Recently I have had quite a few clients ask how they can change the navigation menu links on their WordPress site. WordPress has made it very easy to edit the WordPress navigation menu with a nice simple drag and drop interface. Fortunately it is a simple process to add or delete links, or even change the order of the menu links.
Where Are WordPress Navigation Menus?
Before we can do anything with our menus we have to figure out where the menus are located on the front end of the site. Every theme is able to configure different menu areas, so some themes may have more menus than others. On this site, there are two navigation menu areas. My theme calls them Primary Navigation Menu and Secondary Navigation Menu. As you can see in this screenshot, it’s possible to have different links in each navigation menu area.
If your theme has more than one navigation menu and aren’t sure which navigation menu is which, just take note of the links in the menu on the front end of the site. When we check out the admin side, you can compare the links to figure out which one you’re working with.
How to Edit Navigation Menus in WordPress Admin
If you already have menus created on your site, you’ll see them available to edit here. If you have yet to set up a menu, you will be asked to do so before continuing. Creating a menu is as easy as giving it a name and clicking the Create Menu button. Be sure to give the menu a descriptive name, so you can easily identify it later. You can see on my menu I called it “Footer”, because this is the menu that shows up in the footer on my site.
If you have several menus you can switch the menu you are editing by using the drop-down menu towards the top of the page where it says Select a menu to edit:
Once you are on the menu you want to edit, you will see the existing links in the middle portion of the screen under the Menu Structure heading.
Adding Links to a Menu
By default WordPress gives you three types of links you can add to your menu. Certain plugins may enable other options, but for now we’re going to only cover the defaults.
- Pages: When you first open the Menu edit page, you will see a list of pages to the left of your menu. You can add pages to your menu by placing a checkbox next to the page you want in the menu, and click the Add to Menu button.
- You may not find all the pages you want to add right away. This is because the Pages section gives you the most recently added pages in a list. You can click the View All or Search tabs above the list of pages, and you can browse through to find the rest of your pages.
- Categories: If you have a blog and want to direct visitors to certain categories on your site, you can use the Categories section to quickly add links directly to individual categories in the same manner that you would add links to individual pages.
- Custom Links: If you want to add a link to another website, or perhaps to a specific blog post on your site, you can use the Custom Links area to add a link to your navigation menu.
- URL: Enter the address where you want this link to point to (http://example.com)
- Link Text: Enter the word(s) that you want the visitor to see when they look at your navigation menu.
Arranging Links on a WordPress Navigation Menu
When WordPress adds links to the menu, it will put all the links one right after the other. However if you wanted to have a drop-down menu effect you can click and drag a menu link under another link to create this effect.
Note: Some themes may not have sub-menu abilities in all navigation menu areas.
Similarly, you can re-arrange the menu items by clicking and dragging them up or down in the Menu Structure section. The first link in a menu will usually be the link on the far left of the navigation menu in a horizontal menu structure on your site. On a vertical navigation structure, like you might find in a sidebar menu, the first link in the menu will be at the top.
Once you are done making changes to your menu, click the Save Menu button. You should now be able to refresh your site to see the changes made to your menu. If you don’t see any changes, you might need to clear your browser’s cache or clear the cache on a caching plugin like WP Super Cache.