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Lesson 7 – Part 5 – Create the Menu

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Naming of the Home Page and Key Words

Anthony asks, “Is there any benefit to naming the home page the main keyword for the site and then change the label?” Yes, I will talk about that here in a little while. Here I named it Home for the purpose of throwing this up. When you create a website you start out by adding the bones of the site and then you go back in and flesh it out.

What I did on my home page, instead of calling it home, I would say… well, in this case, what I said is Learn to Build a Website Just Like This. So a title that makes sense on the page is what I use and then I’ll show you, when we create our menus, how to change this.

Also, for example, on About, rather than saying ‘About’, I would say ‘about Rick Anderson and BYOB Website.’ I wouldn’t just say ‘About’ because the title is an important thing so I would let the title speak for you.

Create a Menu

But that does bring us into this question of menus because that’s the next thing we’re going to do is create a menu. If you look at our site, you can see we don’t have any menus on the site at the moment and that’s because there are no menus created.

If we go over to the Thesis Skin Editor and we look at the HTML where I’ve got this top menu area, top menu area page and top menu, there’s no menu to choose from because there is no menu created yet. And since there’s no menu, there’s nothing to display. So the very first thing we need to do then is create a menu.

Now WordPress makes this really slick. Come over to Appearance and Menus, give the menu a name. I’ll call it main menu and create the menu. Now that you’ve created a menu, you can add things to it. So I’m going to add articles, testimonials, about Rick Anderson, services, home remodel design, custom home design, builder spec homes, finished projects, east side luxury and I’ll put all of these. I’m not going to put the sample page on but every other page I’ve created, I’m going to add to my menu.

Organizing the Menu

Now I’ve got a nice, big, long menu. Of course, we don’t want a nice, big, long menu. It’s not laid out in the order that I wanted. So ‘Learn to Build a Website Just Like This’, I want first, so we’re going to move it up to the top. And then we said About would be number 2 and then Articles is at the bottom. And then finished projects was number 3 and then services was number 4 and then testimonials.

And that’s too many menu items, right? We want some of these menu items drop down menu items. We said that in terms of finished projects, we’d put East Side Luxury Spec Home in. Now if we pushed it off to the side, it automatically becomes a drop down menu item of the thing that’s below. So East Side Luxury Spec Home is now a drop down or a submenu of Finished Projects. And West Seattle View Home and then Edmonds View Remodel and now we’ve got all 3 of these pages our submenu pages of this.

If I pushed one over, now Edmonds View Remodel would be a subpage of the West Seattle View Home. That’s how this works. It’s a nice little drag and drop thing.

Let’s say custom home design and builder spec homes and home remodel design, now you’ve got it. We’ve got all 6 of our main pages and we’ve got our subpages. And if we save our menu now, actually the menu’s probably going to show up because if we only have one menu, the menu automatically picks it out.

Change the Menu Labels

Obviously, this menu is not set up properly because we’ve got Learn to Build a Website Just Like This is huge. About Rick Anderson and BYOB Website is huge and so on. So what we want to do here is change these labels. And you change the label just by opening it up and put something in a navigation label like home.

You can always tell what the original was because it will tell you the original down here. And so I can come over here and say About Us and then I think these are fine just like that. If we save the menu and we refresh our page, now the whole menu fits on the menu line and our drop down menu things work just fine. We’re going to do some more styling on this but in terms of making the menu function properly, it works well.

Add a Custom Link

There are other kinds of things you can put on here as well. For example, you can put a custom link in. So let’s say I want to go to BYOB Website. I could give it a label, my website, my site. Add that to the menu and there it is, save the menu now, come back over and refresh it. Now here’s my site. If I open that up, it takes me over to BYOB Website.

Menu Item That Doesn’t Link

Some people will use this, for example, maybe they don’t want finished projects to actually be a linking item. If that’s the case, all you have to do is put in # and then we’ll just say blank label or dummy item. Add that to the menu. We could take my site and make it a child of that. Hit save menu, refresh this.

If you click on menu item, it doesn’t take you anywhere, right? But drop down does drop down. So to the extent that you want to have a menu item that does not link anywhere but sts ias a main top level menu item, you can create it exactly that way by just putting a # in that URL section giving it a title and adding it to your menu.

Remove Items from the Menu

Now to remove things from the menu, all you have to do is open it up and say remove. Save your menu and that stuff is gone.

Adding Other Things to Your Menu

Now you can also add categories and other things to your menu. If we had a whole bunch of categories, you could pick categories to go to a menu. If you open up screen options, you can also add posts and tags to this. And so if you add tags, you could choose a tag item and if you add posts, you could add specific posts to the menu if you wished. You can put anything that you want on your menu.

Use Screen Options to Expand Your Choices

And if you want to put something in your menu and you don’t see it here on the list, just go up to Screen Options and you can put checkboxes by these things and those will show up on your screen.

This is something to know for most things in WordPress. If you expect that you should find something on your dashboard and you don’t, open up screen options and see if there’s a checkbox that’s not checked. No matter where you are in WordPress, if you can’t find it on your dashboard, it may be because it’s been unchecked in Screen Options.

We’ll go ahead and save our menu. And now we’re going to talk a little bit more about Agility.

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