Managing your Navigation

We all need land­marks in the dig­i­tal world, right? How­ev­er, talk­ing about the ecosys­tem of a web­site, you should refer to the nav­i­ga­tion menu as a com­rade. In the end, is just a map that guides you to dig deep­er and ful­ly enjoy the site expe­ri­ence.

It may sound naive, but it is what makes users leave a web­site with­out hes­i­ta­tions. A bad nav­i­ga­tion comes along with frus­tra­tions and an illog­i­cal flow. The good news is that Word­Press includes a sol­id menu man­ag­er tool to keep peo­ple on track and con­vince them to come back. Who doesn’t aim for such a behav­ior, right?

Step 1 — Create a Custom Menu

You can eas­i­ly cre­ate nav­i­ga­tion menus in Word­Press. Log into your Dash­board, go to Appear­ance → Cus­tomize  Menus and click Add a menu but­ton.
Now you’re able to set the loca­tion of your menu by check­ing the field you find it suit­able: Foot­er, Pri­ma­ry Head­er, Sec­ondary Head­er and Social Menu.Once you have a con­ve­nient name for it, just press the Cre­ate Menu

Step 2 — Add Items to your Menu

Now that you have a menu and a loca­tion for it, all you need to do is to add menu items by:

  • Click­ing on the Add Items but­ton and choos­ing the menu item type from the list that appears on the right.
  • After select­ing the desired item from the list, please click Add to Menu but­ton.

You can add sev­er­al types of menu items to your cus­tom menu such as:

  • Page: Adds a link to anoth­er page on your site.
  • Link:  Adds a cus­tom URL link­ing to anoth­er site.
  • Cat­e­go­ry: Shows a feed of blog posts from a giv­en cat­e­go­ry.
  • Tag:  Shows a feed of blog posts from a giv­en tag.
  • Post: Links direct­ly to a blog post on your site.

NOTE: If the ele­ments that you’d like to add to your menu are not avail­able on the left side of the page, just click the Screen Options but­ton at the top right side of the page. Once you did that, a list of dif­fer­ent mod­ules will be dis­played. You can check now all the miss­ing ele­ments from the menu

Step 3 — Organize your Menu

With all the menu items in place, you can change the order and the place­ment of the menu items by sim­ply using the drag-and-drop ges­ture. Using the same sys­tem you can even cre­ate sub-menus or drop-down style menus. Just drag the indi­vid­ual items to the right and set them under a par­ent tab. In case you want to revert your changes please drag the menu items to the left to make them par­ent again. Feel free to play around, and find the right scheme for your par­tic­u­lar needs.

Step 4 — Assign it to a Menu Location

Every­thing is pret­ty much set once you reached this step. The next phase is to let Word­Press know where you need the nav­i­ga­tion menu to be show­cased. To do that, browse to the Menu Loca­tions area and depend­ing on what theme you’re using, you’ll be able to choose from the avail­able Menu Loca­tions. Sim­ply assign the pre­vi­ous­ly cre­at­ed menu to the desired Loca­tion, and you are off to the races.

Quick Tips:

  • The Mag­i­cal Num­ber Sev­en (plus or minus two)
    This is because short-term mem­o­ry holds only sev­en items. It’s a fact, not a wish­ful think­ing thing. With few­er menu items, your vis­i­tors’ eyes are less like­ly to scan past impor­tant items. Every time you remove a menu item, the remain­ing items become more promi­nent. Chal­lenge your­self to lim­it your nav­i­ga­tion to five items.
  • Avoid Drop-Down Menus
    By not using drop-down style menus, we reduce the pos­si­bil­i­ties of the web­site vis­i­tors to miss the rel­e­vant con­tent. Keep it sim­ple.


How do I create a un-clickable parent tab for my sub-menu?

To cre­ate a menu item that is not click­able but will still con­tain sub-menus items, just add a Cus­tom Links menu item and add a # sym­bol in the “Link Address (URL)” field.

Updated on October 16, 2017

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