When it comes to website building platforms, WordPress is king. It’s estimated that nearly 30% of all websites currently online have been built with WordPress.
If you’ve used WordPress to build websites before, you don’t need to be told how simple it is to use. With the right background, you can do almost anything with the platform.
You’ve probably spent time thinking about the content you’ll put on your website. But have you given thought to how people are going to use your site?
Website navigation is important, and your WordPress dropdown menu could do a lot to help people find the content they need.
Why Your WordPress Dropdown Menu Matters
User experience is an important part of website design. If you neglect to think about how people are going to interact with your content, you could end up creating a website people don’t want to use.
You could have a beautifully designed website filled with valuable content and still miss out on finding potential customers because of a bad navigation menu.
Luckily, a WordPress dropdown menu is relatively simple to make. You can ensure that your customers find the information they need and spend time on your site with a good drop-down menu.
Ready to learn how to add a dropdown menu to your WordPress site? Let’s get started!
A Dropdown Menu Primer
Dropdown menus (also known as nested menus) are a simple way to help people navigate around your site. A simple way to handle set up is to think of the menu content having two categories: parents and child.
Parent categories are the first thing people will see when they enter the dropdown menu. Child categories are secondary navigation links and will come after someone scrolls into the parent category.
Parent categories are the main site sections that will appear in the menu. As an example, let’s say that the parent category, in this case, is for “services”.
If “services” is a parent category, a child category could be something along the lines of “consulting” or “recruiting”.
Having a dropdown menu can help you easily categorize content and even help with user behavior and flow.
Building A WordPress Dropdown Menu
The process for setting a Wordpress dropdown menu is very simple. First, go to your appearance tab then select menus. After that, choose the menu where you want the link to be displayed.
Once you’ve done that, select the create a new link menu item and use the # section as the URL with the link text of categories. Afterwards, click the add to the menu button.
Choose the categories you want to be displayed inside of the dropdown list. Once you insert the categories to the menu, just drag and drop in the order you want them to show.
As you can see, physically creating a dropdown menu in WordPress is very easy. Deciding on the categories you want and ordering them is the hard part.
Tips For Flawless Website Navigation
Now that you know how to create a WordPress dropdown menu, it’s time to put thought into what you want your menu to do.
There’s a lot that can be said about the proper way to design user interfaces and user experience in general, but we’re going to focus on the basics so you can have a useful dropdown.
You want your overall menu to be detailed, but when you add too many categories, it’s easy to make your menu almost unusable. Don’t make the common mistake of adding too many category choices when you only need a few.
Think about the main pages you’d ideally want every visitor to click on when they’re on your website. Once you’ve identified what those are, you can start thinking about child pages you may want to include in the menu.
As a golden rule, try not to have any more than 7 parent sections in the main navigation. If you feel like you’re having trouble narrowing it down, think about any parent categories that could work as child categories.
Make Your Menu Prominent
WordPress templates give you a litany of customizable options when it comes to menu navigation. You want to get creative with your website, but when you’re designing your dropdown, it’s best to keep it simple.
You don’t want users to have to click around for the dropdown option. It needs to be in either the top-right or top-left corner of your website for maximum visibility.
It’s also important to make the menu dropdown button very prominent. Dropdown buttons that blend in too much with the background or fade won’t be helpful to visitors.
Consider Content Interaction
Before you decide on a style for your dropdown menu, think about the way the menu is going to interact with the rest of your page and content.
When a user clicks on a section, is the menu going to display text on the website? Will the rest of the content slightly fade while visual elements in the menu become more prominent?
Always consider other design elements when you’re planning your dropdown menu. You may have to adjust certain things to make the text more readable or help other things stand out.
Don’t Forget Your Logo
Your dropdown menu doesn’t have to be the only element of your site to help people get around. There are other things on your website that can help people get to where they need to go.
Your logo can be a powerful navigation tool with the right link. Your company logo should always link back to the home page.
Using logos to navigate to the home page is very common in website design. People already associate it with your business or product.
And because it shows up frequently in site content, it can be an easy way for people to get to your home page fast.
Put Yourself In the User’s Shoes
This is the simplest website navigation tip you can follow, but some people can quickly forget about it during the design process.
The easiest way to plan a WordPress dropdown menu is to put yourself in the mind of the average user. If you were learning about a business solely from their website, what information would you want to see in the navigation menu?
Now that you know the right way to handle navigation, you’re ready to dive deeper into website strategy. Check out our WordPress SEO Booster so you can start working on your SEO strategy.
Do you have website navigation tips for people new to WordPress? Help them out in our comments section. Also, if you have any questions about plugins or web design, contact us so we can help.