A navigation menu in WordPress is probably one of the most important parts of your website. It needs to be well thought through and well organised. Visitors landing on your site need to find what they are looking for with ease. If you make things too complicated or hard to navigate, your visitor will just dump you like a hot potato and try out one of your competitors. And nobody wants to lose possible sales or clients! I will give you a step-by-step guide on how to add the right navigation menu which won’t chase visitors away.
How to create a menu in the WordPress Dashboard
Once you have installed a fresh WordPress installation, which automatically comes with WordPress’s latest theme, you will have one sample page and one sample post called ‘Hello World’.
For you to create a menu, you first need to create your pages. Do not worry, you don’t have to add any content yet. We will basically just be creating titles.
For this blog, I will be creating a demo for a basic services website. I will have a Home page, Services page, About page and Contact page.
Head over to the Pages tab in the menu to add your new pages.
Now that you have your pages, you can create your menu. Here you need to first click on ‘Appearance’ and then on Menus. If you have a fresh installation, your menu section should look like this.
As you can see your menu structure is empty, without a name or pages added to it.
First you need to name your menu. You could name it anything you like, but most people choose something like Primary Menu, Main Menu, Top Nav Menu, etc. It must be relevant to what its going to be used for. I will choose Main Menu. Then remember to click that it is your primary menu and click on the ‘Create Menu’ button. Once your menu is created you can start adding your pages.
To do that, tic all the pages you see to the left that you would like to add to the menu and select ‘Add to menu’. You will notice that the order is probably not the way you would like it to be shown. To remedy that, all you need to do is click you the page and move it to wherever you would like it.
As you can see, I have moved my pages around so that it can make sense when viewing it as a menu. I want my home page first, then I want to show people what my services are, then there is the about page and lastly a contact page. How you rearrange this is entirely up to you, if it makes sense and it’s easy for your visitor to follow. Do not forget to click the ‘Save Menu’ button. On the front end of my WordPress site, you will be able to see the menu exactly as I have structured it in the backend dashboard.
Now that I have my basic menu set up, I want to elaborate on what services I want to offer. Let say that I am a builder and want to show my visitors that I offer services for Painting, Tiling and Carpentry. I would like to add this under my services tab as a sub-heading. This is extremely easy to do. Repeat what you have done before and create the 3 new pages; the painting page, the tiling page and the carpentry page. Once you have done that, head back over to your menu structure under Appearance, then menus. Tic your new pages on the left and Add them to your Menu. For your new pages to sit under the Services tab, you will need to click on them and move them under the services and slightly to the right. This creates a sub-item. And click ‘Save Menu’. Now head on over to your font end and hover over the Services tab. There you will see a dropdown menu displaying your individual services you have to offer.
And that is the basics of how to create your menu structure. Keeping it simple and easy for your visitors to follow. There are many other aspects of a menu structure which I will not be getting in to right now, like creating custom links, adding a menu via your theme’s customizer and linking categories and tags. But I will leave that for a follow up blog.
Remember to keep your menu structure simple and easy to follow. Happy user experience equals good conversion rates.
If you want to get completely bespoke when it comes to creating menus, then there is nothing better than creating it with the Elementor Page Builder. There is a reason why Elementor already has over 5 million installations!