Architecture, Menus & Navigation

Information architecture is the art and science of organizing your page structure and navigational menus.

Learn how to help users find your great stuff without resorting to the Search box.

Information Architecture Concepts | Using the Custom Menu

Information Architecture

Using the Custom Area Horizontal Menu

Using the Custom Area Horizontal Menu requires two activities:

  1. Create or modify the menu to be used as the Custom Area Horizontal/Primary Menu.
  2. Make the Primary Menu visible on individual pages.

Create/Modify a menu

  1. In the WordPress Dashboard, go to Appearance > Menus
  2. You will have at least one menu created for you. If you have more than one menu created then you will see a drop down menu on the page that lists the different menus. The Menu being used as the Custom Area Horizontal Menu will have “(Primary Menu)” next to it’s name in the drop down menu
    Select a menu to edit
    or if it is the only menu it will have the “Primary Menu” checkbox checked in the “Menu Settings” near the bottom of the page.
    Custom menu settings
    To edit the menu being used as the Custom Area Horizontal Menu select the Menu with “(Primary Menu)” next to it’s name in the drop down menu and then click the “Select” button to the right of the drop down menu. If you only have one menu then it will be selected by default. To deselect or select the menu to be used for the Custom Area Horizontal Menu check or uncheck the “Primary Menu” Checkbox in the “Menu Settings” near the bottom of the menu. Checked will use the selected menu as the Custom Area Horizontal menu and unchecked makes the selected menu not be used as the Custom Area Horizontal Menu. Only one menu can be selected as the “Primary Menu” at a time.
  3. Once the menu is selected you can add menu items by using the Accordion menu
    custom menu pages most recent panel
    to the left of your menu. The two main sections you will be using are the “Pages” and “Links”. Pages refer to pages that you have created in your site. Links refer to links to documents, media, and external web pages that are not a part of your site.
  4. To add menu items as pages, if the “Pages” section isn’t already open, click on “Pages” and put check marks next to the pages you want to add to your menu after the “Pages” section opens. Then click the “Add to Menu” button
    custom menu pages most recent panel
  5. To add menu items as links, if the “Links” section isn’t already open, click on “Links”. After the “Links” section is open you need to fill in 2 fields “URL” and “Link Text” and then click the “Add to Menu” button.
    custom menu custom links panel

    • The “URL” field requires a web address. You must put in the entire web address of the web page or document you want to link to including the “http://” portion of the web address.
    • The “Link Text” is the text that will be visible in the menu.
  6. Once you have all your menu items added then you can drag and drop the menu items into the order you want them in. If you make a menu item a sub item
    custom menu subitems
    then the sub item will act as a drop down menu sub menu item.
    custom menu front end dropdown
  7. Make sure to click the “Save Menu” button to save your changes

Make the Menu visible

The Custom Area Horizontal/Primary Menu can be turned on or off on a per page basis. On new pages, the Primary Menu is visible by default.

To turn the menu on or off you need to:

  1. In the WordPress Dashboard, go to Pages > All Pages
  2. Select the page you want to have the Custom Area Horizontal Menu turned on or off. “Edit” that page.
  3. Scroll down the page, near the bottom of the page you will find a drop down menu with a title of “Use a Custom Area Horizontal Menu”. To make the Menu visible select “Area Horizontal Menus”.
    Use a custom area horizontal menu
    To remove the menu from the page select “None”.
  4. Click Update.