How to Link to Posts, Pages, Categories, Tags, Authors, and Feeds in WordPress

WordPress code logo thumbnailThis is a tutorial on how to link to the various features found on a typical WordPress site.

Wish to promote an author your site? Need the link to their author pageview? Wish to link to a specific category? Want to share the link to your WordPress site feed?

There are many times when you may wish to link to a feature or function on your site. Here is a list of the various areas you may wish to link to from posts, Pages, Widgets, and in emails and social media posts to help people find information on your site.

How to Copy a Link

We call them “links” but the proper names are hypertext link and the link is created with an HTML Anchor Tag.

A well-formed link in HTML looks like this:

<a href="http://lorelle.wordpress.com/" 
title="Lorelle VanFossen of Lorelle on WordPress.">
Lorelle VanFossen</a>

It features the link to the destination, the title selector to describe the destination of the link, and the anchor text, the words visible on the page to the reader.

This is called a well-formed or properly formed link as these three items are required by US and international law for web standards and web accessibility.

To copy a link, there are two methods. The first is the most commonly used technique.

With the page in your browser you wish to link to:

  1. Move your cursor to the address bar and copy the link.
  2. Switch to the place on your site you wish to post the link and select the words you wish to link.
  3. In the WordPress Visual Editor, click the LINK button.
    • Paste the link into the address or URL form.
    • Type in the Alternative Text, the description of the link’s destination.
    • Click Okay.
    • The word(s) should be linked.
  4. In the WordPress Text Editor, you have two choices.
    1. Select the words to link and click the LINK button and paste the link and write the Alternative Text in the form.
    2. Hand code the HTML Anchor link manually, as shown above, pasting the link into the right spot.

You may learn more about how links are created, how to link, and how to place links around images in “What is a Properly Formed Link.”

To use a technique that professional and speed bloggers use, take advantage of web browser extensions to make the process easier.

In Firefox, I use CoLT for Firefox. In Chrome, there are several options including Chrome Create Link or Chrome Copy Link Text. For details on how to use these, see “Blog Exercises: Speed Blogging with CoLT.”

In brief, after setting the optional styles for CoLT Firefox Extension (or the others), I use the following methods to create a link in WordPress.

  1. On a web page I wish to link to, Right Click, choose Copy Page Title and Location As then the type of link, typically HTML Link.
  2. On a link I wish to copy, hover the mouse over the link, Right Click, choose Copy Link Text and Location As then the type of link, typically HTML Link.

I switch to my WordPress site and check that I’m using the Text Editor.

  1. Place the cursor where the link is to go (do not select text).
  2. Right click (or use keyboard shortcuts) to paste the copied link in that spot.
  3. A properly formed HTML link will appear.
  4. Edit the words, if necessary.
  5. Keep writing.

If you are placing the link in a Text Widget, use the manual method or the web browser link copier to copy and paste the link in place.

Linking to Posts and Pages

Using the linking techniques above, simply visit the post or Page you wish to link to and copy the link.

What if you would like to link to a specific area in your post or Page?

If you wish to create a link to send the visitor to a specific spot on a post or Page, called a or anywhere on your site, you must create a destination.

An HTML link destination or target is a virtual address at a specific point on a web page. In HTML, it looks like one of the following code examples, and are created using the WordPress Text Editor, not visual editor.

<a name="bio"></a>

or

<h2 id="bio">Biography</h2>

The Anchor name and ID name create a target for the link to aim at, literally.

The link to that spot would look like this in WordPress, using the absolute link method to the post or Page.

<a href="http://lorelleteaches.com/about/#bio" 
title="Jump to the biography of Lorelle VanFossen.">
bio</a>

Note that the target is specified with #bio

You may learn more about creating jump links in “Links and the Anchor HTML Tag.”

Link to Unpublished Posts

What if the post hasn’t been published?

If the post has been published but set to release to the public at a future time and date, you may have a need to link to it as part of an article series or project you are working on. To link to the post, you will need to copy the published permalink of that post.

  1. In WordPress, go to Posts and find the unpublished post.
  2. Preview the post.
  3. If the link is published, just awaiting release, the pretty permalink will appear in the address bar. These are words not an odd collection of numbers. Copy that link.
  4. If the link includes nonces, remove them to clean up link clutter. Look for odd code at the end of the link such as a question mark followed by preview="true" like http://lorelle.wordpress.com/2015/09/25/blog-post-title/?preview=true, delete everything from the / before the question mark, the question mark, and the words or numbers from the link.
  5. Paste the link where you need it.

