If navigational menu is not well planned then it can be a big turnoff for your visitors. Visitors will ask these kind of questions. Where is the home button on this site? Can I use navigation system on this site easily? Most of the web designers and developers consider that a simple menu is enough but they forget that a navigational menu has its own requirements. Sometimes a website can work well with a simple to use navigation menu while other websites use complicated menus with so many links.
Most of the people give lots of importance to the creation of great content and development of the design but don’t give much needed attention into website’s navigation. If navigation on website is not good then website visitors will never be able to enjoy what your website has to offer.
So many people use main navigation when their site is visited from search engines and many expect that the company’s logo will take them back to the home page. Most visitors leave a website if the navigation is poor.
Although menu design and planning is not much difficult but it needs proper planning and special tools to show well-executed menu. When you are planning you can ask these questions:-
• How many menus do you need?
• Where do you want the menu to be?
• Will there be a home button or you think visitors will know that logo is the link?
• Do you want a static menu visible at all times?
• Which pages you need to be on top level of the navigation?
• Do you need to use color in the menu?
• Do you want to apply animation to the menu?
• How do you want to organize the pages?
You can easily see that there is a lot to consider when building a menu and each one of those features are open to customization. If you are a developer then you will be responsible for making sure that whatever you choose aligns well with the rest of the website’s style and functionality.
Menus are visitor’s guide if your website. If you have developed a great looking website but visitors find it difficult to get to the right information then it will not work well.
Planning the website’s Menu
Website navigation should work like the name should do exactly what the it implies. It should help visitors navigate through the website. Here we are giving you some steps for your planning for navigation:-
Setting up Website’s Menu:-
In WordPress, there are options when it comes to setting up your website’s menus. We are going to discuss all of these options.
• Theme Menu Setup
• WordPress Menu Setup
• CSS Styling
1. Theme Menu Setup
Many WordPress themes include a Menus module for easy setup and customization of your website’s theme. To start in your theme’s settings you do the following:
In WordPress, go to the Appearance tab and click on “Customize”. This will take you to your theme’s customization settings and will also provide you with a live preview of any changes you are making.
From Customize, now you will then see a sidebar in the left of the live preview of your site. Now click on the Menu’s tab. You can easily see that WordPress has done a great job by setting up their own menus with logic and with simple labels for easy navigation.
Now you will see two options from the Menus tab. Start with the main navigation as it will allow you to define the setup of your main menu.
From the main Navigation tab, then you can add new pages, remove pre-defined defaults, revise the hierarchy structure, rename navigation labels, all just through drag and drop. In the bottom, you can also define where the main navigation should exist on the website.
Now click on the back arrow and then navigate to the Menu Locations tab. Here you can easily define which menus will exist on different part of your website. Two things to note here
• Your view and your options will differ based on the theme you are using
• If you are planning to have more than one menu on your website then you will have to define those other menus through a different process before you can assign them a location.
Whichever is the setup options, the theme customization modules are an important tool to have when setting up the basics of the website.
2. WordPress Menu Setup
If your theme doesn’t come with a menu customizer or if you are just in need of more control over how each of your menus will look and function then WordPress has a default menu setup tool for that. First step is to make sure that any content or links which you want to include in your navigation must have been created. Then go back to your WordPress menu and navigate down to the appearance tab and select Menus.
You will find two tabs on this page that you can work with: Edit menus and manage locations. You view will automatically default to the Edit menus screen.
Under the Edit menus, you can see that the screen is broken up into two sections. Now start with the left side.
There will be two tabs on this page that you can work with: Edit Menus and Manage Locations. Your view will automatically default to the Edit Menus screen.
Under Edit Menus, you can see that the screen is broken up into two sections. Start with the left side.
On the left you have the power to add different types of content from your website into your menus. Blog posts, basic web pages, custom links and blog categories or tags are the basic content types. Also depending upon the other content which you have enabled on your website like projects, portfolios, social media, testimonials etc, you will have the ability to add those as well.
When you have found something which you want to add then click the checkbox next to it or define the element and then click the “Add to Menu button”. You will find that the new elements have dropped down to the bottom of your menu on the right hand side of the Menus page.
Once your new element is in the menu then you can revise the navigation label, placement, redirect location or hierarchy by dragging and dropping them into place within the visual map or you can even click each element open for further customizations.
When you are done then scroll to the bottom and define where this menu will exist on your website. Then click “Save Menu when you are done.
Customizing your Menu using Plugins
Although coding will help us achieve some additional functionality of our menus but it is not so easy always. That’s why we can use plugins. If you have a new idea, look or animation for a menu, some developer must have created a plugin to help you.
These plugins take the WordPress menu design to the next level.
There are many ways by which you can take your menu designs to the next level especially if you want them to match the amazing websites you have designed. We have discussed most aspects of customizing menus and making your WordPress site most attractive and user friendly with ease of navigation.