display them… so it would be nice to have that feature in core. I guess the newish “formats” might replace this if we use the “link” but I’m still not happy about this change.

  8. Scott Wyden Kivowitz says:

    I use the Blogroll currently, but would be ok with using the menu feature to organize external links. However, there are two concerns. 1) WordPress needs to make a Blogroll to Menu conversion tool. 2) There needs to be a script that I can use, like with the Blogroll, to include a custom menu in a page template.

  9. Paul says:

    Yea good idea don’t need it…remove the bloat from the core.

  10. Afshin Mokhtari says:

    With custom menus I dont see any reason to keep link manager around. I think its a good idea to get rid of it.

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