New Custom Menus Feature (and a few others)

Have you been hearing a bunch of hubbub around the web lately about the upcoming release of WordPress version 3.0? I know I have, and it’s always fun to hear what people are saying when we get close to a release over at WordPress.org. Here on WordPress.com, though, you never have to wait! We merge in the new features as they’re ready, so every one of you gets early access to features that only beta testers are using out in the rest of the world. Yay, right?

This new update to WordPress has a lot of under-the-hood things that you won’t really notice, but I wanted to take a minute to tell you about the new custom menu system, which is pretty exciting. Have you ever wanted to have a different title for one of your pages than the label displayed in your site’s navigation? Ever wanted to change the order of the list of pages to an order you chose yourself? Ever wanted to be able to mix pages, categories, and random links in your navigation instead of your theme deciding for you? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you’re in luck! The new custom menus feature will do all those things.

Go to Appearance → Menus in your dashboard to get started, and follow the directions there. Note: Since this feature is so new, not all themes support it yet. Right now, these themes have the custom menu feature built in: Twenty Ten, Structure, Vostok, Bueno, Enterprise, and Notepad. If you’re using a different theme, don’t fret. We’ll be adding support to more themes, but in the meantime you can still play with custom menus by using the new widget called, amazingly enough, Custom Menu. This widget will let you add any of the custom menus you create to one of your sidebars/widget areas.

Menus are the big new feature for you guys, but there are a couple of other things worth noting:

  • Have you noticed the lighter color scheme for your dashboard? Now more than ever, being in your WordPress administration tool is about focusing on your content without being distracted by the tool itself.
  • If you turn on privacy controls, you’ll see a little reminder note next to your site title in the dashboard, so that when you’re ready for search engines to crawl your site again, you won’t forget to change the setting.

I hope you guys enjoy the new features!


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Jane Wells

131 Comments

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  1. *** NoDeli ***

    Hey! I wouldn’t mind if WP sped up the servers, as long as we’re talking about added features.

    Like

  2. Veronica Twizzler

    Thanks for the new features! I use the structure theme but didn’t realize I could create menu’s, so this was really helpful.

    Like

  3. cyn@sugarsmash

    thank you! totally helpful feature. and the post telling us what’s going on is appreciated too!

    Like

  4. Sandra Lee

    I just noticed the Custom Menu Widget in my widget area yesterday and was wondering, “What’s this? This looks interesting!” Thanks for the explanation. I am using Inuit Types Themes now, so I don’t know whether it will work or not, but I look forward to giving it a try sometime. I also noticed the little “privacy setting” notice on the dashboard a few weeks ago. That’s really handy as a reminder. Thank you so much for all these wonderful improvements.

    Like

  5. Mohammad Elsheimy

    It works well! But unfortunately, my theme doesn’t natively support menus and I don’t want to add it as a widget! :(

    Like

  6. Sarah

    Wotcher!

    Brilliant new feature! Very helpful too! Thanks a zillion!

    Cheers,
    Sarah

    Like

  7. Sven Seebeck

    This is wonderful! I have been hoping this would come up soon.

    Happy to have moved my stuff over here.

    Like

  8. Pied Type

    Just found these last night on my new Enterprise set-up. Spent hours exploring the possibilities. Thanks, guys!

    Like

  9. ileaneb

    Thanks for the new options. I am thinking about changing theme so this might be a good time. How long before some of the other themes will support this?

    Like

  10. timethief

    Thanks for the long awaited custom menus feature. I haven’t tried it out yet but do intend to do so. Yes I have noticed the lighter color scheme for the Dashboard and quite like it as I’m visually challenged and it makes a difference to me. I especially like the tune-up of the Help section. Great work team! We appreciate what you do for us.

    Like

  11. troy

    Great option …but like Mohammad I am in the same pickle.

    Like

  12. Phil Groom

    Great idea … but it seems to have killed off the menus across the top: My Account, My Dashboards, New Post etc… Can we have those back, please?

    Like

  13. Sara

    Thank you so much! I’ve been waiting so long for features like this. Now I have to stop reading my book and look at these new, awesome WordPress features!
    Thank you, WordPress! :mrgreen:

    Like

  14. Phil Groom

    Thanks Jane – in which case something else has coincidentally killed them off… would be very grateful if someone could resurrect them please.

    Like

  15. ClapSo

    Of course the theme I’m using doesn’t natively support menus, but as always I’m well informed of that on the menu page. Proof positive that WordPress is the best! Anyhoo, will there be any other way I’ll be informed once my theme supports menus? I don’t think I’ll fool with the widget until then. Thanks in advance.

