WordPress basics – Part 5: Creating menus

Great, you’ve created some posts and some static pages for your website. The question now is how do the visitors to your website find this content. The answer is simple, through a well thought out menu Structure. Menus can be as simple or as specific as you like. The rule of thumb is that each page or each blog subject must have a corresponding menu item to accompany it. Let’s see what that means.

Overview

You can find the menu administration screen from the side menu, under “Appearance”.

The Menu Design screen

On the menu design screen, you’ll find the content of your website; pages, posts, custom links (which we will cover later) and post categories.

Creating a menu

Creating a menu is as simple as selecting what pages you wish to permit the visitor to see through a menu.

To finalize the process, you click on the “Add to Menu” button and all selected items are added to the menu, but at the same level. Thus, they become top level menu items.

Creating menu headers with sub-items

As you’ll notice, the collection of pages in this example contains a hierarchical structure (levels). It was created this way in order to group certain subjects. However, the top levels of this structure are not meant to be represented in the menu structure. They simply exist in order to create the grouping.

In order to create menu sub-items, we must create custom links. When creating a menu item to be used as a section header, we simply enter the “#” symbol as the URL and provide a link text. Again, we finalize the process by clicking the “Add to Menu” button.

You’ll notice that all menu items are at the same level, indicated by their inclusion with only their navigation label.

In order to create menu sub-items, must place the custom links above their section sub-items, and then slide the sub-sections so that they are slightly to the right of the header items. The sub-sections will be indicated. The menu structure looks like this:

It is also important to note that we can have several types of menus. Generally, we can also use a Main Menu as a Slide Panel Mobile menu, but we can also create an alternate menu for use on the mobile platform. You simply have to make sure that the proper choices are clicked before finalizing.

Don’t forget to save…

Once we’ve created the proper structure, it is simply a question of confirming our menu design by clicking the “Save Menu” button.

And there you are! If all has gone well, the expected result should look like the following:

In the next installment, we will look at choosing, installing and customizing themes in WordPress in order to create a truly unique website. Please stay tuned!

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