How to edit menus in WordPress

In WordPress, the custom menu feature makes it easy to add and edit parent and child menu items. You can create custom menus to appear as navigation menus at the top of your website, or to be placed in sidebars or other widget areas. Here is a guide to creating and editing custom menus in WordPress:

Editing Menus

The menus area is located in Appearance>Menus. In this area, you can create multiple menus to be used on your website in various spots.


On the left-hand side of the screen, you can choose from one of your pages, or enter a custom link, and add these items to the menu. To create a new menu, follow these steps:

  1. In your WordPress admin dashboard, go to Appearance>Menus.
  2. Click on the tab at the top with the plus (+) sign to create a menu.
  3. Enter a name for your new menu and click “save menu.”
  4. Click the check box next to any page or category that you want to appear in the menu, and click “Add to Menu.”
  5. If you want an external link to appear in the menu (for instance, to your Facebook or Twitter profile), type that into the Custom Link box, create a label for it and click “Add to Menu.”
  6. Once you have all the items that you want in your menu on the right-hand side, drag-and-drop their names to order them.
  7. If you want submenus, drag those items underneath their parent item, and continue to drag them slightly to the right. When the dotted line box appears indented under the parent item, drop the submenu item in place.
  8. Click “Save Menu.”
  9. In the Theme Locations box in the upper left-hand side of the window, click in the drop-down box for the menu location you want your menu to appear. Select the name of your new menu, and click “Save.”
  10. Check the front of your website to make sure your menu is appearing in the right place.

How to insert a menu in a widget area

If your theme doesn’t support custom navigation menus, there will be a message in the Theme Locations box in the Menus saying this. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t use menus in the sidebars or other widget areas of your website. Additionally, you may choose to have a secondary vertical menu appearing in a sidebar. To place a custom menu in a widget area, here are the steps:

  1. Create a custom menu as outlined in the previous steps.
  2. In your WordPress admin dashboard, go to Appearance>Widgets
  3. Drag-and-drop the Custom Menu widget from the Available Widgets area into your desired sidebar.
  4. Choose your menu from the dropdown list inside the widget, and click “Save.”
  5. Ta-da! You now have a custom menu widget in your sidebar!

This article is excerpted from my Udemy course Step-by-Step WordPress: Basics and Beyond. Use this link for a 25% discount!

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