How to Manage and Customize Your Menus in WordPress

How to Manage your Menus in WordPress

Most WordPress themes out there currently use WordPress’ core functionality to support menu management.  When I say “Menu Management” I mean to say that you can customize the structure of pages, categories and custom links that appear in the menus on your website in the backend of your WordPress website just like in the screenshot below.

If you’ve ever tried to control things like the ordering of items in a menu before you know that this could be a laborious operation requiring code changes, ordering of pages using some obscure numbering system or something else that is less then favourable eating up your time and patience.  I am going to show you how this functionality works in WordPress, how you can drag and drop menu items to change the ordering of what appears in your menu and how you can mix pages, categories and custom links to get the most out of your menus.  So let’s look at the Drag and Drop ordering of menus first.

Drag and Drop Ordering of the Menu

Drag and Drop Menu Functionality in WordPress

The great thing about this from a usability perspective is that you can drag and drop elements of your menu to get the correct order and hierarchy in your menu.  The top page is going to be the far left element on your menu and the bottom one is going to be the furthest right.  What is great with the drag and drop functionality is that it allows you customize your blog or website’s menus without writing a line of code or referencing JavaScript to control the hierarchy of the menu items.  As you will see there are a number of great things that doing this in WordPress allows you to do including creating custom links and mixing category, pages and custom links in your menu.

3 Types of things you can add to your menus

Adding Pages to your Menu

Pages – This option allows you to select pages that you want to appear on your primary and secondary navigation menus. You can setup page relationships that don’t exist necessarily on the pages themselves in the “Page Attributes” section of a WordPress page allowing you to change the parent and child relationships that are already set for pages in your WordPress website.

Adding Categories to Your Menu

Categories – Categories, unless you are using them from something else refer to the blog categories listed on your WordPress blog.  The great thing to note here is that you can add all your categories or only select the best performing categories from you blog (aka “the ones that people visit most”) and include those in your menu making it easy for visitors to find what they are looking for on your website.

Adding Custom Links to Your Menu

Custom Links – You also have the option to use and setup custom links which becomes useful if you are linking to other websites that aren’t contained in your WordPress website.  Normally, a few years ago and even today some people still “Hard Code” the values for these custom links (“Hard Code” means when programmers in code that doesn’t change unless modified at the code level which is a pain in the butt to change later on) into their menus but that’s not an issue in WordPress.  There is no custom code needed it add custom links to your menu now.

Can I mix Categories, Custom Links and Pages in menu setup?

The answer here is that you can do this in pretty much any fashion that you can imagine.  For instance if you had a page created for your blog you could then take categories on your blog and add them under the blog page and add a custom link to your LinkedIn profile.

Mixing Pages, Categories and Custom Links into your WordPress Menu

 

I really like the fact that menu management is so easy and fluid for WordPress users and that the sky is the limit in terms of customize where things go and how they fix together in this section.  If you’ve been wondering where to go to customize and manage your menu in WordPress then definitely have a look here.  You’ll be glad that you did and you don’t even need to know any coding to create it successfully.

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