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How to Add a Navigation Menu in WordPress websites

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Are you struggling with adding a WordPress navigation menu? 

WordPress provides a pretty user-friendly interface to help you add menus to WordPress without any coding. WordPress comes with a drag-and-drop menu interface that you can use to build header menus, drop-down menus, and more. But unless you’re already familiar with WordPress, it can still be hard to dive in and build your first navigation menu.

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In support of the value of well-made website menus, a B2B Web Usability Study published revealed some interesting facts when they asked users the following question. 

When you get from a referral site or search engine to an internal page on a vendor website, how do you orient yourself? 

Almost 50 percent of those responding to the survey said they were using the main navigation system. Moreover, 36 percent said they expect the logo of the company to take them back to the home page.

What is a navigation menu?

The navigation menu is a list of links that point to important areas of the website. They are usually displayed as a horizontal link bar at the top of every page on the website. 

Navigation menus include the layout of your site and help users find what they’re looking for.

WordPress makes it very simple to add menus and submenus. You can add links to your most relevant sites, categories or subjects, blog posts, and even personalized links like your social media profile.  The exact location of your menu depends on your WordPress theme. Most themes would have a variety of choices, so you can create various menus that can be displayed in different locations. 

For example, most WordPress themes come with a primary menu that appears at the top. Some themes can include a secondary menu, a footer menu, or a smartphone navigation menu.

You can read about more WordPress themes here.

Create the First Navigation Menu

To create a navigation menu, you need to open Appearance > Menus page.

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As you can see in the above image, ‘Top Navigation Menu’ is the name for your menu. So you need to first have a name for your menu. Once done, simply click on the Create Menu button. Once you click on the create menu button, it will be expanded as below:

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First, you can select the pages that you want to add to the menu. You can either automatically add all new top-level pages or pick a particular page from the left-hand column. 

Next, click the ‘View All’ tab to see all the pages on your site. After that, click the box next to any of the pages you want to add to your tab, and then click the ‘Add to Menu’ button. Once done, you can move them by the drag and drop technique.

Once you have the pages added to the menu, select the location where you want to display the menu, and then click on ‘Save Menu’.

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Create Drop-Down Menus in WordPress

Drop-down menus (also referred to as nested menus) are navigation menus of parent and child menu objects. When you run your cursor over a parent object, all child items will appear underneath it in the sub-menu. 

To build a sub-menu, drag the item below the parent item and drag it slightly to the right. You can even add multiple layers of drop-down so that your sub-menu can have a sub-menu. This may end up looking a bit cluttered, and some themes do not support multi-layer drop-down menus.

How to add Categories to WordPress menus

If you are having a blog, then you might want to add categories to your menu as a drop-down list. You can easily do this in WordPress. So, head over to the categories tab in the Menu screen on the left-hand side. By clicking on the View All tab you can see all the available categories. 

Select the category that you want to add in your menu and click on the Add to Menu button.

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You can drag and drop them in a way you want them to be positioned.

Add custom links to your WordPress Navigation Menus

WordPress makes it very easy for its users to add custom links to your menu. You can simply use the link to your social media profiles or your websites.

To achieve this you need to go to the ‘Custom’ links tab on the Menu screen. Then add the link along with the text that you would want to use.

You can also make it more attractive and innovative by adding social media icons to your menu.

Rearrange Navigation Menu Items

Once you have added multiple menus you may want to rearrange them. To rearrange the menus, you just need to drag and drop them in the desired order. You can also drag and drop them underneath other menu items and create sub-menus.

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Edit or Remove a Menu item in WordPress Navigation Menus

When you add pages or categories to your custom navigation menu, WordPress uses the title of the page or the name of the category as a link text. If you like, you can change this. You can edit any menu item by simply clicking on the downward arrow next to it.

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You can change the name of the menu item and also click on Remove to remove the link from your menu completely.

If you are not comfortable using the drag and drop facility, then you can also move the menu item around by clicking on the Move link.

How to add WordPress Menus in Sidebars and Footers

You can add navigation menus to any area that uses widgets, such as your sidebar or footer. 

For this go to Appearance > Widgets and add the ‘Navigation Menu’ widget to your sidebar. Second, add a title to the widget and choose the right menu from the ‘Select Menu’ drop-down list.

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The entire process of using navigation menus is pretty simple and I hope my article will help you to add the Navigation Menu in your WordPress site.

There are many things you can do with navigation menus: add custom links, add remove the navigation menus, create sub-menus, rearrange the navigation menus, etc.

If you found this article helpful, let us know in the comments section below. And make sure you follow WP Uber for more the latest updates on themes and plugins. 

WP Uber is a WordPress management agency that provides detailed site health reports and customized security solutions for WordPress sites. 

Author avatar
Tim Michaels
I am into WordPress and web development for the last 10 years. I use my experience to help people just starting with WordPress. Follow my blog at WP Uber for everything related to WordPress.
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