Removing Links In Favor Of Menus?

Interesting discussion taking place over at WPBeginner on whether or not the Blogroll Links functionality should be removed in favor of Menus. Outside of their discussion, I’m in favor of ditching links. In fact, I think the links functionality should be turned into a core widget because that is where most of them end up anyways, in a sidebar as a widget. So while the functionality would still exist, it’s one less item in the menu. Any thoughts?


14 responses to “Removing Links In Favor Of Menus?”

  1. I’m in favor of turning links into a custom post type and getting rid of the “wp_links” table altogether. I’m even in favor of turning links into a separate plugin from core.

    I’m opposed to using the menu system for links though. You’d need to revamp the entire menus UI just to accommodate links. Plus, you’d need to add more functionality to handle features links have that menus don’t (e.g., ratings, RSS, images, etc.).

    Links and menus are simply not the same thing. They were built for different purposes. The author of the post doesn’t seem to have a need for links. There’s tons of cool things you can do with them that you can’t do with nav menus. If they were turned into a separate post type, the possibilities would be endless.

    The major problem is the negative connotation of “blogroll.” If you look at links in that light, you’re missing out on some awesome stuff.

  2. I agree with Justin here! I use the links functionality on some projects and it’s really handy for some small directories – placed in main content and/or sidebar. And: It’s also useable for my clients – just simple and self-explanatory. So I would only vote to leave them in (or as core plugin) or turn into a custom post type (in core or as core plugin). All other alternative/option doesn’t make sense to me.

    Just my 2 cents.
    Dave from Germany :)

  3. I’m in the “they’ve got different uses” camp. Though honestly I almost never use links anymore myself. Most all the things that I used links for can be done more easily with Menus now.

    However Justin & Stephanie are spot on. If they were to make Links custom post types then there’s some significant power there.

  4. @Stephanie Leary
    We’d had the same issue with a site that used over 900 links. It finally loads in the admin, but is a mess to deal with without pagination. Oddly, the Link Categories *does* have pagination. Go figure.

    I certainly wouldn’t replace Links with Menus since they’re quite different – so, I’m with everyone else with seeing Links pushed into Custom Post Types too… of course we’ll need some converter for my site mentioned above :)

  5. Back at the last WordCamp Atlanta (Jan 2010), I heard Jane Wells and some of the core devs discussing the possibility of ditching the Link Manager, and replacing it with something based on Custom Post Types. Shortly after, the Menu system was added, so I figured that must have been what developed from that discussion. And I was surprised that we hadn’t seen some sort of conversion tool to convert Link Manager data into Menus.

    But I’m thinking it’s still possible that the old Link Manager could remain in the system and evolve as mentioned here. Moving links out of separate tables and leveraging all the CPT functionality would certainly open things up to some interesting possibilities. All it needs is a slick and friendly UI, and a conversion tool, and we’d be good to go. Such a move might break a few plugins that interact with the links system, but probably if they were doing some sort of end-run around the API and dealing with the db tables directly.

  6. +1 to turning Links into a Custom Post Type. I don’t think I’ve ever used them over the last 3 years, be it for myself or for clients.

    More, I often had to remove the Links menu for clients, as they didn’t need it and it was confusing for them.


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