Lets bring back the blogroll to WordPress

⏲️ Time: 2 mins

I have a general understanding of why they decided to remove the “Links” admin menu item from new installs, but I don’t completely agree with it. I still feel that Links administration and Blogrolls still have their place in WordPress and we’re now at a point where new people starting their first blog in 2021, likely don’t even know the concept of a blogroll existed.

That’s an unfortunate detail. Presently checking on if new sites via WordPress.com still receive the Links menu, or if my one install is old enough to have dodged its hiding.

Understandably, since this feature has not been active by default for years, blogrolls did not get the WordPress Block treatment. I have been struggling to come up with a solid, not been done to death, block idea that isn’t insanely complex, but isn’t basic either. Thus, I have begun work on a Blogroll WordPress block.

Blogroll Block

I have set up the initial repo over at Blogroll Extra but I’m by no means set on the name. Chances are I’ll keep it initially in a plugin that can allow me to do more, but my first goals are to create a 1:1 mapping of attributes and arguments for the wp_list_bookmarks function.

Option to re-enable the blogroll menu

This part I’m a bit torn on. Part of me definitely wants to add a dedicated option to re-enable the menu, within WordPress core, but I also realize I’ll probably get a fair amount of pushback. As is, if you manage to stumble onto the links admin area and they’re not enabled, WordPress will point you to a plugin search meant to find Link Manager.

The search turns up a HUGE amount of results, and I’m not sure where in the results the intended plugin is even listed.

So at this point, any trac ticket I create would probably be focused more on helping users find and install Link Manager directly, instead of offer muddled search results.

For what it’s worth, the plugin is basically just this line:

add_filter( 'pre_option_link_manager_enabled', '__return_true' );

Blogroll Extra Block

Still in the very early stages, but I am passively mulling what could I do beyond just mimicking UI to pass arguments into wp_list_bookmarks . What could I do more to enhance the utility further? I don’t have anything yet, but if you have ideas, feel free to drop them in the comments below.

Conclusion

Overall, I definitely feel that there’s still valid use for Blogrolls, even if not specifically fleshed out here. First thing before any Block usage becomes useful, is getting people back into using Links management, and that’s an interesting challenge in itself.

The block creation is both part a labor of love, on top of a labor of further learning and practice of Block development. I’m looking forward to it.

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