Menus

Menus have a name and a  display location. There are two menus:

  • The “Top menu” which is located at the “Top Menu” location and is displayed at the top of each page
  • The “Side menu” which is located in the “Social Links Menu” and which is displayed at the bottom of each page and is only used for social media links.

You can create additional menus however there is no point as there are only two menu locations available and they are both occupied as explained above/

When a page is created it will never be found unless it is added to a menu or is linked from another page. The menu structure is very important to allow users to get a quick impression of the shape of the site.

It’s possible to give different types of user a different menu structure. For example initially below the Members’ Area, if you are not logged in you will see entries to login or register. However if you are logged in these will be replaced by various pieces of information only relevant to members.

Changing the “Top menu”

This is best done from the dashboard.  You’ll find it under Appearance > Menus.

Every menu item is displayed in a list, with sub-items indented.  You can drag an item up and down to change the display order of menu items or left and right to demote / promote them between levels.

Make sure that the “Edit Menus” tab is selected and that at the top of the contents of the tab, where it says “Select a menu to edit” you have the “Top menu” selected. If you don’t, then change it on the pull down menu – and click “Select”

When you have finished modifying a menu then click on “Save Menu” to save your work – though WordPress should notice if you try to leave the page without saving.

Adding a menu item

You can add a range of things as menu items:  Pages, Posts, Calendars, Custom Links and Categories. The one you are most likely to use is Pages.

Note that you will see that Categories appears twice. This is probably a bug in WordPress which shows up because the “Default category” has been removed.

To add a page, click on the “Pages” pull down, select the page or pages, and click on “Add to Menu”. Then in the “Menu Structure” pane drag your page (which will initially appear at the bottom) to where you would like it.

Finally click on “Save Menu”

Deleting a menu item

Some of the items on your initial setup may not be relevant to you, and you may want to delete them.

To do this go to the “Menu Structure” pane and find the item you want to remove. Click on the  and click on Remove

Note that the page is still there but you you have just removed the menu entry. 

You may also make use of “Custom Links”. This has been done for the “Home” item to be able to control the text “Home” otherwise you get the title of the page you are adding. Custom links may also point somewhere outside the web site though you would probably not do so. 

Restricting a menu item

A casual visitor to your site won’t see a menu item linking to a list of members, and a logged in member won’t see a menu item linking to this How-To guide.  Each item has a restriction added so they’re only visible to certain people.

Click the on the right of a menu item and you’ll see the option “Enable visibility rules”. You can set pages that are only accessible to (for example) the Administrator or to people who are logged in on the current site.

It is important to note that this only controls the menus. If the URL of a page is known it can be accessed directly. To prevent this, for any page where you at least expect users to be logged in, go the “Page Restriction” at the top right of each page and select “Block this page”.

In case you should get the menus mixed up, this is a part of how the Members’ Area was configured initially:

Considerations for multi-level menus

When menus are not at the top level then a page needs to be constructed for each non-leaf node in the tree. For example the members’ area has its own page though many people will select further down the menu tree. The convention that is being followed is that such pages are rather simple and contain links to all the pages or menus one layer down along with a little guidance.

As an alternative if the intermediate page is not useful add a “Custom Link” menu item with a URL value of #.