Drupal Menu Management - dummies

By Lynn Beighley, Seamus Bellamy

In general, an Internet menu is a set of links to web pages. In Drupal, those links can also point to nodes (a fancy word for Drupal content) such as articles and basic pages. When a link to an article or basic page node is chosen from a menu, a web page opens with the article or basic page node content presented as though it were an actual web page.

Drupal offers you four menus you don’t have to create: the Main menu, Management menu, Navigation menu, and the User menu.

  • Main menu: On many sites, the main menu showcases links to significant content, and is often located in the top navigation bar.

  • Management menu: This menu contains links to the site’s administration pages and can only be utilized by users’ administrative permissions.

  • Navigation menu: This is the menu used on many sites to show links for site visitors. Some modules add links to this menu automatically.

  • User menu: The User menu shows links related to a registered user’s account, as well as the Log Out link.


To work with menus directly, choose Structure→Menus from the Dashboard menu bar. The options are shown in the illustration. There are two tabs on this page:

  • List menus lists all the menus.

    From here you can edit an existing menu or create a custom menu.

  • Settings controls the overall structure of your menus.

It’s best not to make any changes to the Navigation menu. We’re not saying that the Earth will careen out of orbit into the sun or anything if you do, but if you change the Navigation menu, you run the risk of being unable to get to particular sections of your site — such as the My Account link, Log Out link, or any administrative functions.