How to create a drop down menu in WordPress

You can create a dropdown menu for your WordPress website in a few minutes without using a plugin. You can edit and change your menu at any time. In my post, I show you how to create, edit, and change a dropdown menu step by step.

Menus are essential for your blog. Navigation should be simple and easy to use, ideal for excellent user experience.

When I started using WordPress, I kept forgetting to update my menu. Get into a routine when you publish posts so that you don’t miss essential steps. By the end of this post, you will know how to assign your posts to categories, add posts to your menu, and create a drop down menu for your blog.

Let’s get started

Step oneAssign categories to your posts.

Each time you write a new post or update an old post for your blog before you hit publish or update, assign your blog post to a category.

On the right-hand side of the editor is a ‘Categories’ tab. Once you open this tab, there is also an option to create a new category.

Assigning your post to a category

To create a category for your blog post, click on the ‘Add New Category’ link. Type your new category into the box (1). If this new category is going to have a parent category, select that from the drop down menu (2). If not, click on the ‘Add New Category’ link (3).

How to create a new category for your post in WordPress

Once you have assigned your post to a category, publish or update your post.

Step two – Create a menu.

After publishing your post, hover your mouse icon over ‘Appearance’ on the main left-hand side menu, from the popup, select ‘Menus.’

Create a menu

On the menu page, you can create, edit, and delete menus for your site.

The first step to creating a menu is to give it a name. Type a ‘Name’ in the ‘Menu Name’ box and click on the ‘Create Menu’ link.

Create, edit, and delete menus in WordPress

After you create a menu, you have an option on the left to add items to your menu.

Add menu items

To start, I would recommend having a homepage tab on your menu. To create a homepage tab, click on ‘Custom Links’ on the left, paste or type your site URL, and type ‘Home.’ Finally, select the ‘Add to Menu’ link to create a homepage tab on your new menu.

Create a homepage tab

After you select ‘Add to Menu,’ a ‘Home’ tab appears on the right.

Homepage tab

After you create a ‘Home page’ tab, add categories to your menu. To add those, click on ‘Categories’ on the left. Select the ‘Categories’ you want to add to your menu, then click on the ‘Add to Menu’ link.

Add categories to your menu

Now your menu has a homepage tab and categories.

Homepage and category tabs

Now you have your homepage and categories set up. Next, add posts to your menu. Click on ‘Posts’ on the left, select the ‘Posts’ you want to add to your menu, and click on the ‘Add to Menu’ link.

Add posts to your menu

The next step is to move your post tabs to sit under the correct category tabs. To do that, left-click your mouse on the post tab you want to move and drag it to the category. Before you release, move the post tab slightly to the right. Before you release, move the post tab slightly to the right, this ensures the posts will show in a dropdown menu.

Continue until all your posts are sitting under a category. All posts that show in your dropdown menu become a ‘Sub Item.’

Create a drop down menu

When you are happy with your new drop down menu, click on ‘Save Menu.’

Save menu

Now your new drop down menu is live on your site. On your homepage menu bar, you can see your ‘Home’ and ‘Category’ tabs.

Menu bar

Hover your mouse over one of the categories, and all the posts in that category will appear.

Drop down menu in WordPress

You can change the order the posts, change the category positions in your menu, and delete the menu at any time by going into ‘Menu’ from your WordPress admin.

How to create a drop down menu video tutorial

Watch this video on YouTube.

Conclusion

Now you can create a dropdown menu in WordPress. The first step, assign your post to a category. In the second step, go to ‘Menus’ and add your new post to your menu. Third, move your post to sit under but to the right of a category tab. Finally, save your changes. If you do everything in this order, your menu will work correctly.

As your site grows, you might want to consider changing your categories to custom links. Then your visitors click on your category tab and go to a page listing all your posts with a summary. Having too many posts in a drop down menu, to me anyway, doesn’t deliver a good user experience.

If you can spare one minute, I would love to get some feedback about my post. Did it help you? Would you like me to go into more detail in the steps? Are you having issues with your dropdown menu on your site? I am eager to receive your feedback.

If you would like to contact me directly, you can leave me a message below, or message me through one of the social links below.

If you are new to WordPress, check out my WordPress category, I post helpful tutorials frequently.

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4 Comments

  1. Thank you so much for a very thorough and concise tutorial! I found this really easy to follow – I’ve tried to figure out menus for a few days and I thought I was doing the right thing with categories. I have no idea what I was doing wrong but I was able to make a menu with drop down options, and make my blogs appear in those options! You made me feel like a pro – thank you!

    Toni

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