Setting Up Your WordPress Menu

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posted on: January 29, 2018

WordPress Menus seem to be one thing that people don’t fully understand, from my experience. There seems to be some confusion about what one can do with a menu. WordPress Menus are simply a way you organize your existing content – pages, categories, and links – to make it easier for your users to access relevant content.

Popular Misconceptions

I’ve run into these issues with various clients – custom and premade, so I thought I would outline them in case you think the same thing. Everything I’m talking about will be under APPEARANCES < MENU in your website’s dashboard.

  • The pages and categories must first exist before you can add them to the menu. If you want an “About” page to show in your menu bar, you need to create it first. Same thing goes for categories.
  • Just because you’ve created pages and categories, it doesn’t mean you have to link to them in your menu bar.
  • If you don’t want a page or category to show up from your menu bar, just remove it.
  • Menu Name + Location does matter for certain themes, so make sure you are following your themes tutorial. Some themes have two Menu opportunities above the fold, or even a footer menu.

To Add Pages To Your Menu

Under the PAGES toggle, select the pages you want to include in your menu and press ADD TO MENU. You can then rearrange the order of them by dragging and dropping them in the MENU STRUCTURE.

To Add Categories To Your Menu

Very similar to pages, under the CATEGORIES toggle, select the categories you want to add to your menu and press ADD TO MENU. You can then rearrange them in the same way as pages.

Adding Custom Links To Your Menu

Let’s say you are featured on a different site or want to link to a specific URL, you can do this under “CUSTOM LINKS”. Simply copy in your URL and the link text you want to show for the link:

  • For example:
    • URL:
    • LINK TEXT: Dribbble

Make sure your URL begins with “http://”. Once you’ve added it to the menu, drag and drop the link to where you’d like it to appear in the MENU STRUCTURE.


Sometimes you might want to like to have a menu item called “Categories”, then it drop down to a list of your categories.

  1. Create a blank custom link and title it “Categories” or whatever you want it to be. Add it to your MENU STRUCTURE.
  2. Add the categories to your menu as instructed above.
  3. Once all your categories are added, drag them below the custom link you added.

With any changes or edits to your menu, always make sure to select SAVE MENU when you are done.

Menu Locations

Depending on your theme, you might have different menu locations – Main Menu, Social Menu, Footer Menu, etc. Under Menu Settings, you will be able to select “Display Location” and choose where the menu will show up in your theme. You can select the same Menu Structure for multiple menu locations, but not vice versa!

You might also like How to Use WordPress Categories and Understanding the WordPress Feedback Feature.

Want more WordPress tutorials? Check out more posts!

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