How to Manage WordPress Menus and Widgets

Menus seem like a simple enough feature inside of WordPress, but often cause unnecessary confusion. Here are some insights on what can go inside your menus, how you can set them up, and where you should place them on your site.

If you love your theme but don’t like its menus, you can always edit the CSS. The stylesheet requires some coding knowledge, so it’s only for advanced users. However, you can use a plugin that features a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor to change your menus without any coding knowledge.

To edit these, go into your WordPress dashboard:

  1. Click on “Appearance.”
  2. Then click on “Menus.”

Depending on your theme, you may have the ability to customize the location of your menus. Each theme is different, so there’s no way to know for sure which locations are available to you. However, they’re fairly straightforward so you shouldn’t have too many problems.

You can add categories, pages, or custom links to a menu. Categories and pages must be created before they are able to be added as menu items here. However, you can check the option to “Automatically add new top-level pages,” box to add pages as you create them. You can also change your menu layout by dragging and dropping the different items. If an item is indented under another, then it’s a subsection of that menu category.

Widgets in WordPress

WordPress widgets add content and features to your sidebars. There are default widgets the come with WordPress, such as ones for categories, search, and more. Plugins will often add their own widgets.

Widgets were originally designed to provide a simple and easy-to-use way of giving design and structure control of a WordPress theme to the user. Widgets require no code experience or expertise. They can be added, removed, and rearranged on the “Theme Customize,” or “Appearance > Widgets,” in the WordPress admin dashboard.

Some WordPress widgets offer customization and options such as forms to fill out, includes or excludes of data and information, optional images, and other customization features.

WordPress comes pre-packaged with a variety of widgets. If those are insufficient for your needs, you can install new ones by searching the WordPress Plugin Directory which is accessible from the WordPress admin dashboard “Administration Plugins > Add New Screen.”

Whether you’re adjusting your website menu or adding widgets to your site, every WordPress customization option works to enhance your site. How you arrange and configure your menu can have a lasting impact on your visitors and their interaction with your site.

How have you managed and configured the widgets in admin dashboard? Let us know below!

Machielle Thomas
Machielle Thomas | Content Manager
Machielle Thomas writes and curates web and email content for marketing professionals, small business owners, bloggers, and more.

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