Now that you have created your categories, it’s time to set up your menus and navigation.
Recommendations For Menus And Navigation
Keep pages separate from categories. This is not mandatory, but I have found that it makes things easier to understand for you and your visitors.
Pages are static content that does not change – things like Home, About, and Contact Us. Categories are used to organize your posts. When a reader clicks on a category menu, they are taken to a list of posts in that category. Grouping pages and posts in separate menus makes your site navigation more intuitive and easy to understand.
Since we haven’t created any pages yet, we’ll set up our category menu now, and then you can come back later and set up the pages menu.
Creating And Managing Menus – Video Tutorial[wpmudev-video video=”menus”]
Create A New Menu
Here are the steps to create a new menu.
- In the Blog Dashboard, select Appearance->Menus.
- Select “create a new menu” at the top of the page.
- Enter a name for your new menu in the Menu Name box.
- Click the Create Menu button.
Add Categories To The Menu
Now it’s time to add our categories to the menu that we just created.
- Open the tab called “Categories”.
- Within this tab, select the “View All” links to bring up a list of all the categories.
- Select the categories that you want to add by clicking the check box next to each category that you want to include in the menu.
- Click the “Add to Menu” button located at the bottom of this tab to add selected categories to your menu.
The first thing you’re going to notice when you add the categories to the menu is that the structure (categories / subcategories) gets lost. Everything is on the same level!
No worries… There’s an easy solution.
1. You can “drag and drop” the menu items to rearrange them. You’ll need to ‘drag’ each subcategory to the right until you see the dashed line move in. Then just ‘drop’ it there. You can also reorder the menu items up and down to best suite your needs.
Drag-and-drop refers to manipulating objects on a computer by using the mouse.
Drag-and-drop objects by following these steps:
1. Move the mouse pointer until it is directly over the object you want to manipulate.
2. Hold down the left mouse button.
3. With the left mouse button held down, move the mouse to where you want to drop the object. Notice how the object moves with your mouse pointer.
4. Drop the object by letting up on the left mouse button.
2. Once you have the menu items organized the way you want, click the “Save Menu” button.
Set The Menu Location
If your theme supports custom menus (the BlogPress default theme does), this step is required to actually make the menu visible on your blog. There are 2 places within the Menu page where you can set the menu location.
The first one is the “Manage Locations” tab at the top of the screen.
- Click on the Manage Locations tab at the top of the Menus page in your dashboard. (This tab will not be visible until you have created at least one menu.)
- You will see how many custom menus your theme supports. (Most themes will have 1-2 menu locations to choose from.)
- In the drop down box, select the custom menu that you wish to display in this location. (For our example select “Category Menu” in the left sidebar location.)
- Click “Save Changes”
The second place to set the menu location is within the menu editor itself.
- Scroll to the bottom of the menu editor window.
- In the section titled “Theme locations”, click the check box for the location where you want your menu to appear. (For the default theme, I recommend selecting the “secondary menu in the left sidebar”)
- Click “Save Menu” once you’ve made your selection.
NOTE: Menu locations will vary by theme, so if you change themes, you may have to reactivate or move your menu to a new location.
Now you can refresh your live blog to see the menu that we just created. The top-level categories will be displayed, and then when you hover your mouse over the category, the subcategories will become visible. This is the normal behavior for most themes.