The Blogroll is something that’s near and dear to my heart. It was something that every blog I ran growing up had, and I used it extensively. It was my way to direct readers to other great content, and I hoped that others would find me good enough to include my blog in their blogroll. It was a wonderful system of give-and-take, but it’s not going to be around for much longer.
WPBeginner found a ticket on the WordPress Web site that points to blogrolls being removed in the next major update (3.5). The ticket refers to two possible solutions for the removal of the blogroll and the pros and cons of each action:
Hide the menu. For new installs, stop inserting default links and hide the menu, only. (Also the default widget.) For old installs, remove default links if those are the only ones they have. Hide the menu if they have no links. In this situation, we could make it so the menu does remain accessible, which means they could go in, insert a link, and suddenly the feature would come back to life.
Pros: Focuses on our main goal here, which is UI bloat.
Cons: Ignores code bloat and required future maintenance of essentially dead code.
Move everything to a plugin. For new installs, everything is gone. No more table, no more API. For old installs, on upgrade, install a compatibility plugin that contains the API, if they have any links. Remove the table on upgrade if they don’t have any links beyond the default one.
Pros: Handles both UI and code bloat in one big swing.
Cons: Backwards compatibility nightmare. Functions are removed rather than deprecated. Even just truncating these functions and conditionally defining them could result in fatal errors from plugins expecting different return values. Sites not relying on the automatic upgrade could break.
Either way, it seems that WordPress is pretty serious about ditching it. The good news is that people who were already using blogrolls won’t have their links deleted. New users, however, will not have access to the functionality.
Of course, we do have to ask if blogrolls are even worth it? WPBeginner feels that WordPress Menus are a perfectly suitable replacement. They perform all the functions of the blogroll and then some. That being said, Andrew Nacin has created a plug-in for WordPress that will keep the blogroll intact. You can grab it here.