Collapsing Links

The Collapsing Links widget creates a list of links (blogroll) for each link category, which can be expanded and collapsed dynamically. You can have multiple instances of the widget on your pages, each with its own set of options, including:

  • Show link counts in link category links
  • Sort by link category name, link category id, link category count etc.
  • Sort in ascending or descending order
  • Exclude certain link categories
  • Automatically expand certain link categories
  • Several different icons to choose from for expanding and collapsing

The plugin is hosted on the official wordpress repository at:

If you have any questions, bug reports, or feature requests, please post a comment below.

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93 Replies to “Collapsing Links”

  1. Pingback:
  2. Cool. My blogroll was getting so out of control that I removed it from my sidebar. This will enable me to put it right back! I’ll have a play just as soon as I get home. Thanks

  3. I didn’t see the links version yesterday!!! So glad it is there!!! Thanks a Bunch!! Though I’m almost there..I’ve two questions…I have it working..simple enough..though when I expand the category it won’t collapse- there is no [-] can I use css to adjust the look of the link, what exactly do I call the ‘elements’?
    This is so brilliant..I hope you get the word out better for this …especially to those that love 100 link lists..

  4. @William,

    I’m not sure if I understand all your questions, but I fixed a few bugs and added some more options in version 0.1.2.

    Please take a moment to give the plugin a rating. That should boost its visibility.


  5. Hi Robert
    Great plugin, there’s just one thing about it that niggles me – click on any link and it opens in the same window, despite me setting all of my links to open in new windows. If you can fix this, I’d be glad to give your plugin a rating.

  6. Cheers for the swift reply, Robert, I’ll update to the latest version as soon as it’s available from the WP repository.

    I’ve found another bug, though… “include” and “exclude” link categories doesn’t work if the category link title is 2 words (works fine if it’s just 1 word). Right now I’ve got 2 instances of the widget in my sidebar – one should have all cats excluding “Site Navigation”, the other should just include “Site Navigation”, but the first has all cats and the other shows none.

    FWIW, there’s something going on here with your comments – I found my original commment and your reply to it via the RSS Comments feed, but neither are showing in the comments list for your blog post.

    Cheers again,


  7. I’m sorry but your plugin can’t seem to work with certain web browser or my theme… I tried it but it will only work on Google chrome…

  8. Am I missing something, I used the Widget method. The list shows up on my blog but the lettering is light grey. The up/down arrows appear to be clickable when curser is over them, but nothing happens. I changed to ‘show only unused’ in widgets – to be sure.

    WP version 2.6.5

    Same result in IE and Mozilla browsers.

    Am I suppose to add the code shown at the bottom of the widget dropdown menu somewhere? Don’t see any instructions about doing so.

    Nice concept and seems flaxable – if it works.

    Please help, I’ll leave it there this way for a few hours, maybe you will see how it is.

    Thanks, John

  9. Hi,
    I used your pluging, which has worked. Suddenly, I don’t why, don’t know what I changed, I can open the categories anymore to see the links itself.
    What could it be ?
    thanks, Mario

  10. @John,

    The color of the text is inherited from the sidebar. Notice that your “My Tweeting” section is also the same grey.

    I am not quite sure why the collapsing is not working. It could be that there is a conflict with some other javascript on your site. If you have the option for “animate collapsing and expanding” checked, try unchecking that. That is the most likely culprit.

    Thanks for trying it out.


  11. Is it possible that this happened after the upgrade to the new version. I did not deactivate it, like you wrote. Just made an automatic upgrade.
    Not sure, if it has worked afterwards.
    I unchecked the animate.. still not working.
    Also the mouse is not changing when I go over the collapsing symbol of the categorie, like it did before.

  12. Changing the ‘animate’ option has no affect.
    Interesting – I removed the ‘My Tweets’ widget and now the expand arrows on ‘collapsing’ don’t even react to curser, as they had before.
    So, am I stuck with the “great conflict mystery” which will use the rest of my life to figure out?
    I guess I can’t use this cool looking plug in, can’t affort to spend a week trying everything, unless you have any other ideas,


  13. Oh, and I forgot, also after removing the ‘My Tweets’ widget – the code that was in the ‘style info’ box at the bottom of the the ‘Collapsing Liks’ drop down box is no longer there, Nothing in the box now.


  14. @Mario,

    Could you give me a link to your site so I can check it out?

    @John, you could try downloading an older version, and see if that works for you, or maybe a newer version (not yet done) would work. Sorry it is not working for you.


  15. I just wanted to let you know, I was installed your plugin, using the automatic install from WordPress. When I activated it and placed a widget in my sidebar, my load time on my blog went from about 15 sec to almost 5 minutes. When I deactivated your plugin, the load time went back to normal. Obviously something is not working right there.

    I am using the Vigilance theme on WordPress 2.7.

  16. Hekk Rob,

    I’ve tried to use your Collapsing Links widget. Seems extactly what I want as my Blogroll is in excess of 200. However, just can’t get it to work.

