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Custom Navigation Menus in Twenty Ten WordPress Theme

Navigation menus list links displayed on your website. In the Twenty Ten theme, you can define navigation menus on your site through the built-in menus feature in WordPress. These links can link to pages, posts, or categories within your site, or they can link to other sites. Provide at least one navigation menu on your site so that readers can see everything your site has to offer. Providing visitors with a link — or several — to click is in keeping with the point-and-click spirit of the web.

The menus feature is already built in to the default Twenty Ten WordPress theme, so you don’t have to worry about preparing your theme for it. Not all themes have this feature available though because you have to add support for it in the theme functions file.

Much like the drag-and-drop widgets feature that enables you to tweak areas of your site without knowing hardly any code, the menus feature offers an easy way to add and reorder a variety of navigational links to your site as well as create secondary menu bars (if your theme offers multiple menu areas).

  1. Choose Appearance→Menus on your Dashboard.

    The Menus page opens on your WordPress Dashboard.

  2. Type a name in the Menu Name box and click the Create Menu button.

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    The Menus page reloads with a message that tells you your new menu has been created.

  3. Add new links to your newly created menu. WordPress allows you to add new links to the menu in three ways:

    • Custom Links: In the URL field, type the URL of the website that you want to add (for example, type http://www.google.com). Then type the name of the link that you want to display in your menu in the Text field (in this case, type Google). Then click the Add to Menu button.

    • Pages: Click the View All link to display a list of all the page(s) you have currently published on your site. Select the check box next to the page names you want to add to your menu and then click the Add to Menu button.

    • Categories: Click the View All link to display a list of all the categories you’ve created on your site. Select the check box next to the category names you want to add to the menu and then click the Add to Menu button.

  4. Review your menu choices on the right side of the page.

    When you add new menu items, the column on the right side of the Menus page populates with your menu choices.

  5. (Optional) Edit your menu choices by clicking the down arrow to the right of the menu item name.

  6. When you’re satisfied with your menu choices, click the Save Menu button on the right side, at the top of the Menus page.

    A message confirming that the new menu has been saved appears.

You can create as many menus as you need for your website. Although the main navigation menu (which is determined in Appearance→Menus→Theme Locations→Primary Navigation) displays below the header image on the Twenty Ten theme, menu widgets are available that allow you to display other menus you’ve created in different areas of your website, such as the sidebar or footer.

After you save your navigation menu, you can use the drag-and-drop interface on the Menus page to rearrange your menu items by clicking a menu item with your mouse, dragging it to the desired location, and then releasing your mouse to finalize its position.

Additionally, you can create subpages under top-level menu items by moving menu items slightly to the right and below them. Subpages can be especially handy for sites with lots of page content because they enable you to avoid cluttering the navigation bar and to organize content logically. Be sure to click the Save Menu button to ensure that any changes you’ve made to the menu are saved and applied to your website.

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