This plugin hasn’t been tested with the latest 3 major releases of WordPress. It may no longer be maintained or supported and may have compatibility issues when used with more recent versions of WordPress.

Random Blogroll Category


This plugin will display a given number of random blogroll categories to show.
It will show all the links in those categories.


Unless you’ve changed some defaults, your blogroll is most likely displayed by
the following line of code in wp-content/themes/[your theme]/sidebar.php:

The simplest way to display a random category is just by replacing that line
with a call to blogroll_random_category:

If you want to include a link to the whole blogroll, you can create a page in
wordpress using the links template. Note the permalink. If you’ve already got a
list of your pages in the sidebar, you’re in business. Otherwise you can add one
with the following line of code:
See complete blogroll

If your blogroll is not set to be categorized, or if there is only one category,
it will return the whole thing untouched.


Showing multiple categories

If you want multiple categories returned, you can send the function that number.
For example:

will return 5 randomized categories. If you only have 4 categories, it will
return all of them in a random order.

Retaining arguments sent to wp_list_bookmarks

If you’re sending arguments to wp_list_bookmarks, you can send those to
blogroll_random_category and it will pass them along to wp_list bookmarks. In
this example, we’re showing all categories except #23:

The change below will show five random categories, none of which will be #23. If
you only have four categories, this will return the three that are not #23:

To show one category all the time and the rest randomize the rest

In the sidebar you can explicitly call that category. When only one category is
selected, this plugin knows to return it as it is. Any subsequent calls to
blogroll_random_category ought to be instructed to exclude it in order to avoid
the possibility that it happens to be randomly selected:

<?php wp_list_bookmarks('category=23'); ?>
<?php blogroll_random_category(5, 'exclude_category=23'); ?><h3>1.0</h3>* The first version.<h3>1.5</h3>* Whereas this plugin previously altered the behavior of wp_list_bookmarks in a

way that made it impossible to see the whole blogroll. Now it uses a separate
function call so that in some instances you can see random categories, but in
others you can see the whole blogroll.
* Now possible to return multiple random categories without separate function
calls, thus eliminiating the possibility that two of the random categories
will be the same.


  • The leading closing li tag was not actually getting trimmed off due to
    bad copying and pasting. That has been resolved.

A personal request

If you use/enjoy this plugin, I’d love to hear from you. You’re under no
obligation, but I’d enjoy knowing that somebody out there is enjoying my work.
Promptly returning e-mail is not my strong suit, so you may never get the
courtesy of a reply, but you can rest assured that I appreciated your effort.

I can be reached at


  1. Upload ‘random-blogroll-category.php’ to the ‘/wp-content/plugins/’ directory
  2. Activate the plugin through the ‘Plugins’ menu in WordPress


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Contributors & Developers

“Random Blogroll Category” is open source software. The following people have contributed to this plugin.