    I left it on my site in the very bottom of the left hand-side bar so show you what it is doing. Any ideas? Others in our blogging community I am in have also tried it and can’t get it working too. It would be great if I get this to work as it would be so useful.

    Garry Parkes

  17. Rob, I got the 1.4 version to work on my blog.
    What was changes in the 2.0 version, may be some clue as to why myself and some of mt associates can’t get it to work.

    Yes, Garry, above and a few others of us are in a small group, about 500, that are in a traingin with Alex Jeffreys and many of us want to have these fellow student blogrolls which can get huge as we get it built. I see Garry has about 200 in hi so far.

    What I am getting at here is that we can pass this plug in around to a few people, many of which are getting damn serious and building a lot of traffic to their blogs, the point right!

    If you can help us figure out how to get these working, we help you! Part of what many are doing is having lists of resources they have used, aka plug-ins.

    I will tell Garry and some of the others about my success with version 1.4

    My blog is I will put a post up there about using ver. 1.4, if you wish to add comments there feel free.

    All of the blogs are most likely using one of the last two WP versions as most are new.

  18. Now another question comes up. Some say that links, (blogroll) hold better SE weight if they have a description, so it is not just a dumb link.

    I noticed that with theh collapsing links plug-on the description does not show up with a ‘mouse over’. Is there a way to get this to show? And do you know if the description shows up to a robot even is not shown onn the site, it is in the link listing in the control panel.


  19. @Garry and John,

    Sorry for the slow reply. I just moved across country, and have been busy with Christmas and New Year’s stuff as well.

    I just checked into the problems, and I think I have fixed them. I also added a mouseover feature as you requested John. Please download version 0.2.1.


  20. Rob,

    OK, part way there. The new version works, but a little oddly.

    I use the triangle bullet in front of the title (other options work the same)
    The FIRST time you roll the curser over either the triangle or title, there is NO highlight or words show up, BUT, clicking on the triangle DOES expand the list.
    Then, I can close the list and scroll over it again, the triangle does not highlight, but the mouseover word DOES show up – but only on the one that I clicked and opened.
    Each one must be clicked on and opened once before it responds to the mouseover.

    I hope this makes sense.
    I will leave it this way so you can look at it.

    Thanks, John

  21. @John,

    Try out 0.2.2. Thanks for your patience. This plugin is the newest of the ones I have written, and so it is still a little bit immature.


  22. Rob,

    You’re the man!

    2.2 works – cool

    A couple of questions.

    So when you added the ‘mouse over’ feature, the feature of the little triangle expanding went away – can’t do both? Or is that overkill?

    And, since I’m not a coder, would you know where to look for the control of the text in the menu. On my theme the links list is a meduim grey, I want to make more pronounced, like black. I suppose in the Stylesheet, but what would it be called?


  23. It is working pretty well on my site now. There are just a couple of things that are rather strange. In Firefox 3.0.4, data keeps downloading from my site for a couple of minutes after everything on the page is there. I don’t know what it is getting, but something is happening.

    Also, on my Widgets page, when I show unused widgets to install your link widget, it shows 7 different Collapsing Links widgets, besides the one in my sidebar.

    John, on your editor page, try adding this to your stylesheet:

    .collapsLinkItem {
    color: black;

  24. Hi Rob,

    I tried the version 0.2.1 after you sorted the problems I highlighted. Works fine on the collapsing bit now.

    One thing that doesn’t seem to work is the ability to Include/Exclude categorys at the bottoms of the options. When I select this in either Include or Exclude mode it does not work at all.

    Incidentally, I am not talking about the autoexpand category option – that works fine.

    Garry Parkes

  25. @John – about style – you might also try something more general, like:
    .collapsLink {color:black}


    What makes you think that collapsing links is making your page load slowly? It looks to me like it might be all the images coming from amazon.

    The many different instances in the “unused widgets” is a result of trying to add it and then wondering “why didn’t it show up after hitting save changes?”. I will figure this out eventually, but since there is a workaround, I am not making it high priority, since I just moved, and am very busy.

    @Garry, I just tested out including/excluding on my site, and it works fine. Are you entering the name or the slug for the categories? (not the id)


  26. Rob,

    Well, the good news is, it isn’t your Collapsing Links causing the loading. It is also not the 2 Amazon pictures I have there. (If you are seeing more than that, please let me know, since there are only supposed to be 2.) It is apparently something with the WP Super Cache I installed recently. I was assuming it was your widget because it had caused such long load times the first time I tried it, which you have fixed even better than I had thought. Sorry about that.

    I also found out how to remove the extra widgets on the widget page. After having the widget active, remove it and save the changes. It does not get added back into the unused list as long as there is one still there. So it was a matter of add the widget, save changes, remove the widget, save changes, until I was down to one.

  27. Hi Rob,

    I got that include/exclude feature to work. Didn’t realise you had to use the slug reference!

    Any chance you can have an option for ‘nofollow’ on the links?

