Managing thousands of links on your WordPress site is a nightmare if you don’t have the right plugins. Links tend to get broken, you need to cloak them, you simply may want to add a “nofollow” attribute, or you may want to check how many clicks a link gets. Fortunately, for each of these tasks there are a few good WordPress plugins to make your life easier. Here are six of them.
1. Easy External Links
Easy External Links helps a lot when you need to manage external links. You can choose to open external links in a new tab or in the current one, add “nofollow,” add a title attribute, or choose target=”_blank” for comment links and for external links in excerpts. You can also use domain whitelists to set different properties for the links to a particular domain.
2. Urlink – Links Manager and Blogroll
For a WordPress site with tons of links, Urlink is a must. This plugin helps put links under control. You can group links by categories and/or tags, get a link thumbnail and the hit count for each link, and sort links in ascending/descending order. You can also set redirects for each link, as well as choose whether it opens in a new or current tab.
3. Simple Links
Simple Links is a successor of the now deprecated WordPress Links Manager. If you have used WordPress Links Manager, you can import your links to Simple Links. With Simple Links you can order your links with drag and drop. You can also create shortcodes, including visual shortcodes.
4. Auto Tag Links
If you are using tags on your blog, Auto Tag Links is a very handy plugin. With it you can automatically make a tag in content into a hyperlink. Of course, if a tag is popular and you use it frequently, this will create way too many hyperlinks. To avoid this you can set tag threshold and limit in a single post, as well as the minimum and maximum tag links count. You can also choose a custom color for your links.
Linker is a very useful plugin if you need link cloaking and link statistics. With it you can create short links, manage 301 redirects, and track how many hits each link gets. It’s especially great for cloaking affiliate links because it hides the actual link and gives stats for how popular a link is.
6. Broken Link Checker
One aspect of link management you shouldn’t forget about is checking for broken links. The best plugin for this purpose is Broken Link Checker. It checks for broken links everywhere – in posts, pages, comments, the blogroll, even custom fields (if you opt to). When a broken link is found, you get a notification. In addition to Broken Link Checker there are some other broken link checkers you might want to have a look at, but basically this plugin is the best for the job.
There are many more WordPress link plugins I didn’t include. Some of them are active, while others are either officially deprecated or haven’t been updated in years. While some of the plugins that haven’t been updated for two or more years might still be working, I wouldn’t recommend using them on a live site. If you are eager to try them, do it on a test site. If there are no conflicts, then you might install them on a live site, too, but in my opinion running an unmaintained plugin is too much of a risk.