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How to Make WordPress 3.0 Custom Sidebar Navigation Menu

Custom WordPress Menu
Ever wanted to make a sidebar navigational menu for your WordPress 3.0 blog similar to Joomla, and Drupal content management systems Sidebar navigational menu which is displayed on every page of the CMS website.

By having custom Menus for your pages and categories, your WordPress blog can act more like a CMS or website with a blog rather then just a blog. Also, having better organized custom menus can make navigating your blog a lot more easier since people do not have to bookmark individual pages on your blog to find pages and categories. They can just click on a link in your sidebar which save them time, and makes it less confusing on how to navigate through your blog.

Having a good navigation and linking structure on your blog, website, or forum can decrease bounce rate meaning people will not leave your site because it is cluttered and hard to navigate.

Also, having Navigation Menus can increase Search Engine Optimization for pages and categories on your blogs since they are easier for search engines to find if there is a link to the page on your navigation bar. A navigation bar is kind of like a sitemap for users and search engines to use to find content.

WordPress 3.0 has a Section called Menu under Appearance in the back end administrator control panel of WordPress 3.0. The Menu section lets bloggers easily make custom menus which add links to pages and categories. The Menu feature is very easy to use. It is just point and click, and no coding is required.

You use the Widget section under the Appearance’s section to position and add your custom menu to your sidebar, footer, or other section on your blog which accept Widgets.

1. Login to WordPress Admin Control Panel, Go to the Appearance section to expand it, and click on the “Menus” link.

Appearance menus

2. Give your Menu a name, and click Create menu Button.

Name and create menu

3. Select the pages or categories you want to add to the Menu, and click the “Add to menu” button.

Select pages and categories Add to menu

4. Use your Mouse to Re-arrange your pages links for your Menu.

rearrange menu item order

5. Click right arrow on the menu item delete, or rename label and title attribute menu item.

 Click right arrow on the menu item delete, or rename menu item 

6.  Click “Save Menu” button on the top.

save menu

7. To make more menus menus click the “+ “Button, and repeat steps 1-6.

Plus sign

How to make menu appear in the sidebar or other section on your blog’s template.

1. Click on the Widgets link under the appearance section of WordPress Admin panel to go to Widgets.

Go to Widgets

2. Pick custom menu from the list of Available widgets.

Pick custom menu

3.Use your mouse to drag the Custom menu to the widget section of your blog you want your menu to appear in. The Primary Widget Area and Secondary Widget Areas are usually the sidebar areas for your blog, but it could be different depending on your blog’s template.

Drag your menu to widget area

4. Give short descriptive menu a name and click save.

Give menu a name and click save

Now when you visit your blogs address, you’ll have a navigation menu which looks like this.

Custom WordPress Menu

Best of luck with your navigation menu making tasks in WordPress!

Also check out WordPress 3.0 Menu:: Updated by doede.net for a more in-depth article.

13 comments… add one
  • web design company September 18, 2010, 2:38 am

    Thanks for u r information

    its very useful

  • Gaming Accessories September 23, 2010, 3:36 pm

    Thanks for posting this. I looked around your blog and found your blog is superb. There are a lot of info for me to study, thanks for your great share.

  • jowie September 25, 2010, 9:09 pm

    its of great help..Thanks

  • Johnson Yip September 25, 2010, 10:59 pm

    Thanks Jowie, glad my post is of great help to you.

  • kabirada@Buy Bakugan Toys October 8, 2010, 12:09 pm

    your tutorial is very clear.I tried to create custom menus but it’s said “your theme is not support custom menu” or something like that.What should I do?

  • Johnson Yip October 8, 2010, 5:14 pm

    I’m not exactly sure how I can fix your problem. My best guest is you should change your theme to a theme which is compatible with WordPress 3.0 since this is a new feature which came out for version 3.0. You can also try making a Widget container for your sidebar.php theme which can be kind of tricky.

    You can try reading Moralde’s blog post about making a sidebar widget at http://moralde.com/how-i-created-an-additional-widget-container-in-my-sidebar/

    I am using the default Wordpress 3.0 theme called TwentyTen, so you can try modifying TwentyTen for your blog’s needs, so you can have a custom menu on your sidebar.

  • Webdesign Utrecht November 9, 2010, 10:56 am

    @kabirada: on the website below there’s a clear explanation how to add such a menu to a theme (if it’s not already there). http://www.doede.net/wordpress/wordpress-3-0-menu/

  • Johnson Yip November 9, 2010, 7:47 pm

    @Webdesign Utrecht Cool, thanks for the link, I add this link to my article as an extra resource. It looks like a very nice in-depth tutorial.

  • Mike November 21, 2010, 12:04 pm

    Great article! Here’s something related… I wrote a plugin to enable me to have content customized to the page or post in the sidebar.

    The Graceful Sidebar Plugin creates a widget that enables you to use custom fields in a post or page that display in the sidebar. You can use it to display custom html or a simple message. The custom fields it uses are graceful_title and graceful_content.


  • Johnson Yip November 21, 2010, 4:34 pm

    Thanks, I check out your plug-in. It sounds like a very useful plug-in for WordPress Users who need a custom widget in their sidebar.

  • elf February 15, 2011, 9:49 am

    Thanks for the tutorial!

    Is it possible to change the style of the menu in the sidebar, e.g. font, colour, etc?

  • Johnson Yip February 15, 2011, 6:17 pm

    Elf. I’m not sure, I think you need to edit your CSS file for your theme in your Wordpress themes. I did not see an option for changing the font characteristics in the sidebar menu.

  • Prasad May 30, 2011, 4:54 am

    Nice Article.

    Once visit http://www.wordpressstop.com here you will find lot of articles regarding to Wordpress.

    keep Smiling

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