A reader is visiting your site for the first time. Where do they go? What do they click on? Adding a custom menu to your site helps readers see how your site is organized and what you consider important. Why would you need a custom menu? Maybe you’re a food blogger trying to organize sweet and savory recipes:
Or, maybe you’re a world traveler looking to organize your adventures by location:
Perhaps, you don’t like the default order of what is being filled in your navigation as you create new pages. Creating a custom menu allows you to specify what appears and in what order.
Now to create the menu!!!
- Go to Appearance → Menus.
- If you have existing pages but no menu yet, we try to give you a head start with a menu named Menu 1 that includes those pages. Nifty! (If you don’t want to keep an added page, go ahead and open it up and click the link to Remove it.)
- Name your menu and click Create Menu. I usually choose something simple like main, but you can name it anything.
Once the menu is created, you can start adding things to it.
- To add a page, put a check next to the page and click Add to Menu. There are tabs in the Pages box to help you find your pages faster.
- Custom Links give you the option to link to anything. Just enter the URL and use the Label to set the text that will appear in the menu. Then click Add to Menu. You can link to another blog, your RSS feed, an external website, and other things that don’t deal with pages or categories specifically. Imagine a menu for your film blog that makes it easy for readers to get to IMDB.
- When adding categories, use the tabs to find the ones you want to add. Keep in mind View All will show all your categories (even the ones with zero posts). Adding a category with zero posts will give you a Not Found message on your site until you mark posts in that category, then content will appear. If you have taken the time to put your posts in categories, why not utilize them? Take that same film blog and allow readers to sort your posts by genre, year, or director.
- You can also link to specific posts or tags. If you don’t see those options on your screen, head up to Screen Options at the top of of the page, pop open that tab, and put a check next to Posts and Tags. Then, you’ll be able to add posts or tags to your menu in the same manner.
Organizing your menu
Once added to the menu, all of those items (pages, links, categories, etc.) can be dragged and dropped around elsewhere in the order you want. Drag them up or drag them down to change the order. If you want to have a dropdown below a menu item, drag it to the right of what you want the “parent” to be. Start adding the countries you’ve visited below the continents for example:
If you change the order, don’t forget to save the menu when you are done.
Creating more than one menu
Do you love your new menu so much you want to create another one? Some themes support multiple menus (above the header, below the header, in the footer, etc.): Comet, Nuntius, Academica, Imbalance2, Blaskan, Yoko, Oxygen, Able, Vostok, Mixfolio, Beach, Enterprise, Shaan, and Sight.
To create another menu, click the create a new menu link, name your menu, then click the Create Menu button. You can switch between which menu you’re editing by using the select drop-down. Choose the menu by its name and click Select.
Establishing where your menu goes
You can set your menu’s location in two different ways. One way is through the bottom of the menu via the checkbox.
The other is via the Manage Locations tab at the top of the Menus page. Just set the drop-down box to your menu’s name. Save before leaving this page.
So go forth! Be an explorer and navigate that blog! In the end, it’s up to you to decide which parts of your site you consider important and how to organize it.