3 things you didn’t know you could do with WordPress menus

Good clean wholesome innocent fun

Fabulous Blogging founder Julie Deneen has some great tips and tricks for creating rocking menus in WordPress. While the menu bar basics are fine for many sites, sometimes a particular task calls for a bit more than just the vanilla “pages on the menu bar” standard.

Above and beyond listing the pages of your WordPress site on the menu bar, it’s possible to set up categories and tags, as well as portfolios and semantic links. You definitely want to check out Julie’s advanced menu post, “How to Customize Your Menu Bar,” to see all the details. Here are the highlights.

Thing 1: Adding categories

In the same way that adding pages to a menu is a common practice, adding categories is relatively straightforward. If your site content is arranged in categories, any category can be set up as a menu item. Just select the categories you want and drag them into the menu, as outlined in the menu bar basics link above. Easy peasy.

Thing 2: Adding tags and links

Now, menus get much more interesting when moving beyond the basic level of pages and categories and into some of the more advanced topics such as tags and links. You can enable the option to add tags and links to menus from the “Screen Options” area in the upper right hand corner of the admin screen.

WordPress Screen Options

Links are particularly interesting since WordPress enables a host of various extensions to links including link targets (e.g. “_blank”) and XFN relationship metadata (ref: http://codex.wordpress.org/Defining_Relationships_with_XFN). Enabling these WordPress options for specifying links in menus can also be toggled from the Screen Options menu.

WordPress Screen Options

Thing 3: Embedding images

The big “a-ha,” however, came where Julie illustrates how to embed images in a WordPress menu bar. For example, it’s possible to embed social sharing icon images directly into the menu bar itself, which is pretty rad.

WordPress Menu Bar

To get the images working, there are a few steps involved that get into a bit of CSS modification, so I recommend you go check out Julie’s original post here. It’s good stuff.

Image by: Indiana Public Media via Compfight cc

Christopher Carfi
A veteran of both startups and the enterprise, Chris has a deep track record in developing customer community and evangelist programs for brands such as Adobe, H&R Block and Aruba Networks while holding executive positions at Ant’s Eye View and Edelman Digital, and he was co-founder and CEO at Cerado. He currently lives in the Bay Area with his family.