Creating & managing menus in WordPress

Creating & managing menus in WordPressBy default and in most cases, as you create pages (not posts), a link is added to your template’s menu system. Each link is listed alphabetically and you have no immediate control over order or which links are shown. However using the Menus Manager in wp-admin, you can be more specific. You can also create bespoke links, hierarchies and manage multiple menus.

Establishing a new menu

In order to make use of this feature within WordPress, login to wp-admin and try the following:

  1. Click on Appearance->Menus.
  2. If you would like to create a new menu, click on the ‘or create a new menu’ link. Alternatively, select a menu from the ‘select a menu to edit’ drop down box.
  3. For management purposes and if it doesn’t already have one, give your menu a title within the ‘Menu Name’ box (fig.1).
Menu Name

fig.1

Adding links to your menu

  1. You have three areas to gather links to populate your menu.
    1. Pages – pages that you have already created.
    2. Links – urls that you can specify, pointing toward or away from your website.
    3. Categories – a list of categories and subcategories that you have already defined.
  2. Click on ‘Add to menu’ any defined links from any of these menu groups. This will send them over to the window with the header ‘Menu structure’.

Editing title & mouse over title

May be your category or page titles are a little too long for your menu system? You can easy edit them for your menu by doing the following:

  1. Click on the arrow at the right hand end of your menu item. It will expand to reveal more details.
  2. Edit the Navigation Label to define the textual appearance of your link.
  3. Edit the Title Attribute to define the mouse over description of your link.

Re-organizing your menu

This part is easy. Simply click on your menu item’s bar and drag and drop it into the desired order.

Deleting links from your menu

To delete a menu item, expand it and click on Remove at the bottom of the dialogue box.

Menu heirarchy

fig.2

Managing menu hierarchy

You can also create a hierarchy by dragging the menu items beneath and to the side of the parent item. This can be a little tricky at first, but practice makes perfect (fig.2).

Saving your menu

Click on the ‘Save Menu’ button at the top and bottom of the menu manager. You must do this in order to retain and use your menu.

Making your menu live

You can save multiple menu systems, but only one may be used at a time. Once you have finished putting your menu together, you can then make it live at the front end of your website.  To do this, you can:

  1. Click on the Manage Locations tab.
  2. Choose a menu system from the ‘Assign Menu’ dropdown.
  3. Click on ‘Save Changes’.

You can also:

  1. Select the ‘Primary Navigation’ box at the bottom of your menu’s management screen.
  2. Click on ‘Save Menu’.

There are other ways to activate your menu system within your template, but the above are two of the quickest methods.

Further reading

Creating categories & tags

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