WP Plugin of the Week: Import Blogroll With Categories

A few weeks ago we showed you how to export your blogroll to a file so you could import it into another WordPress site. One of the things that frustrated us was that when you ran the standard WordPress plugin to import the links (aka blogroll) into the new blog, all the categories defaulted to one category and it didn’t retain the original settings.

It was frustrating to say the least in our situation, considering that we had over 30 links that were spread out over 5 categories. We were not looking forward to re-assigning the categories. We knew there had to be an “app” errr plugin for that. Luckily we found a plugin called “Import Blogroll With Categories” (by The Doubtful Rebel) at the WordPress.org directory.

Blogroll import categories

There’s not much to it other than installing the plugin and clicking on the “import” link under “links.” You’ll see an interface like the one above and the best option’s already selected for you. We uploaded our file and it worked like a charm on WordPress 3.1.

Get it: Import Blogroll With Categories

Quick Tip: Show all your (blogroll) links on any page or post

The Links library (sometimes called the blogroll) is an often overlooked feature of WordPress but it can become a powerful ally if you have want to setup a resources “library” of outgoing links to other websites. Of course there’s the blogroll widget that will let you display these links on the sidebar. But how do you get these links into a page or post?

Here’s a super no brainer way to get all your links (a.k.a. Blogroll) created in WP admin to show up on any page or post by pasting in a simple shortcode into the editor. It’s aptly called Links Page and it works well so far. We’re using it for our new WordPress/LAMP jobs site…

Update: we also found another plugin called WP Render Blogroll Links. This one gives a little bit more flexibility that it allows you to specify which categories or turn off category headings.

Both of these plugins seem to work fine with WordPress 3.1.

Quicktip: Import & Export links library

The link library aka blogroll is one of the lesser known or under utilized feature of WordPress. It allows you to organize a database of website URLs in a tidy post-like system. You’ll see it right below the Media library and Pages in WP admin.

So what if you have more than one WordPress site and you want to import/export your extensive links library from one site to another site?

It’s actually quite simple to do, copy the URL below to your clipboard, open a new web browser tab and paste the URL. Then  replace yourdomain.com below with your domain and hit enter.


Give it a few seconds and you’ll see a list of links in HTML format of all your links if you’re using Firefox.

03-23 Update: We noticed that Safari on the Mac wouldn’t display the links file, so if you’re having problems, try a different web browser.

Once the page has finished loading, copy the URL to your clipboard. Or better yet, we suggest saving a copy to your computer for a backup copy. To do that once the page has finished loading, go to the file menu and select “Save As…”

Next go to your new WordPress site admin and click on Tools -> Import -> Blogroll

The import plugin will then be installed like any other plugin.


Next in the import page, you can either paste in the URL under “Specify OPML URL” or browse/upload the file you saved and click “Import OMPL File.” We’re done, your links should be in your new site’s links library now.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a way to retain the previous links’ category settings. So you’ll have to re-create and re-assign the categories.

For those curious, OMPL stands for Outline Processor Markup Language.