This week we’ll be moving on in our series to the second essential editing skill you should learn for WordPress. Last week we talked about widgets, and how to understand, group, and edit them. Today we’ll tackle menus.
To access and edit your menus, you can go to the “Menus” area under “Appearance.” While you’re on this page, you can go to two different tabs: “Manage Locations,” and “Edit Menus.”
Your site theme probably has a limited number of locations where you can add menus. Most likely, you have a Header Menu at the top of your page, a Footer Menu at the bottom of your page, and a Main Menu somewhere in the middle.
On the “Manage Locations” tab, you’ll be able to change which menu goes in which place. For this example website, there is a Top Menu, a Header Menu, and a Footer Menu. Those three menus can be in the Top position, the Header position, or the Footer position. Most likely, you want the Top Menu to be in the Top position, the Header Menu to be in the Header position, and so on. But if you decide that you want to mix the menus up for some reason, this is the area where you can do that.
Under this tab, you can arrange, add, modify, and change your menus as you choose. First select the menu that you wish to edit at the top of the page.
One important part of this tab that you may not notice is the “Screen Options” feature in the upper right-hand corner. If you click “Screen Options,” a new screen will slide down from the top and allow you to change the features that you can add to your menu. While you probably know that you can add pages to your menu, like “Home,” “Blog,” and so on, Screen Options lets you add other features like custom links, tags, and sermons.
Let’s talk about custom links for a moment. Imagine that you want a button on your menu that allows church members to give their tithe remotely. Many churches use the service Tithe.ly for remote giving. This means that church members go to an outside link to actually submit their payment. With a custom link, you can add a link to a third-party website to your menu. Simply make sure that you check the “custom link” box under Screen Options and select the Custom Link button on the “Edit Menus” tab. Then add the URL that you want to link to lead to and type in the text that you want displayed on the menu.
On this “Edit Menus” tab, you can modify and edit countless little details on the menu. For example, you can change the navigation titles on pages that appear on the menu without changing the page title. If you have a page titled “I’m New Here,” you could change the navigation title to “New?” in order to conserve space, but “I’m New Here” would still appear at the top of the page. To edit this, select the page that you want to edit and change the navigation label.
Also on this page, you can drag and drop pages to arrange them on the menu. You can also drag some pages into position underneath other pages to create child pages.
There’s more to learn about both menus and other useful WordPress skills. You can watch our webinar for a more interactive approach, and you can read our blog post from last week to learn more about widgets specifically. We’ll be releasing another blog post soon about the last of the top three WordPress editing skills, so stay tuned!