Linking to Categories and Tags

The key to finding the links to categories and tags is to find where they are displayed on your site.

Remember, a category or tag may be added to your site yet may not appear on the front end of your site. There must be posts in the category or tag before WordPress will display it.

Categories and Tags may be found on the front end of your site in the sidebar or other menu area Categories and Tags lists, and on each post pageview. Look in the post meta data section, the post details found under or over the post title or the bottom of the post. The posts and tags associated with that post are featured there. Copy the links at any of those points.

Here is example list of categories and their links from this site.

Linking to Authors

If your site features more than one author, there will be times when you will need to link to a specific author.

In WordPress, most WordPress Themes feature a byline, the author’s name in the post meta data section under or over the post title, or at the bottom of the post with the categories and tags information. There are also WordPress Widgets to feature Author Gravatars, links, and posts.

Find the link to the author at these locations or use the WordPress default author link to locate the author link.

<a href="http://example.com/author/author-name/" 
title="Author Name Posts.">Author Name</a>

The author name is the usernmane of the author, which makes choosing an appropriate username critical for multiple contributors as “sexychick69″ as a username and address in the permalink for the author might not be professional for someone named “Sally Elizabeth Sparrow.”

Linking to Feeds

To link to feeds, use the default pretty permalink structure for WordPress feeds.

The following default links for WordPress feeds is just a sample. For more information and specifics on linking to feeds in WordPress, see “Understanding, Using, and Customizing WordPress Blog Feeds.”

  • WordPress Full Blog Feed: http://example.com/feed/
  • WordPress blog comments feed: – http://example.com/comments/feed/
  • WordPress Categories: http://example.com/category/category-name/feed/
  • WordPress Tag/Categories: http://example.com/tag/tag-category-name/feed/

For WordPress.com feeds:

  • WordPress Full Blog Feed: http://example.wordpress.com/feed/
  • WordPress blog comments feed: – http://example.wordpress.com/comments/feed/
  • WordPress Categories: http://example.wordpress.com/category/category-name/feed/
  • WordPress Tag/Categories: http://example.wordpress.com/tag/tag-category-name/feed/

Link to them the same as you would any other link.

For tips on how to create a link around a feed image, see “What is a Properly Formed Link.”

Linking to Sidebar Widgets

The technique to create a link to a spot in your sidebar, footer, or any other widgetized area in WordPress involves creating a jump link to that spot.

Using the instructions on creating a jump link and target in the WordPress Text Editor:

  1. Find the spot in the Widgetized area you wish to link to. Note unique words or images at that spot.
  2. View the web page source code (in the browser > Right Click > View Source or Page Source).
  3. Search (Ctrl or Cmd + F) the code for those unique words or image file name.
  4. When you find it, look through the code above it for an ID target. In most WordPress Themes, the ID number is found in the list item (<li id="recent-posts">) or heading (<h3 id="recent-posts">).
  5. Copy the ID and create a link using the instructions for jump links above.

In the image here, I’ve circled the ID for the “Recent Posts” Widget in the sidebar of that site. The link to that spot would be:

<a href="http://lorelle.wordpress.com/#recent-posts-2" 
title="Jump to the Most Recent Posts on the front page 
of Lorelle on WordPress.">most recent posts</a>

That link would take the user to the front page of that site and down to that point on the web page. What if I wanted them to jump to that spot on the page they are viewing currently? I’d use a relative link, a link on that page, not another web page.

<a href="#recent-posts-2" 
title="Jump to the Most Recent Posts on the front 
page of Lorelle on WordPress.">most recent posts</a>

For more information and details, see “Links and the Anchor HTML Tag” and “What is a Properly Formed Link?

More WordPress Linking

For more information on linking in WordPress and links in general, see the following:

3 thoughts on “How to Link to Posts, Pages, Categories, Tags, Authors, and Feeds in WordPress

  1. Pingback: Week 3: WordPress and blogging as a platform | Clark College JOUR 111 Class Blog

  2. Valuable content even i bookmarked this one and try to expand as much as i can to newbie so that thwy can easily understand how to use wordpress so easily and comfortably.

  3. Pingback: WordPress Site Structure and Organization | Learning from Lorelle

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