    BTW, I’ve got it on my site all up and working now and using some clever technqiues to make sure I get the desired effect on my site. I’ve got a post up today all about it. I have loads of readers on my Blog and I’m hoping to do a video later in the week to let everyone know how I did it all. The last video I did, got embedded in nearly 3,000 websites. Anyway, reason I’m telling you this I’m going to directly refer to your plugin in the video and give a big thanks to you to sorting out the problema I had.

    Thanks Rob, Check back later in the week when I put up the post & video which will mention you!!

    Garry Parkes,

  28. @Garry – thanks for your encouragement. I just released another update today, which has finally fixed the “disappearing widget” problem. I will work on adding a nofollow option (though isn’t that half of the point of having a blogroll?)


  29. Hi Rob,

    Thanks for the reply.

    ‘Nofollow’ is all to do with making sure you keep your page rank in the serach engines.

    Have a look at this article here. It explains why is is very important from a SEO point of view.

    The default for a WordPress Blogroll is Nofollow

    Hope that helps,

    Garry Parkes

  30. @Garry,

    I added a nofollow option in 0.2.4. As far as I can tell, it is not the default (in fact not even an option) in wordpress. Also, from what I have read, having many outgoing links can make you look like you’re cheating, but I think if you only have a few, then it can help page rank (it should help the page rank of the sites you are linking to).


  31. After trying to get this running and getting no drop-downs no matter how I configured it, I tried re-downloading the latest version tonight and tried again. Still nothing. I decided I would leave it up and running with the whole list of links above it, just for practical use.

    Accidently I opened my page in safari and it worked perfectly. So can I blame firefox for these issues? Any ideas on how it make it work better for everyone?

  32. Hi Rob,

    Thanks for popping by my blog. Yeah, I featured you in the tutorial video I put up about installing the widgets and how use to great effect all the configuration options. I gave you a mention and a big thank you in the video, plus mention all the widgets I used to create such a flexible and dynamic blogroll.

    I’m also going to get all the links I refer to in the video (including yours) up on my FAQ page as soon as I can.

    Thanks again for doing the changes.:-)

    Garry Parkes

  33. A problem to be fixed in future versions — I can open the link categories just fine. The trouble is that they don’t close. I refresh and they don’t close. I visit the page again and they don’t close. There’s no obvious way to shut them down. I’d like to see this feature implemented in future releases.

    Good plugin otherwise.

  34. Hi,

    I am wondering if you can help me out. After running a collapsing links upgrade, my site will not show up in my browser anymore (only about 15% of my site shows up). I am running wordpress version 2.7.1 — and I did not deactivate the collapsing link plugin before upgrading. How can I fix this? Any ideas would be most appreciated!

    My site address is

    The error messages I get are as follows:

    Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/mlehman1/public_html/sensingarchitecture/wp-content/plugins/collapsing-links/collapsLinkList.php on line 154

    Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/mlehman1/public_html/sensingarchitecture/wp-content/plugins/collapsing-links/collapsLinkList.php on line 160

    Thanks for your advice on how to fix the problem,

  35. Figured out the problem … Although there is a compatibility issued between Collapsing Links and WordPress version 2.7.1 — The real problem was coming from a different plugin on my site.

    Can’t wait until your plugin can work with 2.7.1


  36. Any chance you’d get this working on 2.7.1?

    After having problems with the display of my links on expanding and collapsing, I removed the widget and deactivated the installation to see if that would help. BAD MOVE. Now, upon reactivation, the widget box keeps disappearing altogether (i.e. I add the widget, hit save, and it disappears). At least before it was at least displaying!

    I’d therefore like to officially beg (if that will help!) for this to be updated to integrate with 2.7.1 — it was my favorite plugin before, and I don’t know what I’ll do without it!

  37. Maria and Melissa,

    It seems to work just fine for me on 2.7.1. I did just release an update today with an added features. I would recommend upgrading to version 0.2.6


  38. After updating to version 0.2.6 and 0.2.7 the Collapsing Links plugin on my blog no longer works.
    For every linkcategory it shows following code:

    class = “collapsLink show ‘onclick =’ expandCollapse (event, “â–º”, “â–¼”, 1 “, collapsLink”); return false ‘> â–º Linkcategory

  39. After upgrading to version 0.2.6 and 0.2.7 the Collapsing Links plugin om my blog no longer works.
    Following code is displayed for every linkcategorie:

    class = “collapsLink show ‘onclick =’ expandCollapse (event,”â–º”, “â–¼”, 1 “, collapsLink”); return false ‘> â–º Linkcategorie

  40. Hiya :)
    Thankyou for the awesome plugin. My question is mainly a cosmetic one. I love the effect of the collapsing and expanding and so forth, but I want to get rid of the li “image” shown for expanded links i.e. >> (or close to.) My WordPress theme already has it’s image for that but the >> sort of shows up underneath (visit my site to see what I mean.) Can’t figure out where I can go to remove/edit them out. Thanks :)

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