    Like

  16. Wez

    This looks great! I was told of this in response to a help query but this excels my expectation. Thanks!

    Like

  17. Shiblee

    Hi, Just now I’ve noticed your this post and right now I’ve tried it. It is great and I liked it very much. By the way, how can I make sub-menu of my primary menu (say, on mouse hover sub-menu will be dropped down)? OR is it that only one level menu is support now?

    Like

    • Jane Wells

      If your theme supports submenus (like Twenty Ten does), you’re golden. In the menu editing screen, just drag the item you want to be the sub-menu a little to the right and you’ll see a new drop target, created the nested levels. Fun!

      Like

  18. David W. Boles

    This is exciting news, Jane. Adding new rolling features like this is one of the great powers of WordPress.com. We get all the greatest stuff first here, and if something breaks, we know the experts will fix it straight away.

    Like

  19. Adriana

    Thanks for the new features! This will be sure to spice up the old blog a little.

    Like

  20. Kelly 유켈리

    this is awesome. i love how you guys just keep upgrading this wordpress site… one of the main reasons why im in love with wordpress, been on it for almost a year now! ;) keep up the great work, you guys definitely have my support all the way!

    Like

  21. Leif Andersen

    Very good feature, it’s great that I no longer have to just keep a page as a draft to keep it off of the menu bar, thanks.

    Like

  22. Guy

    This is pretty hot, very much appreciated! :)

    Now just give us a “retweet” button :D

    Like

  23. katja bak

    love that wp keeps updating features and services. really innovative and progressive. hope this stuff is applied to all themes quickly!

    Like

  24. Cyndy Otty

    Very helpful feature; thanks WP!

    Somewhat off topic (but restructuring my menu reminded me of this) are there any plans to update the archives tag – perhaps to add categories into the mix?

    Like

  25. deathgleaner

    When is WordPress 3.0 coming out?

    Like

  26. Eric

    Thank you so much! I would also like the retweeting suggestion.

    Like

  27. phoxis

    Have you noticed the lighter color scheme for your dashboard
    Noticed it already, and it really looks better. And what are your people doing ! Flooding us with an update wave ?

    Like

  28. Jim

    Nice.. will have to play with it some. It would be cool to be able to customize the RSS links for those that show up in a menu, like in the Enterprise theme (show or hide, or set them to point to Feedburner or other feed service for instance).

    Like

  29. TelepathicPebble

    Love this! Thank you!! I’ve always wanted to change page orders, instead of having them alphabetically sorted automatically :DD

    Like

  30. Julia

    The new thing with pages sounds great, but I really hoped that one would be able to put multiple posts on a page, like you can now only do on your home page. is there any way that this can be made a part of the next big upgrade?

    Like

  31. Christina Prints

    I’m pretty sure that the team at WordPress rocks my world. Thank you for all that you do and continue to do to promote, deliver and maintain such a healthy website. Blogging on WordPress has changed my world and my ability to communicate in Divine Ways.

    May I cast my vote for a retweet button? I often make changes to my posts that I’d love to be able to “retweet.” Thanks so much for considering it! You all are so appreciated!

    Like

  32. sid

    even though my theme does not support menu…. i will try it in case i change my theme …

    thanks a lot :)

    Like

  33. saravana

    Thank you so much! I’ve been waiting so long for features like this. Now I have to stop reading my book and look at these new, awesome WordPress features!
    Thank you, WordPress!

    Like

  34. bodats

    thank you so much! Altough my current theme not supported the new features, i’ll be using it on the next blog and using the new theme…
    keep up the good work…!

    Like

  35. Max Soutter

    you guys are ridiculously awesome! thanks.

    Like

  36. Nishant

    I wish there were many more features in the ‘MystyLook’ theme.

    Like

  37. Shiblee

    Thanks Jane for your reply. Yes, my Twenty Ten supports sub-menu. You are correct, it is just drag and drop.

    Like

  38. Jan O'Hara

    Awesome. I’ll chime in on the retweeting request. ;)

    Like

  39. Shiblee

    Wao, and it is not only one level sub-menu BUT multi-level.

    Like

  40. leilavdk

    Hiya – will this new feature help with the re-naming of standard menu items that come with the template? I have been trying for AGES to get rid of/re-name the “HOME” page that comes with the Monochrome template… will this template be getting the update as well?

    Like

  41. Nicole Schaller

    Custom menues mixing posts and pages – great feature. Thanks a lot, guys.

