How do I restore my WordPress menus
Last updated on August 25, 2019 at 3:44 am
Every now and then my customers ask how you can change the order of the pages in the navigation menu of a WordPress site. By default, WordPress displays the pages in alphabetical order, so that, for example, the imprint is displayed in front of the "About me" page, which is often not desired.
Changing the order of the pages is easy. You don't even need a plug-in for this 🙂
Strictly speaking, there are two options.
Variant 1: Specify the order in the editor
When you create a new page, there is a box in the editor on the right-hand side with the heading "Attributes". Here you can not only choose whether the new page should be a main or subpage and which page template should be used, but you can also specify the order here - very simply by numbering the pages.
Although it is obvious to number the pages with "1, 2, 3, ..." I recommend using steps of 10 instead. So "10, 20, 30, ...". The advantage: you can easily slide a page in between later without having to adjust the numbering of all other pages.
If you have already created all the pages and do not want to open each individual page in the editor in order to adjust the numbering, you can also do this very conveniently from the page overview.
To do this, select "Pages" -> "Show all pages" and then click on "Quick Edit" for the pages to be edited and enter the desired order in the window that opens.
Variant 2: An individual menu
This is now my preferred approach: Almost every WordPress theme can be equipped with an individual menu. And that's not nearly as complicated as it might seem at first glance.
To set up an individual menu for your WordPress site, first select "Design" -> "Menus" in the dashboard.
On the right side you will then see a window in which you can create the new menu. To do this, first give the menu a name (e.g. "Main menu") and then click on "Create menu"
Next, look for the box with the heading "Pages" in the left column and check all the pages that you want to display in your navigation bar. With a click on "Add to menu" these are then moved to the menu window.
It looks something like this:
To adjust the order, the pages can now be easily moved to the desired position using drag & drop.
In this setting, all pages still appear neatly next to each other in the navigation menu. If individual pages are to be displayed as sub-pages of a page, you have to arrange them under this page and drag and drop them a little to the right:
If you click on the small arrow at the end of the boxes, you can make the navigation point even more individual if you wish, e.g. assign a name that differs from the page title to be displayed in the navigation bar, assign individual CSS classes to highlight and define a point whether a certain menu item should open in a new window.
When everything is ready, don't forget to click on “Save menu” 🙂.
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The advantage of the individual menu is obvious: Not only can the order of the pages be specified individually, but also which pages should be listed in the navigation and under which name.
In order to replace the standard navigation bar with the new menu, you have to specify in the top left in the "Layout in Theme" window that this menu should replace the standard menu:
Depending on how many menus your theme uses, this box may look a little different for you.
You can also use an individual menu in the sidebar, e.g. to insert an additional menu on certain pages.
To do this, select "Design" - "Widgets" and drag the "Individual menu" widget to the desired position in the sidebar. Here you can now simply select the previously created menu under "Select a menu", which should be displayed in the sidebar.
If you have any questions about this, please feel free to ask them in the comments. I am also looking forward to your own experience reports with the use of individual menus.
Michaela Steidl is the founder of the WP Bistro. Since 2011 you have been supporting self-employed people and entrepreneurs in maintaining and administering their WordPress websites yourself.
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