How to create and update a wordpress navigation menu

Here’s a quick “how to” video showing you the basic concepts (below the video are step by step instructions).

Creating and updating a WordPress menu is an important step in making a website which is easy to navigate. Typically, when you create pages in WordPress they’re not added to the menu automatically, so we need to create the menu which shows how to get to the pages you’ve made. This blog shows you how to create such a navigation menu. Let’s start at the beginning:

Step 1: Login to your website’s dashboard.

Just a quick aside on what may seem like a mundane issue to you. It is important that your username is something OTHER than admin. If it is admin, that means that all a hacker has to do is figure out your password in order to get into your website. You might want to check out some of the important things that Penner Web Design does to make sure that your website is kept secure. We have a web security package which you might be interested. You can explore it here:
https://pennerwebdesign.com/wordpress-web-security/

 

Step 2: Make sure your menu isn’t collapsed

If your menu only shows icons in a vertical row, click on the right arrow at the bottom of it (see it at left) and your menu will appear with words on it. That’s a bit easier to follow.

Step 3: Create your pages

Generally the menu you create will point to pages you have created. If you have already created pages, you can see them by passing the cursor over the ‘Pages’ item in the menu list at the left and selecting ‘All Pages’.

If you haven’t created any pages in your WordPress website, find out how you can do that here: https://pennerwebdesign.com/blog/how-to-update-a-page-in-wordpress/

Step 4: Go to the section of WordPress where you control the menus

 

Now that you know how to create page, create 4 of them. Call them Home, About Us, Contact and Sample Page.

Next, pass your cursor over the word ‘Appearance’ (see left).  A ‘flyout’ menu appears. Click on the word ‘Menus’ to go to the menu control area of WordPress.

 

 

 

Step 5: Name your Menu

Type the name that you want to give to your menu in the blank space beside the words “Menu Name“. Then click on the blue ‘Create Menu’ button.

Step 6: Select your Menu Settings

Usually you want the menu you are creating to be the ‘Top Menu’. Click on the little box to the left of the words ‘Top Menu’ and then click on the blue ‘Save Menu’ button.

Note: Some themes will refer to this type of menu as a ‘primary menu’ or ‘header menu’ or some similar term instead of ‘Top Menu’. Some themes will have different places where your menu appears and this is where you determine that.

Step 7: Select the pages you want on your menu

You will see the Most Recent pages that you have added to WordPress by default. If you have a lot of pages added over a period of time, you may have to click on the ‘View All’ tab.

We only have 4 pages in our little website. We want to add all of them to our menu. So click beside each page name to put a check mark there, and then click  the ‘Add to Menu’ button as shown on the left.

(A short cut would have been to click ‘Select All’ and then the ‘Add to Menu’ button.)

 

Step 8: Save your menu

Click on the blue ‘Save Menu’ button on the right side of the page. This is a very important step because if you navigate away from the page without saving, everything is lost!

 

Step 9: Dragging Menu Items Around: Submenus and Reordering

Sometimes you want a menu item to ‘drop down’ from the main menu items you created above.  To create a submenu item click and drag that menu item slightly to the right. In the illustration at the left, I have made ‘Contact’ a submenu underneath ‘Home Page’. Do that.

Similarly, if you want to reorder the menu items so that  ‘About Us’ appears first in the menu list, you would click and drag that menu item to the top. Try that now, then click ‘Save’, and refresh your web page to see the result (shown below).  Note that ‘contact’ is a drop-down menu item under ‘Home’ and that ‘About Us’ is the first menu item on the list.

Step 10: Editing Menu Items

Let’s suppose you want to change the name of the ‘About Us’ menu item to say only ‘About’.

Go back to the section in WordPress where you control the menus. (See Step 4 above). As shown at the left, click on the little down arrow on the far right side of the ‘About Us’ menu item. This reveals  all of the details about this menu item. Now in the Navigation Label area, change About Us to About.  (Don’t actually do this.)

NOTE: This window is also handy if you want to remove a menu item. All you do is click on  ‘Remove’ at the bottom left.

