Have you been wondering how to create your own custom menu’s within WordPress? Well, let’s clear that up with some nice descriptive pictures and a quick walkthrough!
What’s it all mean?
In blue or #1, I have the appearance menu labeled, this is where you will access everything to do with your appearance, custom menu’s specifically for this guide, you can see where “Menu” is selected in the 4th position of the “appearance” tab.
Red/#2 stands to signify a couple of things, first, at the top of the page it shows you where your tabs are, by default, and depending on your theme, another tab labeled “Manage Locations” will appear when you have your first menu created, but for educational purposes left it out of the diagram, its just another area to edit the placement of your menu’s. Most themes will have 2-3 placement options, some may have more or less. Generally “top”, “header” or “main” and “footer”. not including widgetized menu’s.
On the right of the picture in red/#2 is the “Create Menu“ button, this button gets overlooked more often than you would think. I’ve even done it, spending 15 minutes getting a menu put together with custom links and everything, and in the excitement, you click to your homepage without saving or creating your menu! OOPS! So, always remember to click this button, maybe even a couple times if you’re unsure it worked the first.
Everything else is labeled in green with 2 separate numbers, 3 and 4.
The left green box or #3 is where your pages will be displayed with check boxes beside their respective titles. Along with recent pages, you also have 2 more tabs “Links” and “Categories”.
The “Links” tab is particularly useful as you can use it to directly link a post to your navigation menu, or link to another website.
To do this, you simply need to copy and paste the page URL , and set the title, it should be similar to the title of the post or other separate website you are linking to.
Don’t forget to click the “add to menu” button! otherwise you’ll end up with a bit of wasted time rather than a clickable link!
Categories are quite similar to custom links in the sense that they let you “directly link” to posts in your navigation bar, the primary difference being, you can only pick your predefined categories to display rather than specific posts. Although, for some, this method may prove more efficient than using specific links.
By default you will only have 1 category, being “Uncategorized”. Creating categories can be done from the post page, and I talk about it here.
Categories and tags are definitely 2 things you are going to want to learn how to efficiently utilize if you want to create a successful and well put-together website, these things go hand in hand, you cannot have success without organization.
I briefly touched on the Manage Location’s tab a little earlier in this guide, but I’m going to go a little more in-depth here because it’s a function that you should be familiar with, and it’s easy to do so if you have the proper guidance and pictures!
Like I previously stated, there are a few definitive ways to “set” where your new custom menu will appear, the first being right underneath of your newly created menu in the edit page (see diagram below)
As you can see in the diagram, I have again highlighted 2 areas, the top one, or green box is where it will tell you that your menu has been successfully created, so if you’re not seeing the red box, make sure the green box is appearing before panicking!
The red box is the first place you will be able to manage where your newly created menu appears. In my sample theme, I only have 1 option being “main menu”, but depending on your theme, you may have 2 or more options. Don’t forget to save your menu after you have selected where you would like it to appear!
Remember when I referenced the Manage Locations button which wasn’t appearing before? Well here i,t is.
This is just another way to manage where your theme will appear. After clicking on the Manage Locations tab, you should be taken to a screen like depicted below.
Like I said, you should be taken to a screen like this, and from here, you should have your options laid out with a drop-down menu in case you have multiple menus which you would like to “set” without having the “switch” between them from the Edit Menus page. Obviously, when you only have one menu this wont be a concern, but as your site grows you may want to develop multiple menu’s for multiple areas.
Custom Menu Titles
If you’re unhappy with the titles that your menu items are being given by default for whatever reason, be it length or whatever. You can change the titles quite easily within the menu editing function.
In the above picture, I have drawn a circle around the arrow which you will need to click to expand the menu of the item you would like to edit. Once this drop-down has been extended, you’re going to want to edit the attribute “Navigation Title”. Don’t forget to click “save menu” and now check out your changes!
That about finishes up this guide for how to create your own custom menu’s on WordPress. Just remember to always make sure you’ve saved everything, and double check the settings I’ve shown you if you’re running into technical difficulties, it’s easy to overlook a simple point when your mind is in a panic.
If you have any questions about anything in this guide, feel free to ask in the comment section below!