    Like

  42. Jennifer

    Very much appreciate all the continuous improvements to our user experience, from the subtle ones like the new “highlight” of the menu in use, to the obvious one of the new Custom Menu. Even after three years, just more reasons to <3 WordPress.com.

    Like

  43. Tris Hussey

    Jane, this was a fantastic surprise today! I was teaching a “Building Websites with WordPress” class today and thought I’d have kludge with a WP3 multisite install to use the Menus. The Menus feature was the huge hit of the class.

    Also thank you for listing the themes that use the new Menus Function. I’ll let my students know which ones will work!

    Like

  44. Olivia

    Here’s to why I love this-
    1) it gives an option wherein you wouldn’t have to keep showing Readers’s Guide both under Reader’s Guide and Home (if I selected it as Homepage). Most of the themes by default keep showing “Home” link even though we may have opted for static page display under Home. It doesn’t say Reader’s Guide like in springloaded theme. 2010 theme has the feature inbuilt to HOME to adapt the displayed static page. Menu now gives an option to inter- change, though I don’t see why one would do that..
    2) a very clean Menu Bar look.. good for people like me who do a Reader’s Guide for site navigation explaining the links in brief.

    Overall, a very new and neat look..

    Like

  45. Mahfooz Hasan

    Nice option to have. WP is becoming more feature-rich everyday. And retweeting would be very much appreciated :)

    Like

  46. christinekakaire

    This is perfect, finally allows for ‘private’ pages without having to send out a password. Thankyou! :)

    Like

    • Jane Wells

      Hi Christine. Bear in mind that if you leave a page off your menu people can’t navigate to it from within your site, but search engines can still pick it up, so it’s not truly private unless it’s password-protected.

      Like

  47. ghiboz

    wow!
    I used this feature in my beta testing blog and is very interesting and useful!!!
    thanks to have been added into the .com websites..

    Like

  48. Pingback: WordPress 3.0, and Now .com: Custom Menus « Changing Way
  49. cybermanin

    Nice feature Jane,
    you’re the best ♥
    I just implemented my own few days ago, a simple html links for my comics page
    But yours is far prettier…

    WP always keeps a step ahead …

    Cheers.

    Like

  50. Michael

    I felt restricted with the old system, being able to mix categories or random links is great much better than having a theme decide for me! Going to tinker with it when able…

    Like

  51. karenstuebing

    I just tried the widget as my theme doesn’t support this yet. I’m only allowed three widgets with these my theme (duotone) so I’ll try it for a while. Anxiously waiting for my theme to allow it. :)

    Like

  52. karenstuebing

    Using the widget, you can’t edit it once you add it? I’ll have to wait for the feature because I needed to make changes and couldn’t.

    Like

  53. Philip Patston

    Hi Jane

    Great feature – any chance of adding an “open link in new window” option for external links?

    Thanks :-)

    Like

    • Jane Wells

      On the Menus screen, open the Screen Options tab. You’ll see a few “advanced” fields for menus are available, including target, so you can decide on a menu-item basis whether they should open in the same window or a new one.

      Like

  54. رایانه‌دوست

    Thank you WordPress :smile:
    Now, Enterprise theme is shining with custom menus on my blog!
    Uuuuhahaha….. :mrgreen:

    Like

  55. climatesight

    Could WP consider including syndicated/RSS views in the total stats? I have about 200-300 RSS subscribers which never get counted in my stats page – I have to look at the stats for individual posts to see how many people are reading.

    Like

  56. Myrtle

    Thanks for the continuous upgrade! Really apprecite this! :)

    Like

  57. Jon Law

    Just been testing this out. It’ll make life soooo much easier, thanks!

    Like

  58. Raoul

    Awesome, thank you! My wife will love the custom menus feature for her blog! :-)

    Like

  59. Novroz

    great info…I’ll try it once I have lots of free time to experiment on the new menu.

    I love blogging in WP

    Like

  60. alhakim

    great improvement. I hope you can update cuteline theme to support this theme. thx

    Like

  61. BlogMaster

    This is just fantastic, no wonder i love using WordPress

    Like

  62. Kuya Marc

    From being a webmaster for 15 years, I have to ask “Why?”

    I don’t mean to be sarcastic or anything. I like WordPress as it is. Long ago (like 1979), when I was involved in computers, menus seemed to be needed back then. I’m from the original Citadel world… And then, when menu-ized software began appearing, that was a good idea.

    My decision for moving to WordPress over others, is the fact of the lack of menus.

