Custom Menus are a list of links to your content that are usually displayed as the main navigation for your site. The menu location can vary depending on your theme, and some themes offer additional menus such, such as a footer menu, or a social links menu. Watch this video to see how to add a custom menu to your site.
- [Voiceover] Custom menus are a list of links to your content that are usually displayed as the main navigation for your site. The menu location can vary depending on your theme, and some themes offer additional menus, such as a footer menu or a social links menu. To add a custom menu, I'll go to My Sites and click on Menus in the Personalize section. On the left we have a box that shows what menu areas are available with this theme. Clicking the drop-down, I can see that the 2016 theme has a primary menu and a social links menu.
On the right side I can see any menus that have been created. Right now there's only the default menu. By default, the primary menu area for your theme is selected for you, and the default menu has already been started. So we can see here that the primary menu is using the default menu. If we select the social links menu, we can see that there is no menu currently being used. I'm gonna start by creating a brand new menu to assign to my primary menu. To do that, I click this menu drop-down and then click Add New Menu.
To change the name of your menu, click on the pencil icon, and give it a new name, like Main Menu. To start adding items to your menu, click this plus button. That brings up a really handy panel where I can either link a page, link, category, tag, or individual post. Let's take a look at each of these. Clicking on Page brings up a list of all published pages on my site. I can pick what I want from this list or use Search to quickly find the page I want. Next, we have Link.
This is used if you'd like to link to anything other than a page, category, tag, or post. Typically this would be used to link to an external site. For instance, if this is your business site, but you have a separate site where your customers can log in, you might want to add a link to that in your menu. You can also choose whether or not you want to open the link in a new window or tab. My rule of thumb here is to open it in a new window or tab only if it's an external link. The next thing I can select is a category. Adding a category link would take a visitor directly to that category's index page.
That's the same as with tags. Just like pages, you can either scroll through this list of tags or just search to find the one you're looking for. Lastly, you can link to an individual post. I have to say that I rarely see a link to an individual post as part of the main navigation, but I reckon there could be scenarios when you'd want to do that. So now that you've had a tour of available menu items, I'm going to start actually adding items to my menu. I'm gonna start out with a page. Note that I can add a link to my site's home page.
This is common practice, but I want to point out another option for you as well. I'm gonna navigate to the front page of my site in a different browser tab. What you'll see is that the site title is automatically linked to my domain, which of course goes to my home page. That's a standard feature in WordPress. So there's nothing wrong with adding a home link to your menu, but be aware that you don't have to have it. A lot of readers tend to expect that they can click on a site's title or logo to get back to home. So back to my menu, I'm going to add the About page by selecting that.
Now before I click this Add Item button, I want to show you that I can change the label on this menu item. For instance, I could change this to be About Us. That wouldn't change the page title, it'd still be About, but the link in my navigation would say About Us. That's a feature that could come in really handy. Now I'll click Add Item. Now I'm gonna click this again to add a new item. Since I already have one item in my menu, this Add Item button pops up a few location options for where I can put my link. I can add the item above, below, or as a child or sub-menu item.
I'm going to pick Add Menu Item below. From here I'll go through the same process and then add the Contact page. Next, I want to add a link between About and Contact, so I can click Add Item on About and add a menu item below, or I could click Add Item on Contact and add the menu item above. I'll go with above and then select the Short Stories category to add to my menu. Let's add one more item to our menu. I'm gonna make it a sub-menu to short stories.
I'll go back to category and select Funny and click Add Item. So now I have four items in my menu. Three are top level and one is a sub-level. I'm gonna go ahead and click Save, and let's see how this looks. Here I can see my menu complete with a sub-menu item. Going back to our menu, we can edit this at any time. That could be changing a link, changing the link text, changing the position of a menu item, or deleting it altogether. To edit a menu item, just click the corresponding pencil icon.
Let's pretend like I wanted to move this contact link to be right next to About Us. In that case I could click Move, and I would click the Move Here right where I want to insert it, and then I get the familiar option of whether I want to put it above, below, or make it a child item. In this case I wanted to move the item below. And there you can see that Contact is relocated. Let's go ahead and save that and see how it looks. Going back to the front end of the site and refreshing it, I can see that Contact is now right beside About Us.
So there it is, my primary menu is set up and good to go. Keep in mind that based on what theme you're using, your menu may show in a different location.
- Creating a WordPress.com account
- Updating your profile
- Importing content
- Publishing posts
- Applying categories and tags to posts
- Inserting images, videos, and other media
- Creating a new page
- Customizing your site with themes and widgets
- Managing users, notifications, and comments
- Using WordPress.com apps
- The limits of WordPress.com and the benefits of self-hosting