Develop Richer, More Personal WordPress Blogroll Links

If you haven’t looked at the Links (Blogroll) settings section in WordPress recently, you might be surprised at how much it’s developed.  (Links > Add New)

When you want to add a new link, there are a number of different options available to you. One of the  more obviously practical ones is the ability to choose how a browser should open the link (in a new tab, in the same tab).

Images with Links

Another nice feature is the ability to include an image to be placed alongside of the link. Unless you specifically style your links for large images, then typically you will want to use a very small image, something along the lines of a favicon. In the example below, I used a 16×16 favicon.

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Define Relationships with XFN

An interesting feature that may be less obviously practical is the ability to provide extra information about your relationship to the site or the person you are linking to. This is done in conjunction with XFN. XFN stands for XHTML Friends Network.

You can attach information to the link that says, for example, whether you are a personal friend of the person you are linking to, whether you are related to the person, whether the person is a co-worker, and a lot more.

This information is not obviously visible to a visitor of your site. It is meant to be read by machines (i.e. computer programs that map out social connections). How is this valuable? Well, at the moment it might not be so valuable for the average user, but the idea is to eventually create a more social web where you can define relationships and connect with people in a way you might on Facebook or LinkedIn – without having to be on Facebook or LinkedIn.

Beefier and Better Links

If you haven’t checked out the Links section of your blog in a while, you might give it a fresh look. It’s probably beefier and better and more powerful than you remembered it.

For more info on all the options available, you can see the WordPress Links Manager page.

For more info on XFN, visit the WordPress Defining Relationships with XFN page.

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Photo: Link from BigStock

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