Unable to Add Links in Your Posts? Try HTML

Text editor
Text editor

If you, like me and fellow bloggers, as Rebekah and John, have trouble adding links to your posts with the new (and improved) inline link tool, HTML might help. It did help me, after I spent an hour troubleshooting (to no avail), then went (swearing profusely) to have a smoke, on which the solution occurred to me. I’m as presumptuous as to think that I might be telling you something useful.

When you are unable to add a link using the Insert/edit link tool in the Visual editor, you might want to switch to the Text editor. In there, locate the word or phrase that you want to make a link. Apply this easy HTML (the bits in angular brackets), in fact so easy that I can do it, so you can too. Just replace the contents of the quotes with the link that you’re trying to add:

<a href="https://www.maraeastern.com/tag/rants/">Click this to read all my rants.</a>

Where I was previously unable to add a link at all, this did the trick just fine. If you feel fancy and want to open the link in a new window, try this:

<a href="https://www.maraeastern.com/tag/rants/" target="_blank">Click this to read all my rants.</a>

And you get this:

Click this to read all my rants.

Should you wish to read more about what else is new and improved in the latest WordPress Coleman release, go here. Have fun. Wait. Don’t go away yet. Please tell me in the comments that I’m brave because I (mostly) refrained from sharing any evaluative comments on the inline link tool in particular or the (dis)functionality of things in general. Thank you and you’re welcome.


Author: Mara Eastern

I'm a sardonic blogger, snapper, scribbler and rhymer; a virtual space invader who indulges in cheerful negativism, morbid self-deprecation and bleak humour.

28 thoughts

  1. Thanks for the link Mara! The usual method should work but not many care to mess with HTML I suppose. Hardline bloggers should know at least some HTML and CSS.

    Do you play with PHP? Not sure I could do that side of coding these days. Been a few years. Good post ❤️


    1. I’m tech hopeless, but I still can do HTML and some CSS, so I imagine the next man can do it too. PHP though, I poked into it once, and I made the entire site go down and locked myself out of admin. I never tried again, except for a few days under the guidance of the instructor when I was taking an IT course. I didn’t learn anything. (Well, not PHP, certainly.)

      This inline link tool is driving me nuts though. Sometimes it works for me, sometimes it doesn’t. The idea of being able to search for a link you want to add without leaving the editor is nice, but as is far too often the case, it’s just not executed carefully enough. I think it’s an incredible waste of effort to create something that doesn’t work properly.


  2. Great article. I hadn’t been blogging much until recently so the new link took threw me. Sometimes it locks up my page, it seems far more long winded also to make sure it opens up in a new page. The old system for me worked just fine. I’m not great with html at all or css so might have to create a test page for this 🙂


    1. Hello there! Great to see you around 😀 Though I’ve been following your recent cooking posts with a degree of envy – my cooking is disgusting.

      Sorry to hear you’re one of the bloggers affected by the new link tool. Let’s hope that WordPress people will smooth the kinks so that everything works as it should. Meanwhile, good luck with coding! No need to fear html, you can’t break your site with it, in the worst case scenario, your text just won’t display the way you want it.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh dear, it’s that alien language again! I’m starting to understand bits of it. Should I be worried, do you think?! I did write down the instructions for the link thingy to new window. But at the moment I’m not having any problems with adding links, so fingers crossed……..thanks for the info. You are very brave indeed applause, loud clapping 🙂


    1. Awe, thank you for indulging me playing geek 😉 It’s good to hear that you have no trouble adding links, I guess it’s unlikely that you should start having any if it’s been working well from the start for you. I’m not sure how come some people have issues with this and some don’t. Here’s to things working as they should!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. If you are tech hopeless, then I am tech….errr….tech hopeless squared I guess. I am simultaneously impressed with your ability to understand and explain this, and feeling very dumb because I understood none of it. I couldn’t even get past the “angular brackets” line.


    1. I’m sorry that my post proved to have an adverse effect on you 😦 I am tech hopeless for sure but I perversely enjoying geeking out. As I’m, among other things, a proofreader and editor, infrequently used special symbols in typography don’t intimidate me. I’m just weird. shrug

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, I’m definitely weird, too. But my weirdness doesn’t translate into anything beneficial when it comes to navigating the interwebs.


        1. Haha 🙂 You might be surprised. I doubt that my weirdness translates into anything useful, besides me bragging that I know some very primitive html, which is under normal circumstances almost entirely useless.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. I just tried the ‘new and improved’ method of posting and the visual interface and I didn’t have a problem inserting a link, so I wonder what problem people are having?

    I normally use the Admin panel post interface and text mode. I’ve got used to it and I like to see what is going on.

    When I want to see how to do something I don’t often do, I use the Visual interface to make a change, save draft, and then swap back into the text mode to see what the code is. 🙂


    1. Good to hear everything is working for you as it should! It seems that there was a few different problems with the new way of inserting links, my problem was that instead of adding a link to selected text, the link rewrote the selected text and was inserted in my post as it was. While this would probably work too, I didn’t like this “dumb” way of inserting links and was happy to find a way around it. At the moment my visual editor came to its senses and works normally, so I imagine it was just a teething problem 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Great explanation. I’ll be very interested to see what they have to say about that pop-up I got!

    When I tried to link (in the new editor), before I got the pop-up, the whole box also kept changing size on its own — it was very weird.


    1. I got my reply today about the Rowling gallery post format, and the response was disappointing. It’s a “feature of the theme”. Whatever. I’m becoming unhealthily obsessed with poking around WordPress and setting it to rights 😉


        1. Happiness is getting a support answer 😀 I just got a very good answer from the premium customer support today and will blog about it in due time, of course. It’s all about the Rowling theme, so it’s of limited interest, but I think some people might find it useful.


  7. When I worked as a web-designer (yes, I’ve had that job too) all the websites were built on simple html-coding. During my studies, in order to understand the basics, we had to create all the graphics, place the graphics in folders and write up all the html from a blank document. A tedious process.


    1. I’m not so much surprised that you worked as a designer as rather that you didn’t go on with the career. Looks like it could have been a good fit for you.

      I underwent the process you describe when I was taking my three-week web development course recently. We did use a “smart” editor for writing code, which was so terribly dumb that I immediately disabled all its features and used it as a simple word pad. I also made a primitive html web as my homework. The result was a mixture of hilariousness and tragedy.

      But you did use some CSS attributes in your HTML, right? I can’t quite imagine what was before CSS, if anything.


      1. Before CSS it was only html. Boring shit.
        One of the guys that invented CSS now works in the same building as I do.
        When i worked as a designer I ended up at an office where I was the only designer. I came directly from school and needed input from other designers/co-workers in order to grow and learn some more. Since the company couldn’t provide this, I decided to educate myself further and after another year of studies there were no IT jobs to get anywhere; people were being fired all over the place and company after company got shut down… Education is fucking over-rated.


        1. I find HTML anything but boring. I like to have a narrow set of simple tools and take the challenge of making the best out of them. I would have been such a good designer in the 1990s 😉

          Of course education is overrated. As a PhD, I can confirm this. After spending most of my life educating myself formally in institutions, I discovered that learning things at home works best me.


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