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How to update the navigation menu in WordPress

I actually get this question a lot. When you spend all day everyday in WordPress, you sometimes forget that a task you think is super easy can be scary and daunting to someone with less experience. You add a new page to your website, but then it doesn’t show up in the menu and you aren’t sure what to do next, right? New pages don’t automatically get added to your nav menu, nor do they get automatically deleted when you delete a page. So let me set your mind at ease! Changing your navigation menu is easy. Have no fear. Here is how you do it.

Login to your site, and navigation to Appearance->Menus.

menus

If you only have one menu, then you’re menu page is going to look something like this:

menus2

To remove a menu item from the menu, just click on the little arrow to the right of the Page text, and that menu item will give you a drop down with more options.

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To remove the menu item, click the red “Remove” text. Then to save the menu, click on the blue “Save Menu” button. And voila! You have removed an item from the navigation menu. Easy peasy, right?

But what if you want to add to the menu? That’s not hard either.

To the left of your menu structure, you’ll see a list of options for adding to your menu. The top option is pages and by default, it’s going to show you the most recent pages to your site, making it easy to select a new page. If one of the pages you want to add to your navigation menu is in this list, you simply check the box, and click “Add to Menu.” Then, of course, hit the blue “Save Menu” button. You can do this multiple times, and you can choose more than one menu item to add a time.

menus8

 

If the page you want to add is not in the most recent pages, you can change the view to show “View All” so you can see all possible pages, or you can click the Search option to search for a page.

So there you’ve done, you’ve figured out how to add a page to your navigation menu!

But not so fast… what if you want to link to somewhere else? Maybe another site you own, or to your Twitter profile? We can do that too! Below where you have your list of pages, you have an option for “Links.” Click the arrow next to links and you’ll see more options for adding links.

menus5

You simply paste in the URL of your link, type in the title you want for the menu item, and click “Add to Menu.” And of course, hit the blue Save Menu button! (Always save your menu. You can’t save too much. Really. It’s okay. Hit save.)

Finally, you might want to add one of your blog categories to your menu. Perhaps you have a category that gets a lot of traffic and you want people to find it easily. You can easily do that too. Just click the arrow next to the Categories option to drop down your category choices.

menus6

You simply tick the categories you want to add and click “Add to Menu.” (And don’t forget to save your menu!)

Now you can easily add new pages, categories, and other links to your navigation menu.

BONUS TIP: Want to change the wording of the text in the navigation menu without changing the title of your page? That’s easy too!

Just select the menu item you want to change in your menu list.

menus7

Once you click on the toggle arrow next to the word Page, new options drop down. Once you have more options, you can type in any name you want for that menu item. This ONLY changes the label of the page in the navigation menu, it does not change the name of the page. This is particularly helpful when you want to have a longer page title, but need something short and easy in your menu.

Go change your menu and have fun!

Amy Masson

Amy is co-owner of Sumy Designs, LLC and the technical half of the Sumy Designs team. She has a passion for making great websites with WordPress.

11 Comments

  1. Elizabeth on August 24, 2017 at 1:05 pm

    Hi, I’m having this issue but I do not have an “appearances” option on my editing sidebar. I’ve tried editing it in pages and changing the page tile but it simply will not update in the menu. Frustrating! Can you help?

    • Amy Masson on August 24, 2017 at 1:07 pm

      It’s possible that you aren’t added as an administrator, but a different level of access. Do you know what access level you have? Administrators should have Menus in Appearance.

  2. Glen Frachiseur on September 13, 2018 at 6:10 pm

    Hi Amy,
    Thank you for your article!
    I am very new to working on websites and have no experience. I am signed up with wordpress and chose a theme that I thought would work. I imported the demo content and am customizing to suit my needs. So far all is going well. When I go to remove or add items on the main menu I notice that all of the available pages are not listed , even when I click on view all. The same pages that are not listed in the menu list are also not listed in the all pages section either. The only place I see them is in the main menu structure section. The demo material is more than I will need initially, and I want to save them for later use, so if I remove them from the main menu do I lose them permanently? Also, how would I find them again?
    Thank you!

    • Amy Masson on September 14, 2018 at 7:29 am

      Hi Glen – Happy to take a look if you’d like. It’s hard for me to say what’s going on otherwise. 🙂

  3. Atikah on October 4, 2018 at 4:56 pm

    How about using free version? Is it possible to update for different sections? This is my first time using it actually. So I tried to play around with it but I’m just wasting my time just to figure out how to update on different menu

  4. Priyanka on October 11, 2018 at 12:35 pm

    I have made my website using localhost so now when i want to add the custom link of my website in pages like contact us , about etc it’s not processing. It’s taking url of localhost. what to do?

  5. Michael on November 8, 2018 at 3:49 pm

    Hi Amy,

    I’ve set up a Woo Commerce website based on the Oleander theme and have a small issue with main menu navigation.

    I have 4 categories on my Primary Menu all linking to different groups of Sub Items (Lifestyle, Quotes, Kids, Special Occasions) for the shop. But for some reason when I click on both the headings for Kids / Special Occasions it takes me to the Lifestyle page. When I’ve looked at the appliance – menu tab it says the original Category was Lifestyle, and I’m assuming this is why it is redirecting me there.

    Do you know how to change this without losing all of the sub items I’ve uploaded onto each of the categories?

    Thanks

  6. Andrew Hunt on November 27, 2018 at 8:07 am

    Hi Amy. I set up a page for the section in the main menu but when i added a sub menu item the page on the top level doesn’t work and I just have a drop down menu. I want the category page to be seen also. Can you offer any advice please?

    • Amy Masson on December 5, 2018 at 8:16 am

      Hi Andrew – I’d need to take a look at the site to give you any recommendations.

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