Yesterday I told you all about the WordPress admin bar, my second-favorite feature of the latest release. Today I’ll tell you about my very favorite feature of WordPress 3.1 — the thing that made me bounce delightedly and exclaim “holy shit I love this!”
Yes, I really did say that. Out loud.
(WordPress 3.1 was released in late February, and if you haven’t already upgraded, please do! If you need some help, watch my video tutorial on upgrading WordPress, or follow my illustrated instructions.)
Ready to feel the power?
Follow the links
It’s the “add link” dialog box!
How can anyone get this excited about a dialog box?
Well, consider that in the Olden Days of last month, linking to one of my own blog posts was a complex multi-step process.
Let’s say I was writing a blog post (like this one) and I wanted to link to another of my blog posts (like I did in the first line, where I linked to yesterday’s post).
I would have to get the full URL of that post, which normally would mean opening another tab showing my site, navigating to the post I wanted, and copying the address from the browser bar. Only then could I click the little chain-link icon in my editing screen, which would open the “add link” dialog box where I could paste the address I’d just copied.
And I did this frequently, because if I’ve written about related topics before, it’s a service to my newer readers to let them know about it. Plus cross-linking to your own stuff is a good practice for search engine optimization (though not as important as having outside sites link to you).
But WordPress has now made the “add link” dialog box into an internal linking powerhouse!
In your editing screen, when you highlight some text (or an image) you want to turn into a link, and then click on the little chain-link icon, this dialog box pops up:
You can still type or paste a URL directly into the top field, optionally add a title, and your link is good to go. There’s still a handy checkbox to specify whether you want the link to open in a new window or in the same window (that topic deserves a whole post of its own…).
But look out below! Beneath “Or link to existing content” (you might have to click the gray triangle) there’s a list of every post and page on your website!
Linking to your own content just got super-duper easy:
- If you want to link to a recent post, it will be right there on top, because the list is organized in order of publication.
- If you know when you published the post or page, you can scroll directly to that date to find it.
- Or you can search your site, right from within the dialog box, to instantly find the exact post or page you want.
When you locate the post or page you want to link to, click it and the URL and Title fields will be automagically filled in:
Of course you’re free to edit the link title (this is what shows up when you hover over the link with your cursor — as distinct from the anchor text, which is the clickable link text itself — the piece of text you highlighted before clicking the “add link” button).
And that’s that! It’s now a one-step easy process to find and link to any post or page on your website, right from within the “add link” dialog box!
Update: I’ve added a tutorial on adding jump links that point to locations within a post (or page).