In WordPress, you can create as many menus as you want. Again, where those menus appear will depend upon your theme and what widgets you use. The important part is making sure your visitors can easily use your menus to get around your site.
Creating Your Menu
When you go to Appearance > Menus, you will find one of two screens. (You will also find some menu settings in our customizer as well)
If No Menu Has Been Created
When you create your first menu, you will get a screen like this. Enter a name for your menu. This name will only be seen by you for choosing when assigning menus. It will not be seen on your site.
When clicking the Create Menu button, you get this screen. Now you can build your first menu.
Adding to Your Menu – On the left side will be some options to add pages, posts, custom links and categories.
Pages – Here are all your pages and you can sort them my Most Recent, View All or Search for one. Just check the box of the pages you want in your menu and Add to Menu.
Posts – Like pages, you will find all your posts here and you can sort them the same way. If you did want a post in a menu, this is where you would add them.
Categories – This is a handy option because by adding this to your menu, you create an archive page for the specific category. This is helpful if you choose to add a second menu and would like people to be able to view recent posts by categories vs. your blog archive page with all categories.
Custom Links – This option allows you to add a custom link to your menu. For example, in the screenshot I have decided to put a link to my other blog. All you need to do is title it for your navigation bar and put in the URL.
Menu Settings – as you add menu items, they will appear in the menu structure. But you will also notice the Menu Settings below. Here you can have any new page you create automatically added to a menu. This is only useful if you have just one menu and want a new page appended to it.
You also have your theme locations, which can be set by clicking on the Manage Locations tab as well. How many menu options you have and where they are will depend on your theme. So you may need to test the waters on this one.
Once you have added everything you want to your menu, it will look something like this.
Reordering your menu items is as easy as dragging and dropping. To move any menu item, just click on it and drag it to its new position. In the screenshot I have highlighted three menu items. They are indented slightly. This is how you create sub-menus. So on the site, Services would be in the menu and the three below that would be in the drop-down part of the menu. All you have to do is grab any menu item and drag it to the right till it locks in place.
Menu Navigation Labels
When you add a page, post or anything else to your menu, it will pull in the title. For example, my about page is titled About BobWP WordPress Trainer. If I toggle that menu item, it opens and allow me to edit the Navigation Label.
But leaving it as is will take up a lot of space in my navigation So I can edit it to say About BobWP. You will notice it still shows you what page you are linking to and its title.
If we look at the menu, we see the edited label.
But if we look at the page, the title is still the original title.
This tab allows you to also assign which menus you want in the locations provided by your theme.
Adding a Menu in a Widget Area
There may be times that you want to have a menu in your sidebar, footer or other widget areas. You will find a widget call Custom Menu. Just drag that widget into the area you want it to appear and select a menu to show, which could be an existing menu you are using somewhere else, or a new menu created just for this widget.
Creating a Dead Link
There may be times that you want a menu item as more of a title than an actual link. An example of this would be if you have a Services menu item, and as sub-menus you had Consulting, Design and Development. When your readers roll over the Services button, it doesn’t link to a page, but instead allows them to choose one of the three submenus.
Your Options To Add To Your Menu Will Grow
As you add more plugins to your site, you will notice that options will be added in your menu settings to add even more stuff to your navigation bars. For example, on our site you will see how much more we have in our menu options. I used a course and an event plugin, so I could create a custom menu with my courses or events and add it to the sidebar. The options are endless.
Some Last Thoughts
When creating your navigations menus, keep two things in mind. Don’t overwhelm your visitors and keep things as simple as possible. In some cases that may be difficult depending on your site. But just thinking logically and even have some friends test the navigation to make sure it makes sense.
Also, adding breadcrumbs is a good addition and helps with your SEO.
Lastly, if you do have a large site, say an eCommerce shop where you cannot get around it, consider using a mega-menu. But only do it if you need to. Here is a plugin that will help you do that with your Storefront theme for WooCommerce.