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Alright WordPress beginners, here’s a quick and useful one for you! Ever looked at the WordPress Dashboard and wondered “How Do I Link a Page to a Menu?”. Well wonder no longer. If you’ve imported a theme to your WordPress site, you’ve probably also imported that theme’s menu structure. I’ll take you through editing these existing ones, including adding all types of pages, and an overview of creating new menus.
Depending on your theme, you should have at least 2 menus. Most commonly, this will be the Main Menu (top of the page) and the Footer menu (bottom of the page). If you’ve imported a theme, you’ll probably already have two menus named in a similar way, so you should be able to figure out what’s what.
When viewing your WordPress Dashboard, hover over Appearance in the left sidebar and click Menus. You’ll be taken to the Menus… erm, menu. Click on Manage Locations and you’ll be able to see how many menus your theme supports, and what the names are of the current active menus.
While this will vary from business to business / blogger to blogger, a basic rule of thumb is to have your most important pages in your menu at the top. What do you want to be known for? What do your website users want to know? What do you want them to know? Have this in the top menu. This will usually include your services or products, your blog, your about page and your contact page. Everything else, including shipping information, returns and refunds, legal and privacy pages, can go in the footer menu.
In order to link a page to a menu, navigate to menus in WordPress Dashboard and ensure you’re in the “Edit Menus” section. Select a menu to edit from the drop down menu, or create a new one. Under “Menu Structure” you’ll see the pages that currently exist in the selected menu. From top to bottom, they will appear left to right across the screen.
As you can see, my Main Menu has mostly pages, with the Portfolio “category” in the middle. Toggle down the little arrow to view options or delete the page from the menu. (Note: this will not delete the page from your site; just from the menu). Here you can also name the navigation label to something different than the page name. For example, using “Start Here” instead of “Home” is a popular trend for some websites at the moment. (Note: this will not change the name of the page; just the navigation label).
Under “Add Menu Items” you can see a series of drop down menus for the different types of pages you can link to from your menu, including specific blog posts. Select the pages you wish to add, and click Add to Menu. You can also add blog post Categories to your menu, as I’ve done. User case for this is to showcase a specific type of post (as I’ve done with my Portfolio), or establish with the reader right away what your blog is primarily about. For example, a food blogger may have the categories of “recipes” and “restaurant reviews” in their menu.
Finally, drag your menu items up and down to change the order in which they appear. If you wish, you can also create a nested menu which will appear like a drop-down menu. To achieve this, while you’re dragging your menu items around, indent the pages for the drop-down under it’s “parent” page, as pictured. So in this example above, Blog is the parent page, and Portfolio will be nested as a drop-down. About will then drop-down from Portfolio!
And simple as that! You’ve got your custom menu sorted. Save your changes and view your website to see your handiwork!