A menu is one of the key forms of navigation when visitors are using your website. You can (and should) also link to relevant pages from within an article but there's no substitute for a menu. Here's a video tutorial on how to create one in Joomla.
The most important menu is your main navigation menu - the one you usually find at the very top of the page, or in older style websites, usually in the left column. You can also have sub-menus, which show up only on certain pages.
Also, how you use menus can affect your URL structure. Here's an article I wrote a while ago about Joomla menu strategies for URL structure.
How to Create a Joomla Menu and Menu Item
In this tutorial we're going to create a menu and a menu item.
Create the Menu
- From the top menu, go to Menus > Manage > Add New Menu.
Let's make a menu for what I call administrative pages - not really content, but pages every website should have, such as an About Us page.
- Name the menu. I'll call this menu Admin Menu.
- Click save and close.
Create the Menu Item
- Now select the menu, either here or through the top menu, and add new item. An item is a link within the menu.
- Select Menu Item Type > Articles > Single Article.
- Then select the article.
- Enter the title for the menu link.
If you leave the alias blank, the title becomes the URL. (The alias is part of the URL.)
Because this menu item is for an article, I'm going to give them the same title. (You can make the link title different, but it can get confusing.)
- Edit the settings if necessary.
- You can move the menu item to a different menu using the menu selector.
- By selecting a parent item, you can make the link show as a child item (which may show as a drop down menu).
It also means the URL would include the parent. For example: yourdomain.com/parent-item/child-item.
Tweaking Menu Item SEO
- Next, under the page display tab, you can edit the browser page title, which is what shows up on your web browser tab.
The browser pulls it from the meta-title - something you don't see on the page but something google does see and uses to help determine what your page is about. In other words, it's a chance to tinker with your SEO.
- Under the metadata tab, there's the chance to enter a description and keywords. You only need to do this for menu links that aren't article pages because you should already this entering this metadata for articles when you create them.
- Finally, under the link type tab, you'll see the link title attribute. This is another place to tinker with SEO.
Tell google a little more about the page by writing a short description. You'll see this pop up when you hover over the link.
- With the menu item created, click save and close.
On your Joomla site you now have an about us page, a menu for site administrative pages, and a menu item linking to your about us page. Again, if you look at your site though, you'll still see no change.
The last thing we need to do is display the menu by creating a menu module. We'll show you how to that in the next video tutorial.