Using your Menu

The WordPress Menu is an easy to use mechanism for introducing customised navigation menus. It’s a navigation bar to help your readers get round easily and to find what they want in a jiffy.

You can easily create custom menus for sidebars, footers, or any widgetised area.

You have two menus.

  • The primary navigation menu, this is usually along the top of your site
  • The second menu can be used for the sidebar or a footer. (The sidebar menu is┬áNOT the secondary navigation menu – ticking the checkbox ‘secondary navigation menu’ puts another line of navigation along the top of your site)

Look at the menus in this site. I have my important items in the top menu. These are my important links, the member login, details about my business and how to contact me.

My second menu is in my sidebar and it lists my categories (the topics in this site).

Here are three short videos to demonstrate the mighty WordPress Menu.

The videos show an older site which doesn’t have the versatility of other themes. It’s a good, clear way to demonstrate how to create, edit and place the menus but I’ve also added another video using a more advanced theme.

How to Create your Menu

How to Edit your Menu

Put your Menu in a Widget

The Menu using an advanced theme

Create a menu for your sidebar. I’ve called this ‘sidebar’ as I like to keep the names clear so I don’t confuse myself.

I’m going to put this sidebar menu into a widget in the Primary sidebar

For this menu, I’ll add Categories. Back in the early days of WordPress, we would just drag the ‘Categories Widget’ into the sidebar but, with the Custom Menu, we can pick and choose which categories we like, and we can choose the order in which they appear.

As you will see, I’ve picked a few categories, moved them around the way I want them, and saved the menu.

Then I go to Dashboard >> Appearance >> Widgets and open my Primary sidebar.

From the available widgets I choose ‘Custom Menu’ and place that in my Primary sidebar. I choose the menu I want, the ‘sidebar’ menu – and save.

After viewing my site to see how the menu looks, I decide to give the menu a title. So I return to the Primary sidebar, open the Custom Menu widget and give it a title.