    As a programmer, I hate making menus. My applications, from MS-DOS, Windows 3.1 and up, and Palm OS devices, I just hated using menus. It just reminds me of the past with WordStar and WordPerfect days, where memorizing menus was a requirement.

    One of the things I hate is configuring menus. When I configured menus, my customers and clients kept telling me, “menus are confusing.” I remembered telling them they can press Alt+F to open the File menu and press S to save, that became erratic.

    On some menu-ized websites, plugins in client’s web browsers tend to cause problems. In my case, I have a USB mouse that’s overloaded in caffeine, causing me to make wrong menu choices. In Windows, Right clicking the mouse gives “Cut” and “Copy”, side by side. There’s been many times I Cut by accident when I wanted to Copy.

    Back in 1992, when I was in Philippines, I was considered a “DOS Power User” and my (now ex-)girlfriend was considered a “Windows Power User”. I used keyboard shortcuts while she used mouse clicks on menu items.

    In my WordPress sites, I frequently use categories and tags. It was WordPress’ Category feature that made me switch from Joomla back in 2007. Configuring the menus in Joomla, was difficult, and took me, lots of unnecessary time. Switching to WordPress gave me more time to do other tasks, such as writing more posts.

    Instead of the idea of using menus, as I’ve done in Joomla, I’ve decided to make more wordpress.com sites, separating interests from my main blog. I used to use Jooma’s menu system to separate my interests, but my visitors had complained that it was too confusing.

    I hope nobody is offended at this posting, but I must admit, I’m considered an “old-timer” or “old-fashioned” when it comes to computer technology. I just turned 40 years old, but I feel like I’m way over 60. When I post my articles, I just want to post them, and not mess around with making my menus work. The new menu feature will cause, “menu feature isn’t working,” etc. type of complaints. WordPress’ categories and tags still work like a charm. Search engines pick up my articles without the need to make a menu item for it.

    Kuya Marc

    Like

  63. leocheungblog

    my theme does not support menu yet!…. i will try it in case i change my theme … to see what happen
    Thank so much! I really Love WordPress

    Like

  64. {JeLisa} @ Blogging Ever After

    And THIS is why I blog at WordPress!

    Like

  65. anakkost

    nice progress jane. :)

    Like

  66. chefhermes

    Great, I use the structure theme and love it too bits so more features is Awesome

    Like

  67. valetboy

    As a new blogger, I’d just like to thank WordPress for its attention to it community and the support it appears to give to the “art” (if i may be so bold) of blogging.
    Valet Boy

    Like

  68. absurdoldbird

    One thing is really bugging me and that’s the ‘light colour’ in text as my eyesight is NOT good and I can barely see what I’m doing. So… while I’m appreciative of what you’re doing… a bit of me isn’t!

    Like

    • Jane Wells

      Sorry you’re finding it difficult to see. Other people with visual impairments have reported that the change in color scheme has actually made it easier to read the navigation labels. If you would like to make a specific suggestion about which text is causing you problems, please contact support.

      Like

  69. Jesus Maria Alvarez

    TY, WP! An answer to a petition!

    Like

  70. LO

    I’m a big fan of the new menu features, especially (1) the ability to arrange menus hierarchically, (2) the ability to mix pages and posts, and (3) the ability to add custom external links. Thanks for these great upgrades!

    Like

  71. xCae

    i love the new custom menu feature :) i can now link to other sites using the menu YAY

    Like

  72. twistedt

    Great! I was hoping these features would come around.

    Like

  73. socialnomicsnerd

    Where do I find the ‘custom menu’ widget? Please provide a link, I’ve googled and searched it and can’t find it.

    Like

    • Jane Wells

      Go to your widgets screen: Click on Appearance in the left menu in your dashboard, and then click on Widgets underneath it. Custom Menus will be in the Available Widgets section, and you can drag it into your sidebar.

      Like

  74. Patrick Nix

    Thank you! I am using the enterprise theme and this option really makes the whole thing much more powerful and user-friendly. I will never change themes again… Unless you keep outdoing yourself with more and more awesome themes!! Thanks again for listening to us!

    Like

  75. R3D

    Awesome. This one will save me a lot of time soon with wordpress.org. I can’t wait.
    Thanks WP!

    Like

  76. catalystcoach

    I appreciate not having to change themes to create a submenu. Thanks.

