So WordPress previously had a concept for storing Links and presenting them in a widget. This feature was removed about 10 years ago, and it seems like MANY people miss that feature.

Me, today, I was trying to add a list of Links to one of my sites, and I added this plugin:

Simple Link Library

This is available here: https://wordpress.org/plugins/simple-link-library/

Here are the details on that page

Manage and display links on a WordPress site. Plugin uses custom types, so exporting is very easy.
To display links in a post or page use the following short tags:

No links defined for category:”name

Link Categories Overview
for displaying all links

A simple option to export links per category is possible using the overview screen:
Click “All Link Items” -> Click on the link Category you want to export -> [OPTIONAL, but recommended] Select “Title” to alphabetize your export list -> Select “Bulk actions” and chose the Export to xHTML -> Click “Apply” Now you can save you selection. Use pandoc.org to convert your selection to markdown or another format if needed.

This Plugin has a “broken link” check functionality.
The Broken checks can take a while with a significant number of links. The screen stays blanc during progress. note: No progress bar is shown.

See https://www.bm-support.org/innovation-links/ for a live demo.

How does it work?
This module makes use of Custom Post Types with non hierarchical catalogue option. So you can give links one or multiple tags.
Tags works great for retrieving or exporting only certain types of links.
If all tags for a link are deleted, the link still exist. This is default WP functionality. Since this plugin in built on using default wordpress hooks,
exporting and importing links can be done used as with post or pages.

My Findings:

Unfortunately, I had a bit of difficulty getting this plugin to work. I clicked on it 3 or 4 times before I realized that it wanted me to fill out a Link Description. There are three fields:

  • Link Name
  • Link URL
  • Link Descripion

To be honest, I don’t even know why there is a difference between the ‘Link Name’ and the URL, but it will be nice to have some option for customization on that. I prefer sharing URLs without the https:// prefix, but I sure would never SHARE a link without a https:// prefix to a friend. So I think that what you CALL a link, and what you CLICK ON should allow for differences. But I don’t like it when some things seem unnecessary and it slow me down from doing what I want to do.

In my opinion, the Description’ field on entering a Link should be an optional field. It’s not like this plugin is going to be fully optimized for SEO like what it REALLY needs, so maybe someone should define a bunch of requirements, before we run around wasting our time, writing code for a half-backed design.

I should probably communicate my desire to the original author that I think that the Link Description should be an optional field, but I think that this plugin is 4 years old, so I’m just going to assume that it is abandoned.

Someday, I’ll search for another plugin to do the same thing, that gives me more options, and works better with Gutenburg. I don’t see much room for plugins that are 4 years old. So maybe I’ll ask one of the SEO vendors if they have ever thought about writing a plugin for Links. Seems like a pretty basic concept, but Links need options, different settiings, and SURE it would be nice if we could add links (or exclude) from the XML Sitemap. But I’m no expert, and I’m not going to struggle with a mountain of custom code, AT LEAST until the other vendors decide they don’t want to improve that feature.

I wish that I could put a survey up at WordPress.org in order to ask people about who wanted the options for Links added back to the Core Release of WordPress. I’ll bet that most people miss that feature.

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