Website User Guide

WordPress Menu User Guide

Preparation Before Creating Your WordPress Menu

Let’s start by planning your WordPress (WP) menu. While it’s easy to create a menu in WP (just navigate to Appearance > Menus), designing a menu that is both effective and user-friendly requires some thought. Start by considering:

  1. Your Audience: Think about who will be using your menu. Different visitors, like new versus returning users or members versus non-members, have varying needs.
  2. Visitor Navigation Goals: Decide where you want your visitors to go. This will shape the type of menus you’ll create.

 

Real-World Example: OptiCred.com

At OpiCred, we redesigned our header menu to direct traffic to specific areas like our Hosting service, Google Optimization Service and Testimonials. We streamlined the menu to offer fewer, but more focused options. This approach demonstrates how each menu item can guide different visitor segments to desired pages. We also have a top menu (secondary menu) that links to About Us, Contact Us and Login pages.

 

Creating Your WordPress Menu

To start building your menu, head to Appearance > Menus in your WP dashboard. Here’s what to do:

  1. Menu Name: This is for your reference only and won’t be seen by visitors. Use descriptive names to remember each menu’s purpose.
  2. Menu Components: You can add Pages, Posts, Custom Links, and Categories. Custom Links allow you to link to any URL.
  3. Menu Settings: Generally, disable the ‘Automatically Add Pages’ option to avoid clutter. Choose the display location based on your theme’s layout.
  4. Add Content: Select items and click ‘Add to Menu’. Customize the Navigation Label for user visibility. This is what appears in the menu.Creating-a-Custom-WordPress-Menu-Add-Item
  5. Save Your Menu: Don’t forget to save your menu to make it go live.

Creating a Drop-Down Menu

For a drop-down menu, drag items under the Menu Structure to nest them under a parent item. Use a Custom Link with a ‘#’ for non-navigable menu items. For more advanced menus, consider plugins like UberMenu or Max Mega Menu.

Using Multiple Menus

Consider using multiple menus for larger sites. For instance, you might want a specific menu in blog sidebars. This can be done via Appearance > Widgets, using the Navigation Menu widget. Customize visibility based on your needs.

 

Managing Menu Locations

To control where your menus appear on your site, WordPress allows you to manage menu locations:

  1. In your WordPress dashboard, navigate to Appearance > Menus.
  2. Select the Manage Locations tab at the top of the page.
  3. You’ll see a list of available menu locations in your theme. Each location represents a spot where your theme can display a menu.
  4. Assign your created menus to any of these locations by selecting a menu from the drop-down list next to each location.
  5. Once you’ve assigned menus to your desired locations, click the Save Changes button to apply your settings.

WordPress-Menu-Manage-Locations

This feature is particularly useful for themes that support multiple menus, such as a primary navigation menu, a footer menu, or a sidebar menu.

 

Deleting a Menu Item

To remove an item from your WordPress menu, follow these steps:

  1. Find the menu item you want to delete in the menu editor window.
  2. Click on the arrow icon in the top right-hand corner of the menu item box to expand it.
  3. Select the Remove link. The menu item will be immediately removed from the menu.
  4. Remember to click the Save Menu button to save your changes.

 

Conclusion

Navigating the WordPress menu system can be straightforward and powerful once you understand it. Remember, menus should be tailored to your site’s needs and audience. Not every link needs to appear in every menu. In WordPress menus, simplicity can often be more effective.

Key Points

Before Creating a Menu

  • Consider your audience and their needs.
  • Determine the navigation goals for your visitors.

Creating a WordPress Menu

  • Access the menu creation through Appearance > Menus.
  • Use descriptive names for each menu.
  • Add Pages, Posts, Custom Links, and Categories as menu items.
  • Customize the Navigation Label for user visibility.
  • Save your menu to apply changes.

Creating a Drop-Down Menu

  • Nest menu items under a parent item for drop-downs.
  • Use a ‘#’ in Custom Links for non-navigable menu items.

Using Multiple Menus

  • Consider multiple menus for different site sections.
  • Use widgets for additional menu placement like sidebars.

Managing Menu Locations

  • Assign menus to different locations via Manage Locations.
  • Save changes after assigning menus to locations.

Deleting a Menu Item

  • Expand the menu item and click Remove to delete.
  • Always save your menu after making changes.