It is ok to add an External Link Icon in WordPress, but they are uncommon. When visitors click a menu link and leave your site, they will be astonished. At first, they may believe it is part of the same website.

The cleanest approach to let them know the link will send them to another site is to use an external link icon.

When a visitor clicks on a link that takes them to another website, certain websites may want to make it simple. Adding an external link icon is one way to do this, and chances are you’ve come across one of these while browsing Wikipedia.

Most websites use a little box with an arrow coming through it as a symbol, but you can change it into anything you like. However, sticking to the usual is perhaps the most practical alternative because visitors will understand.

Let us see how to use the External Links plugin to add an external link symbol today.

Why Does External Link Icon in WordPress Display?

The indicator exists to show that you will leave this website. This is because, in 2021, the internet emerged as a much safer platform than in the early days.

However, there is no denial that harmful websites still exist, and some visitors are wary of external links. Including the icon ensures people are aware when a direct link leads to a different location.

You might even take it a step further and include a caution box to inform visitors of this information.

Another reason is that using an external link that replaces your current tab can occasionally degrade the user experience. For example, if visitors press the back button, they will lose their place on the page.

It can trouble and discourage visitors, but of course, you may fix it by simply opening all affiliate links in a new tab.

Steps to Add an External Link Icon in WordPress

You can add the icon in several techniques, but I’ll preferably guide you to the most uncomplicated one.

The First Step to Install External Links Plugin

One of the best plugins for handling external and internal WordPress connections is the External Links plugin. Unfortunately, it has a broken link detector and other functions besides adding the icon. However, it is an excellent technique to ensure that individual links work and benefit your SEO efforts.

Bulk link options for both sorts of outgoing links are also available. For example, you may ensure all external links open in a new tab with one click. You can also use a noopener & a new window for this on a more prominent third-party website, and it can save you hours of work.

Begin by going to the left-hand admin panel, clicking on Plugins, and adding New.

Image Showing Click On Plugins &Amp; Select Add New

In the provided search box, look for the WordPress External Links plugin. It will bring up a list of additional plugins that you might find helpful. Scroll down until you find the External Links plugin, then click the “Install Now” button to install and activate it.

Add an Icon for an External Link

Leverage the Activate plugin link to add an external link icon easily. It even provides you with many options. We can find the external link’s label in the admin panel on the left.


Image Showing Click On External Links In Dashboard
The Single Link Checker, External Links, Internal Links, Excluded Links, and Exceptions tabs are the five tabs that make up the plugins. A help option is also available. Select the External Links tab from the drop-down menu.

Image Showing Click On External Link Tab

You can find several settings about all external links on your website. For example, it contains the option to customize how all external links open in WordPress and allows you to configure all official links as ‘follow’ or ‘no-follow, actual attributes, and more.

The Choose Icon Type drop-down box is at the bottom of the page. Image, Dashicon, or Font Awesome are the three options available. Each of these will provide you with a unique set of symbols. Choose Image for the most basic option.

Image Showing Select An Icon Type

Depending on your selection, more alternatives will show. This lesson assumes you chose an image. However, it works similarly regardless of what you want. Select an icon for an external link.

Image Showing Choosing An External Link Icon

Below that, you may pick whether we should place the icon to the right or left of the link.

Image Showing Choose An Icon Location

If you’ve previously added custom img> tags to your links, you can select the option to have them automatically skipped. If you are done, don’t forget to press the “Save Changes” button if you are done with changes.

The results are available on your website.

Image Showing External Link Icon Example

Kudos to you! You have added an External Link Icon in WordPress. You can alter the link settings at any moment, and the plugins offer several other useful functions.

Also Read: How to Add a Link in WordPress.

Is it Possible to Add My Icon to the Plugins?

Use your icon style, but the plugin has no direct method to do so. However, it is easy, but it will cause some coding skills. To add other icons, change the plugin’s code, which may appear difficult for novices. Make sure you size the icon correctly if you insist on doing so.

Excluding Specific Links?

You could consider the section to exclude disallowed or dead links. But, you’d be wrong. Instead, it is the place to put links you don’t want search engines to follow.

Adding an image> element to the URL is the only method to accomplish this. A picture will still be present. However, It does not seem to be possible at present.

Do These Icons Impact SEO?

While having internal and external connections is beneficial to SEO, the icons should have no bearing. While SEO trends change frequently, they’re unlikely ever to impact optimization.

Also Read: Advanced SEO Techniques to Double Your Search Traffic.

Icon Placement Suggestions

You may have noticed that the symbol separates the exclamation mark from the word in my example. As a result, your website may appear to be less appealing. The solution is straightforward, although it may take some time.

If a link is after a sentence, it should include punctuation for the best effects. The icon will show after the punctuation. Because dealing with commas can be difficult.

My advice is to take a few minutes to figure out what order looks best and then stick with it for all future relevant content. You can also go back and change prior content, although, on larger websites, this may take too lengthy.

Solution For Customization

While some CSS classes may add icons, I’d like not to have you writing and editing code. So instead, look at this guide on adding images to menu items.

You can find any image you like and place it before or after the menu item this way. You might also discover a few other uses for the plugin settings mentioned in that post.

Set Link to Open in New Tab or New Window

There’s one more thing you should do before you leave. Change the menu item’s behavior to open in a new tab.

The external link icon in WordPress is quite useful, and many people will open the link target in a new tab, but we’ll always open the types of links in a new tab. It will assist you in retaining more of your hard-earned visitors on your website.

By default, you cannot see the hidden admin settings making menu items open in a new tab hard to figure out. To finish this ultimate step, refer to this guide on opening URLs or external websites in new tabs.

Visual Information Is Powerful

It’s always a good idea to give visitors a visual sign of any content. It’s arguably the smartest choice, and nearly every website does it in some fashion.

For example, consider the icon as an external link. Social networking symbols are another more prominent visual choice. Most users look for the emblem rather than the term Facebook. That is true for almost every big brand in the market.

The home symbol is another prominent example. It’s only a house, but it’s the worldwide sign of returning to the home page, direct and to the point.


There are various reasons you should include an external link button in your menu. They can, however, result in a poor user experience if an indicator does not accompany them.

Visitors will know they are about to leave the site before clicking on the mouse cursor by putting an icon on the menu item. In addition, opening the page in a new tab prevents users from leaving your site by accident. Hence putting a website link icon is better for the user experience.


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