Beginners Guide on Creating WordPress Menu

If you are completely new to WordPress then there are some elements in WordPress that can confuse you. One of the common confusion which beginners have to face is about navigation menu. For the first few times creating and editing menu in WordPress can be tiring. So this article is dedicated for complete beginners. We will be giving you the beginners guide on creating WordPress menu. For little more advance guide on creating WordPress menu check our article on “How to Create Custom Menus for WordPress Themes“.

Beginners Guide on Creating WordPress Menu

Creating Your First Menu

Most WordPress themes already have default menu inbuilt in them. Even if your theme do not have any menu then you can easily create any menu in WordPress by visiting Appearance > Menus in your WordPress admin area.

This will direct you to edit menu section. In the right section, give the new menu name and click Create Menu button.

Once the menu is created, you will notice two main configurations: menu structure and menu settings. Menu structure contains the menu item that the menu contains. In the menu settings you can define the menu display location. Your theme should have at least one theme location to create the menu.

Adding Menu Items to the Menu

Adding menu item to the menu is very simple. Let’s start by adding pages as menu item. At left side of your menu page, you can see the page tab in the accordion box. The list of all your pages can be found in the page tab. Just select the pages you want to add and click Add to Menu button. This added menu item will appear in the menu structure in the right side box.

Similarly you can also use posts and categories as the menu items. For adding custom links, just select the custom links tab and then insert the link URL and the link text that you want to add as menu item. Click the Add to Menu button and your link will be used as menu item.

 Next you have to choose the theme location in the menu settings. Select a theme location where you want the menu to appear and click save menu button.

This should be enough to make the menu appear in your website.

Arranging and Nesting Items in your Navigation Menu

Lets continue our beginners guide on creating WordPress menu by learning to arrange and nest menu items. The menu items you added may be in random order. If you want to sort and arrange them in certain order then you can simply drag the items to your desired position.

If you want to create the drop down menu or nested menu, then in the same way you can use the drag and drop feature. Simply drag the sub-menu item below the parent item as shown in the image. This will automatically make a drop down menu with the parent menu and child sub menu.

In the front end of your website, the drop down menu is represented by the inverted arrow icon. Now when you hover the menu icon you will see the hidden sub menu items appears.

Similarly you can also create the multiple layers of sub-menu with the same drag and drop process.

Editing the Menu Items

There are some basic changes that you can make to your menu items. You can change the navigation default label and give a different menu item name. For custom links you can change the link detail using the same editing feature. For editing any menu item simply click the caret sign next to item name. This opens the edit box for the menu item. After making the necessary changes, don’t forget to click save menu button.

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Deleting a Menu Item From the Navigation Menu

Our beginners guide on creating WordPress menu will be incomplete without learning how to  delete menu item. You can delete the menu items in the same way like you edit them. Just click the caret downward arrow sign in the item name. In the edit box, click the remove link and this will remove the menu item.

Using Navigation Menu as the Sidebar and Other Widget Ready Areas

You can also add navigation menu and links in your sidebar and other widget ready areas. To use menu links in the sidebar or any widget area, simply go to Appearance > Widgets.  This opens the widget page. There is the list of available widgets in the left side of the page. Find Custom Menu widget and drag this to the right sidebar. If you want to add custom menu in the footer or any other widget ready area then you have to add the custom menu to the particular widget box in the right side instead of sidebar. There are few more customization that has to be made before the custom menu appears in the sidebar. You have to give the title to the custom menu and select the menu name in the drop down as shown in image.

Beginners Guide on Creating WordPress Menu

Lastly click save button to save the changes. Now your menu should appear in the sidebar of your webpage.

We hope our article helped WordPress starters to understand about WordPress menu. This was the beginners guide on creating WordPress menu. If you want a little more depth knowledge on navigation menu then check our guide on “How to Create Custom Menus for WordPress Themes”. For theme developers we also have an article on “Creating WordPress Admin Pages : Custom Admin Menus“.

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Kantiman Bajracharya

Kantiman Bajracharya

Kantiman Bajracharya is a freelance web developer. He is a computer geek who has a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering. He has earned lots of satisfied customers while working for numerous successful projects. He is also a WordPress theme creator and web article writer. On free time he likes reading philosophy books, traveling and playing chess.

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