Joomla is the second most popular CMS on the web with the market share of 7.2%. Because of its comparatively simple interface and extensive advanced functionality, it became a beloved platform of many users and developers alike. Generally, it is quite easy to navigate through the admin panel of this platform and create simple and intuitive sites, however there are a few things that need to be considered more carefully. One of such things is a website menu, therefore, in this article we are going to look at the peculiarities of its management in Joomla.
While usability is the fundamental goal of every website, a clear menu structure is one of the means to achieve it. A menu is in many ways the medium between the website and its visitors – it directs the users to different places on the site and determines how they interact with it. Hence, it is important to make sure that the menus are simple and consistent enough for the user to understand, yet at the same time are creative and don’t disrupt the general design idea.
Let’s start with the very basics of the menu organization and quickly recollect how to add a new menu in Joomla. After you log in to Joomla Admin panel, go to “Menus” > “Menu Manager” and press “Add New Menu”.
Once you do this the Menu Manager will appear. Simply fill in all the required fields and press the “Save” button. If you want to leave without saving, press “Cancel”. Note, if you need more info about any of the fields in the form, simply hover the mouse over the name of the desired field.
It is possible to create more than one menu, and choose different positions for each of them. Remember though, that if you want your newly created menu to be displayed on the page, it is necessary to add a module for it. To do so go to the “Menu Manager” and press “Add a module for this menu type” next to the menu you wish to display. The Module Manager will appear. Name your module and choose a position you want your menu to be displayed on.
Another basic, yet important component of menu management is menu items. Adding those is very similar to creating menus. Simply go to “Menus”, select the menu you want to add item to and press “Add New Menu Item”. The most important part of this process is selecting the menu item type. There are 11 default categories of items:
- Articles (Archived Articles, Create Article, Featured Articles, Single Article);
- Configuration Manager (Site Options, Template Options);
- Contacts (Featured Contacts, Contact Categories, Contacts in a Category, Single Contact);
- Newsfeeds (List All Categories, List Feeds in a Category, Single News Feed);
- Search (Search Form or Search Results);
- Smart Search;
- System Links (External URL, Menu Heading, Menu Item Alias, Text Separator);
- Tags (Compact List of Tagged Items, List of all Tags, Tagged Items);
- User Manager (Edit User Profile, Registration Form, User Profile);
- Weblinks (List All Categories, List Links in a Category, Submit a Link);
- Wrappers (Iframe Wrapper).
If you have created a number of different menu items and wish to reorganise them, you can use a convenient drag-and-drop feature introduced in Joomla 3. Change the order of the menu items by selecting the three dots in the left-hand column next to the item you want to move and simply dragging the item onto the appropriate position.
Creating a Drop-down Menu
Wish your menus had sub menu items? A good way to accomplish this is to create a drop-down menu. The process is quite simple and in many ways similar to creating regular menu items. Here is a step-by-step instruction.
1. Go to “Menus”, choose a desired menu (in our case “Regions”) and press “Add New Menu Item”
2. Once the New Menu Item Manager appears, choose the item type, by pressing “Select” button next to the Menu Item Type field.
3. Next a lightbox with the available menu items will appear. Select the appropriate type of item. In this example we are going to show how to create a drop-down menu leading to a single Joomla article. For this purpose select the category “Articles” and choose “Single Article”.
4. Point out the article you want to link to by pressing the “Select” button next to “Select Article” field. Choose the desired article from the lightbox with all available options.
5. Enter the name of a new menu item.
6. Don’t forget to choose the “Menu Location” and most importantly the “Parent Item” from the drop down lists on the right of the Menu Manager.
Now you can navigate to the user-facing part of your website and hovering the mouse over the corresponding menu, you’ll see the newly created menu item appearing below.
Hopefully, with the help of the aforementioned tips you will be able to create a clear, consistent menu structure and bring your Joomla site to the new level of excellence.
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