Where to manage menus
You manage the site’s menus through Appearance > Menus:
Menus vs. locations
Many sites have a a very simple menu setup: one Menu (the main menu) that appears in a single location (typically at the top of the page).
But WordPress lets you have more than one menu and location if you want. For example, you might have two menus:
- a main menu (a structured list of all the site’s pages)
- a short list of supporting links (“contact”, “donate”, “subscribe”)
And those menus might appear in three places:
- the site’s top-level navigation: showing the main menu
- a small menu in the sidebar: showing supporting links
- a small menu in the footer: also showing supporting links
So this is the difference between menus and locations:
- A menu is a list of menu options.
- A location is a place on the page where a menu can appear.
The Menus option lets you manage both Menus and Locations. At the top you’ll see two tabs, Edit Menus and Manage Locations:
The Manage Locations tab is where you say which menus appear in which locations.
This tab simply gives you a list of the locations that the current theme offers, and it lets you assign a menu to each location. For example, this theme has a single location—the primary menu that appears at the top of the page:
The Edit Menus tab is a drag-and-drop editor where you can create, edit, and rearrange your menus.
If you’ve created more than one menu, a drop-down list at the top lets you choose which one to edit:
The left-hand side of the page lists things that you can add to your menu. By default WordPress lets you add:
- Custom links
- Categories (if any are defined)
If you’d like to add something else to the menu—for example, posts—click the Screen Options tab in the upper right and check the appropriate box in the panel that appears:
Depending upon the theme and plugins you’re using, more content types might be available for you to add to the menu.
Save your changes!
When you make any change to the menu, it won’t take effect until you save the menu. Click Save Menu at the top or bottom of the menu editing area:
If you’ve created a new page and you’d like to add it to the menu, find it listed in the Pages box in the left column of the menu editor. Conveniently, the most recently-added pages are listed by default; you can see other pages by clicking the View All or Search tabs:
Adding custom links
A custom link is a link to anything other than one of the pages on the site. To add a custom link, enter the URL and the text for the link (“Label”), then click Add to Menu:
Positioning menu items
You can rearrange menu items in the right section of the menu editor.
When you add an item to the menu it appears at the very bottom of the menu editor’s list.
To move a menu item, just drag it around until it’s in the right place. For example, to make one item a sub-menu of another, place it below the other item and nudge it lightly to the right.
Changing a menu item’s title
If the menu item is a WordPress page, you can edit the page’s title by using the page editor. Normally this will change the page’s name on the menu, too. However, it’s possible to have the page’s menu title be different from the actual page’s title.
For example, imagine you have a page titled “Contact Us”. You like that title, and it’s what you want to appear at the top of the page when people visit it. But to make the menu a little more compact you’d like its title on the menu to be just “Contact”.
To do this, in the menu editor click the downward-facing triangle to the right of the menu item’s title:
This opens the editor box for that menu item. The editable title appears under Navigation Label. Editing the title here will only change how it appears in the menu; the page itself will retain its original title, which appears in the editing box as Original:
Once you’ve changed the menu title to be different from the page title, if you edit the title using the page editor, that change won’t be reflected in the menu. This is because you’ve broken the connection between the page title and the menu title.
However, if you change the menu title so that it matches the page title again, that will re-establish the connection. Now changing the title in the page editor will also change it on the menu.
Removing menu items
- Find the menu item in the menu editor area and click the edit arrow on its right edge to open its editing box:
- Click Remove.
- Click Save Menu.
Adding a non-clickable link
You might sometimes want to create a menu option that doesn’t actually go anywhere.
For example, if you have a menu option “Annual Reports” with a sub-menu item for each year, you might decide that the “Annual Reports” menu item is just a label, not a page with content.
You can achieve this by creating a custom link, entering the URL as just a pound/hash sign:
But if you do this:
- To avoid confusion, be consistent: every parent menu item should be non-clickable, or every parent menu item should be clickable.
- Even though the menu item isn’t clickable, the visitor’s cursor will still turn into a hand/pointer when they hover over the item, suggesting that they could click it. If this is of concern, these pointers can usually be suppressed by someone with knowledge of Cascading Stylesheets (CSS), the web’s language of visual styles.