 

Step 11 Adding Posts and Links

 

If you have posts on your website, you can go to the page from which the menus are controlled, click on the little down arrow on the far right of the ‘Posts’ and it will display the most recent posts you have. You can add them to your menu in the same way as you added pages.

 

 

In addition, you can add links to pages on other websites. You can do that by clicking on the little down arrow at the end of ‘Custom Links’. This allows you to add links to whatever website you like by typing in the URL. At the left, I’m adding the URL for Google and clicking ‘Add to Menu’.

If you did all of this and changed the ‘Home’ menu item back to the top of the list, your final menu should look like what is shown below:

 

Enjoy working with WordPress menus and if you have any questions please feel free to reach out to me!

 
For all you bloggers out there, this is a pretty cool shirt.

Posted in Client Help, Web Design, Wordpress

March Madness 2017 Final Four Facts

With our Chapel Hill neighbor UNC in the final four of this years March Madness finale, I felt it was important that we answer a few questions for those that aren’t familiar with this years tournament, and the teams vying to win the NCAA men’s basketball national championship.

The Final 2 Contenders from the Final Four

Tonight at 9PM EST #1 seed UNC will be taking on #1 seed Gonzaga for the national championship after UNC beat out #3 seed Oregon barely with a final score of 77 to 76, and Gonzaga beat out #7 seed South Carolina with a final score of 77 to 73.

Who Won the 2016 Final Four Championship?

Last year at the 2016 NCAA Final Four championship, #1 seed UNC beat out #10 seed Syracuse 83 to 66, and went on to play #2 seed Villanova who beat out #2 seed Oklahoma 95 to 51. Villanova won the final game and took the 2016 NCAA men’s basketball championship from UNC with a final score of 77 to 74.

What was the Lowest Seed Team to ever Win the NCAA Championship?

In 1985, the #8 seed Villanova Wildcats faced off against #1 seed Georgetown in the final game of the championship, and not only did they make history by being the lowest seed team to ever win the Final Four, but they also set history by hitting 78% of their shots to score the highest field goal percentage by any team within the championship.

I’m a diehard Duke fan, but for real, this year, I’m putting on my lucky socks and cheering for UNC, because, let’s face, who even knows where Gonzaga is anyway?

Go Here if You’re a Diehard UNC Fan for Excellent Deals on UNC Stuff!!

Posted in Chapel Hill

Getting ahead of the potential for Zika

aedes aegypti mosquitoAlthough concerns about Zika settled temporarily during the winter months, Mosquito Tek who is one of my clients that’s been focusing his efforts toward mosquito control in Chapel Hill, Raleigh, Durham and the surrounding Triangle has brought it to my attention how important it is that everybody plan ahead this season in preparation for what could be a record year for mosquitoes.

2016-2017: Record Warm Winter in North Carolina

The 2016-2017 winter season in North Carolina saw record high temperatures according to NOAA and even though precipitation was lower than normal, what can be expected is that mosquito season will come sooner than expected. Along with the longer mosquito season comes the potential for an unusually warm spring, summer, and fall that will be perfect breeding for mosquitoes.

Get ahead of the Mosquito Infestation

mosquito sprayingWith mosquito season starting early, Mosquito Tek has already seen a major increase in calls for people trying to prevent their homes and businesses around the Triangle from the Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes which carry Zika, and face the potential for Zika since the CDC indicated last year that North Carolina is among the eastern states that are within the estimated range for risk of Zika. The best defense against Zika is a good offense, and that includes spraying the area around your home and business early in the year before mosquitoes can set up for breeding.

Posted in Chapel Hill

Help MDA

I’m going behind bars. Yes, that’s right — me, in the slammer — here’s the low-down.

Every day, kids and adults are diagnosed with muscular dystrophy, ALS and related diseases that take away the most basic freedoms – the freedom to walk, talk, hug and even breathe.

I am doing a little time, to do a lot of good by being a Jailbird at a Muscular Dystrophy Association Lock-Up to help give those freedoms back.

