5 Steps for Setting Up Your WordPress Website Menus

Hello and welcome to this article about setting up your WordPress website menus. If you have stumbled upon this post from Gawd knows where, you may be interested to know that this is from a series of articles from a Kindle eBook called, “How to Set Up a WordPress Website from Scratch.” If you would prefer to buy the book to make life easier, feel free to download it by clicking the image below.

We have already seen how to set up menus using customisation but I want to show you another way to do this. You won’t want to keep going into ‘Customise’ every time you want to change your site so this way is a bit easier. 

As always, there is a video to watch if you’d like and, as always, I’d like to remind you to read the chapter before you watch the video.

Step 1: Adding Categories

First of all, before we look at WordPress website menus, I’d like you to add some categories to your dashboard. Hover your cursor over ‘Posts’ and you should see ‘Categories’. Click on that link. On the next page, you can see ‘Add New Category’. I’d like you to add three or four new categories now.

For the categories, think about what you’re going to write about. If you’re going to describe your travels around your home country, you could create some categories based on the regions. If your site is about something more manual, carpentry, for example, you could make categories based on different types of furniture.

Don’t overdo the thinking here. Whatever you come up with, you can change or delete later if you want. The purpose of this is to see how it is done, not to come up with the best categories for your website at this precise moment in time. 

Step 2: Adding Menus

Hover your cursor over ‘Appearance’ in the left-hand sidebar of your dashboard and click on ‘Menus’. If you followed my advice and installed a theme with two menus, you should have them now. One should be named ‘Top Menu’ and the other ‘Main Menu’. Your ‘Top Menu’ will be used for your pages and the ‘Main Menu’ for your posts. If you haven’t named your menus yet, now is the time to do it.

WordPress website menus

Step 3: Menu Locations

Your menus should also be saved to locations. If you haven’t done that yet either, click on the tab saying ‘Menu Locations’ and assign ‘Main Menu’ to Main Menu and ‘Top Menu’ to the Top Bar Menu. Make sure you save your changes and then return to ‘Edit Locations’.

Step 4: Top Menu

Directly under the ‘Edit Menus’ and ‘Menu Locations’ tabs you will see ‘Select a menu to edit’. Choose ‘Top Menu’ and click ‘Select’. Now, you want to make sure that the pages we have created are in this menu. However many pages you created, you should add them to the ‘Top Menu’.

WordPress website menus

Step 5: Main Menu

Now, go back to ‘Select a menu to edit’ and choose ‘Main Menu’. There should not be anything in this menu at all. If any of the pages are there for whatever reason, just click on the small ‘down arrow’ and click on the red button that says ‘remove’. 

Now, under ‘Menu Items’, you will see ‘Pages’, ‘Posts’, ‘Custom Links’, and ‘Categories’. Click on ‘Categories and then on the tab entitled ‘View All’. Whatever categories you created earlier will be there. Add them to the menu and then save it.

Of course, your theme may be slightly different. However, if you are not sure you’ve done it right, just open up your website and see what it looks like. If your top menu has pages and your main menu has categories, you have set up your WordPress website menus!

If you can’t see what you are expecting to see, go back and make sure you have followed these instructions properly. By the way, the most usual mistake is forgetting to save the menus, so make sure you do that first.

Wrapping It All Up

And there it is. A very simple tutorial about how to set up your WordPress website menus. In the next article, we’re are going to be looking at how to create a WordPress site icon in 10 minutes flat.

Michael Williams

Blogger, writer, teacher and an all-round good egg.

View all posts by Michael Williams →

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