Custom Menus

Some themes, like Twenty Ten, allow you to create custom menus, which means you can change the navigation options on your site (the links to the different pages on your site that usually appear in the header along the top of your blog).  Using custom menus you can create drop-down menus with sub-pages, link to an external site, change the order in which your links appear, and create category archive pages (pages that aggregate all posts in a particular category).

1. In your Dashboard, go to Appearance > Menus

2. Under the + tab type in the name for your menu and click Create Menu.

3. Under the Theme Locations box (the top box on the left), choose the menu you just created and click Save.

4. The Custom Links box allows you to add links to external sites in your navigation menu.  To do so, type or paste the URL of the site you want to link to in the text box, choose the label you want to appear in the menu, and click “Add to Menu”.  For example, in the screenshot below, “Academic Integrity” links to the college’s policy on academic integrity.

5. The Pages box allows you to choose the pages you want to include in the navigation menu.  Check the box next to the desired pages and click “Add to Menu.”  You can see below that all the pages chosen showed up in the menu content box (numbered 7 in the screenshot below).

6. Categories box: You can also choose to create a link in your menu to a category archive page.  This creates a page that aggregates all posts in a particular category.

7. You can drag and drop to change the order of the elements in your menu.  In the example below, Readings and Assignments are sub-pages of Syllabus and appear in the dropdown menu on the site). To create sub-pages in a dropdown, place them beneath your top-level menu (in this case Syllabus), and drag them to the right so they are indented beneath the top-level menu. You can also click the triangle on the right end of each element in the menu to expand it and view additional editing/deletion options, as you can see with Academic Integrity Policy below.

Some things to keep in mind:

  • Always click the Save button after you make any changes.
  • If you want any new pages you create to be automatically included in your menu, click “Automatically include new top-level pages.”

  • If you choose to include sub-pages in a dropdown, think about what content to include on the main page, even if it is just links to the two sub-pages. The example below shows what the default page looks like. One option would be to add the syllabus text and a link to download the syllabus as a PDF. If you do not intend to include content on the main page, consider adding links to the sub-pages.

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