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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131 Comments

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  1. danudin

    Now at least I know why the Dashboard went haywire for a few days last week, LOL It was YOU, tinkering around in my laptop. Too Funny!

    Like

  2. Tetkorax

    Bravo Jane!

    I’ve been waiting 2 years for this feature.

    Thank you and WordPress team. 🙂

    Like

  3. PT

    This is just awesome, we were just thinking a couple of days back about how cool it would be to sort out our categories and links on top menu. Thanks a ton! Great work.

    Like

  4. poemcatcher

    This is a brilliant feature and well timed in my blog creation process. Gotta say I can’t live without it, but I’m not finding a theme that groves for me – Any chance of it being used on “Contempt”. How long before other themes come online?

    Like

  5. shamballa9944

    I am always amazed at the constant flow of innovation you guys put out here! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    Like

  6. Phil

    I’ve been playing around with the custom menus for a bit and I love it, but I’m a little puzzled as to how I can take advantage of the drop-down menu capabilities of Enterprise.

    Like

  7. The Bob Show

    Although I can appreciate the release of a new feature, I can’t understand why it would be released without first be accessible to everyone’s theme.

    Like

  8. Lois Kackley

    I know I should update my theme so maybe this will be the spur I need. (Is that muttering I hear that you’ve heard this before?) Anyway, thanks for the continual upgrades.

    Like

  9. A

    Awesome.

    I took it out for a spin, but there are still a few flaws. For example, if I create a page with a parent, and for aesthetic reasons I don’t want it to appear as a drop down menu. It still does.

    I guess it might be due to the fact that I am using the Inuit theme and you guys haven’t gotten around to editing the code.

    Other than that tiny detail. It’s awesome.

    Oh and another thing I’ve noticed can you add functionality to the archives short code so that it can display posts based on categories? That would be just awesome.

    Like

  10. myphotoscout

    Wonderful. I have been waiting for this feature.

    Like

  11. Soumen

    Sounds interesting,
    Will be waiting to see, how it looks like in shocking blue green theme.

    Like

  12. egitimogretim

    Thanks for the new features!

    Like

  13. mystery worshiper

    Cool. I thought it was odd that WP didn’t allow a bloggers to arrange pages the way they wanted to. Now they can! Thanks so much!!

    Like

  14. BJH

    Custom menus is the coolest advance ever, in my opinion. WordPress has also been issuing some terrific themes lately. I used the menus feature with Twenty Ten and it’s great. I’m hoping to us Buena soon. I used to think that a separate host gave you more freedom, but I am now convinced that the best blogging solution is WordPress.com all the time. The WordPress themes and features have reached a critical mass. Can’t wait for 3.0.

    Like

  15. Denise

    Interesting. I thought the Vigalance theme already has some of these features in it, but I suppose there are some new ones here worth looking into. Thanks WordPress team!

    Like

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  17. istanbulsfinest

    Very very thanks for this feature I was waiting for a long time. I was thinking to switch to wordpress.org to have more themes where I could have categories as top menu. As my blog isn’t one of these one category blogs and as I post about various subjects like music, movies, fashion etc. I needed to draw my readers attention to my categories so each reader could easily find posts in subjects they’re interested in. And that’s indeed this categories feature what made me choose wordpress.com over other blog sites. Thanks again.

    Like

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