I Want Custom Menus!
So, you’ve just set up your WordPress site and probably have a great theme to go along with it that’s absolutely perfect, almost. It’s hard to find the perfect theme that meets all of our expectations. One of the great things about WordPress is that it can be totally customized. One of the first things that I modify are the menus. A lot of times the theme that I’ve chosen tends to put all of my categories and pages on the same menu bar. Personally I like to have my Pages on one menu at the very top of the site and a navigation menu with all of my sites’ categories. I feel that this gives a cleaner look. Making custom menus in WordPress is not hard at all and this tutorial will walk you through the basic steps.
After logging into your WordPress site you should be at the Dashboard. In the left hand pane you will see the section labeled “Appearance”. This is where the options are for menus. Go ahead and click on “Menus”.
Once there, you’ll see the following section at the top of the page. To begin, give an identifying name for your first menu. I typically use the general location or function of the menu. For example, navigation menu, top menu, footer menu, etc. Click the “Create Menu” button when you are finished. If you need to add additional menus, simply click the “+” tab and repeat the process. As additional menus are added notice how a tab is created for that particular menu. You can switch back and forth between menus by clicking the tabs. Also, notice that on each tab there is a separate “workspace”.
You can add pages, categories or custom links to a menu. Make sure that you have clicked on the tab of the menu you want to customize at the top of the page. To add a custom link to your menu, simply enter the URL and type a display name. Then click “Add to Menu”.
To add a category or a page, simply place a checkmark next to the page or category that you wish to add to the menu. Then click “Add to Menu”. Notice how the menu populates underneath the tab to your right as you add items to it.
If you are using single categories, then you should be all set. But if you are using sub-categories then you will have to manually arrange everything that you just added. To do this, simply drag the category box where you want it to be a sub-menu.
Take a look at the example to the right. Notice how the sub-categories are indented. The main or parent category is first and the sub or child categories are indented beneath it. When you publish your site, and the user clicks or hovers over this particular menu item, it will expand to show the sub-categories.
You can do this with categories, pages or links. Basically, just arrange them however you see fit.
The last step is to decide where you want each menu to appear on your WordPress site. In the upper left hand corner you should see a box that looks like the example on your right. The primary menu is the one that is typically located at the very top of your WordPress site. The secondary menu is typically the one right above your main content. This is usually the navigation menu. I typically use the primary menu for pages like About, Contact, etc. The secondary menu is where I usually define all the different categories and their sub-categories for navigation. Simply select one of your saved menus from the drop down list for each location and be sure to click “Save” to finalize your changes.
So that’s how you make custom menus for your WordPress site. Not too hard was it? 🙂
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