    Like

  77. Cristiana

    I’m still working on my menu but I can tell the feature’s awesome!
    It really helps cause now I can just add the theme, I don’t have to change the whole theme!
    Thanks and great job (I’ve been waiting for a menu for so long!) :D

    Like

  78. tlauren

    I love the new changes you have made. Being new to WordPress I especially like the new help tab.
    Thank you for thinking of our needs.
    tlauren

    Like

  79. godzoned (Debbie)

    thank you I’ve enjoyed the updates. you lot behind the scenes are fab!!!

    Like

  80. lornakismet

    This WordPress universe is so exciting, interesting, friendly, helpful, amazing, admirable! These new themes come out, new MENUES are created, and all of you creative and dedicated people keep giving us the fruits of your genius for free. Thank you so much. The support team too: Thank you very much.

    ~LK

    Like

  81. yarnaholic

    I especially love that you can change the title of a Page in the Custom menu without affecting the underlying link and search engine ranking. What a lifesaver that’s been on my blog! Thank you WordPress.com!

    Like

  82. Yasir Imran

    custom menus is great feature. If it will be only available in wordpress.com or also wordpress.org includes it.

    Like

  83. LO

    Small menu feature suggestion:

    Add a check box under the “Title Attribute” of a category menu item which would allow users to use the category’s existing description as the “Title Attribute.”

    Like

    • Jane Wells

      Not a bad idea! We’ll take it under consideration when we do the next upgrade to the menu system. Thanks for the suggestion. (Although, people using category descriptions tend to make them much longer than a title attribute should be.)

      Like

  84. Maddy

    Would this new update be the reason that my horizontal navigational bar is now displayed over my header ? :(
    Just the funky appearance today and have been trying to figure it out all morning.

    Like

  85. lindsaydominy

    I love the customization! Not sure if you can help but I’m trying to get a weather.com widget to show up on the side bar. Any ideas? I tried doing it as an image and it didn’t work.

    Like

  86. mebigina

    wow…that’s awesome. i can customized my menu bar without delete anything…thanks

    Like

  87. Kamil Sokołowski

    Cool.. can’t wait to try it out. Keep the good work going.

    Like

  88. soft soul tough shit

    Ooo, nice change! Speaking of changes, would be great if the WordPress search engine were changed so that people also can search for blog names, not just content. Seems to me every other half decent, add smudged blog service has this function..

    Like

  89. trippleedge

    Cool! It’s always a pleasure to see software tools upgraded in functionality and usability, making our time online more stream lined and user friendly! Way to go…continue the good work!

    Like

  90. themoneyhat

    Thank you so much for the information. It is very helpful.

    Like

  91. Jason Curts

    Any chance when I add outside links to the menu, that they could be formatted with the same looking tab as the pages of the blog? They are just lists right now.

    Like

  92. Raian the Fallen

    Love the updates and I LOVE WORDPRESS.

    Like

  93. wanderingtheforest

    I used the custom menu on a blog I did yesterday – very useful :)

    Was useful in allow me to NOT show the full blog posts but got use the category summary as a “page” instead!

    Like

  94. KeezRha

    Thank you! I’m happy now :D *dances off*

    Like

  95. hislovekeptme

    I REALLY want to use more widgets, especially the WP-CUMULUS that is only available on wp.org. It wasn’t until I was searching for that cloud that I even realized that there was a wp.org site versus wp.com. A few widgets, such as some Google ones life friend connect, etc seem to only work esp. with their thumbnails on .org and not .com. I really like the Cumulus cloud, will you be offering it … soon, or not at all here? I almost considered switching over to .org just or that and other features.

    Thank you though for the continual add-ons and improvements. It’s an adventure to discover there are new features and options available from time-to-time.

    Like

  96. stick13

    I choose the Twenty Ten layout when creating my blog for the fact that I could title the pages, and arrange them how I wanted, and for the drop down boxes. My page has quite a few of them, and I am continuously adding more (I actually just finished adding another one).

    Like

  97. marilynkaydennis

    To Phil Groom.

    My site periodically does that, too. To get back the things which have disappeared, you just have to sign in again with your identity and your password, and the Remember thingummy will be activated again.

    Meanwhile, WordPress doesn’t recognize you as the author of your site, so it will count you in the Stats when you visit it.

    Like

  98. citydaters

    Anything that makes my life easier is great!

    Like

  99. aproperfool

    I’m excited about the new menu options! But I can’t get mine to work properly. The drag-along categories keep getting stuck.

    Like

  100. La SuSea

    What a nice surprise. Just yesterday i was spending ages trying to order my list of pages back to its original spot since I accidentally had deleted it. I haven’t tried it out yet but will do tomorrow morning! Thank you!!!

    Like

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