Please donate to my bail and support me, and the thousands of kids and adults who will be served by MDA this year.

It’s easy — just click on this secure link to make a tax-deductible donation.

Thank you in advance for joining me as I fight for everyday freedoms for individuals with muscular dystrophy.

Posted in My Life

The Most Important Aspects of Website Design

A beautiful, user friendly website is key for converting customers. Your businesses website is just as important as a traditional brick and mortar store. However, it is different in that unlike a storefront, it never closes and is always available to your customer. A website should showcase the company brand, as well as successfully sell or inform its visitors.

When designing your website, there are a few aspects that are more important than the others. “Good design” includes basics such as white space, color, navigation, positioning, mobile ability, typography, and usability.

White Space

White space doesn’t have to be white, it simply means that there needs to be blank space on the page. This helps to draw the viewers’ attention to where you want it to go, as well as gives contrast to the page. When done right, leaving white space helps to balance out the page and set a more upscale tone.

Color

The colors that you choose to use on a website will have more of an impact than you might think. The colors chosen should follow these guidelines and more:

  • Match the colors to businesses current branding color scheme. Consistency with colors across all platforms and with your logo is best.
  • Colors should not be too overpowering or overwhelming. You don’t want the colors to get in the way of the message.
  • The colors should also compliment each other. Clashing colors are abrasive to the eye.
  • More bold colors should be used to draw the viewers’ eye to Call To Actions or points of interest.
  • More subtle colors should be used as backgrounds or for secondary pieces of information.
  • Background colors should work well with font colors. While it might be fun to play around with multiple colors, the most important thing is still readability when it comes to text.

Navigation

Navigation on a website refers to how the menu is set up and how the viewer finds where they need to go. One of the most frustrating things is being on a website and not being able to figure out where to go. This can be because the information is too congested, or that it is simply not labeled well or hard to find. Some items to remember when creating a website’s navigation are:

  • Always label menus or buttons clearly enough so that people know where they will be going when they click on it. Simple descriptive text is best.
  • The menu and buttons should be in easy to find places and coincide with where viewers are used to finding these links on a website.
  • At least the main menu needs to be on every page.
  • On larger sites, add in a site map, breadcrumbs, or even sub headings to help people when they might get lost.

Positioning and Alignment

When arranging elements of a website design, where pieces are placed truly matters. Where the element is placed on the page dictates the order in which the viewer will see it. Having the proper flow of pieces and information to walk a visitor through the website is vital.

Alignment comes secondary to this point but is still a necessary aspect to address. Once pieces are all placed in the correct positions, they should also all be consistently aligned. Nobody wants to surf a website where everything is different sizes, has different amounts of space between, and overall feels off.

Mobile Friendly

All websites today should be built for mobile viewing as well as the traditional desktop view. There will undoubtedly be a large number of your websites visitors coming from smart phones. When they reach your website, you want them to stay! If the website needs to be zoomed in on, played around with, and is hard to see on their phone, they will leave as quickly as they got there.

Typography

The text on your website says a lot about your brand. It helps to set a visual tone and can bring a lot to the design. Some aspects that should be addressed in relation to typography are:

  • Font style
  • Font size
  • Text colors
  • Spacing, length of lines, and paragraph styles

Usability

Last but certainly not least is usability. Testing out how your website works and making sure that it is easy to use is probably the most important step. Some tips to remember when designing for usability are:

  • Think about what people are used to and expect. Stick to standards of design such as having the menu at the top or on the side, using certain symbols of use, etc.
  • Understand what the user might want to experience. What are they going to try to do when they get to the site, and what might they search for? Knowing what they might be trying to achieve will help you to plan a successful and accessible design for them.

In the end, when a potential customer visits your site, make sure that they are impressed! There are so many other options online for every sector of business or product. If a visitor doesn’t see what they want they will bounce off your page immediately and visit your competitor.

Christopher Dill is the lead SEO ninja at The Dill Design. He has a passion for helping businesses grow through digital inbound marketing and increasing organic sales and conversions. Chris also manages responsive web design projects for SMB’s.

Posted in Web Design