A Step by Step Guide to Creating a Custom Menu in WordPress
Website navigation can be confusing at times. It may be difficult for users to find exactly what they are looking for, and instead of enjoying the content, they may decide to move on to the next, better-structured website. In order to prevent something like this from happening and to achieve clearer navigation on your website, you should have a well-organized menu. By dedicating your attention to this, you can be sure that the visitors will be able to find precisely what they want without any hassle and that they will not have to look elsewhere for that content. With our step-by-step guide, you will learn just how to create a custom menu in WordPress.
We would only like to make a quick note before we start. In case you already imported the menu from your theme and you’d like to save the original one and create or modify your own, duplicating your menu in WordPress is an easy thing to do.
The steps for creating a custom menu are the same for WordPress Classic and Gutenberg Editor. We promise you, it is not hard at all! Let’s start now, shall we?
1. Create a Custom Menu
To create a custom menu, head over to your WordPress user dashboard and choose Appearance > Menu.
The first thing to do now is to pick a name for your menu. Once you have made the decision, click the Create Menu button.
2. Add Items to Your Custom Menu
The next step in creating your custom menu in WordPress Classic Editor and Gutenberg is to choose which items you want to add to the menu from a box will appear on the left side of the screen.
To add items to your custom menu in WordPress, simply tick the box next to the desired item. Once you have made the selection, click the Add to Menu button.
All the items you have selected will now appear under the Menu Structure.
If you wish to add items for your blog posts, just do the same as you did with pages. Select the items and click the Add to Menu button.
If you want to add some link that doesn’t lead to your page or post, for example, an anchor link or a link to another website, you can add it to your custom menu as well by inserting the link in the Custom Links section. Just paste the URL in the designated box and be sure to insert the title of your post in the Link Text box. To finish, click on Add to Menu.
3. Rearrange Items and Create a Hierarchy
Once you have added everything you wanted, you can drag and drop the items to rearrange them the way you like it best. For instance, you can set the Main Home as the first item in your menu, and so on.
Another highly practical thing you can do is to create a dropdown menu. This is where you can group your pages and posts under one item. To do this, simply drag all the items you wish to be displayed in the dropdown menu below the parent link (on the second level), then move them a bit to the right and click the Save Menu button.
You can also place some items on the third level, by dragging them below the parent link and then by moving them slightly to the right, so they are even more indented.
4. Change the Name of the Item
If you would like to change the name of the page that will be displayed in the menu without modifying the actual name of the item, click the small arrow on the right, as pictured below.
In the Navigation Label box, you can type in the item name that will eventually be displayed in your menu.
Once you are done with the changes, click the Save Menu button. The modifications you have made will be visible on your website.
5. Open Your Items in a New Tab
If you would like to open your items in a new tab, you can simply head to the Screen Options card (located at the top right corner of your dashboard). Besides menu items, you can as well open any kind of link in new tab.
Under Show advanced menu properties tick the Link Target box.
Now, when you click the small arrow next to the post type name, just under the Navigation Label, you will see the Open link in a new tab option. Just tick the box and save your menu settings.
6. Choose the Location for the Custom Menu
Under Menu Settings you should also choose the location for the custom menu. This is where your menu will be displayed on the website. Tick the box next to the desired location and click on Save Menu.
Let’s Sum Up!
Having a well-organized website menu can be a game-changer for user experience. By creating a custom menu in WordPress you can improve the navigation and let your customers find the info they need in a flash. So, carefully choose the names for each menu item, create a hierarchy and pay special attention to its location. To go one step further and level up user experience also consider optimizing your WordPress menu.
We hope this article was helpful. If you liked it, feel free to check out some of these articles as well!