Wordpress Header

How to Create Custom Header Menu on WordPress

Scenario: So you just created a WordPress website (wordpress.com or wordpress.org) and whenever you publish a post, it just appears on the home page.  You want to sort each article by their category such as all posts about SEO goes under the SEO tab and all Social Media posts go under the Social MediHow to a tab on the top menu bar.  However, the only problem is that you can only add pages to the top header menu bar.  Confused? Lost?  I’ve been there before and I’m here to help.

Step by step on how to create custom header menu bar on WordPress

Whether you created a free blog with WordPress.com or downloaded WordPress as the CMS from WordPress.org, it works the same way.

  1. On the menu/navigation bar on the left hand side, hover over “Posts” and click on “Categories.”Post_Categories
  2. Create different categories for your posts.  Enter the name you would want to appear on the header menu bar.  Click on Add New Category
  3. Once you finished creating different categories for each of your posts, hover over “Appearance” and click on “Menus.”Appearance_Menu
  4. Enter a “Menu Name” and click on “Create Menu.”
  5. Under “Theme Locations” click on the drop down arrow for “Main Menu” and choose the menu you just created.  Click Save.Menu Theme Location
  6. Click on the check boxes of “Pages” and “Categories” you want to be on the header menu bar and click “Add to Menu.”
  7. Drag and Drop to arrange the position of your menu bar.  If you want to make a certain category as a sub-menu, simply drag and drop it under the top-level category (make sure it has an indent).  Save Menu.Add Menu Example
  8. Preview your website and you should have your custom header menu bar

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About: Tommy Tan Tommy Tan


Tommy is a self-taught SEO and Social Media marketer and the Dojo Master for his blog - MKTdojo which shares guides, news, and exciting updates on Social Media and SEO. Connect with Tommy on Twitter. @Mktdojo

  • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

    I love how you break it down is the simplest of ways. I have a web guy who helps me with my site and this site always seemed like greek to me. I think I could actually do this with your tutorial. :-)

    • http://www.mktdojo.com/ Tommy Tan

      Thanks Susan. I had a lot of problems too when I first started. I want to create a place where beginners can find tutorials in simple english and can do it themselves. Hope it helps!

      Do you have any tutorials you would like to read or were there any problems you encounted when you first started with wordpress? I would like to get some ideas for tutorial posts. Thank you! =)

      • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

        At first thought a simple list of must have plug-in’s and why. There are so many and as a newbie it can be difficult to know what to add and what not to at first go.

        Other then that I’ll have to give it some thought. :-)

        • http://www.mktdojo.com/ Tommy Tan

          Thanks for the suggestion! Please let me know if you have any more ideas =) Enjoy!

  • http://twitter.com/JeriWB Jeri Walker-Bickett

    I added a custom menu some time ago, but at one point took off the categories simply because I had so many. Now that I’ve consolidated categories, I’ve added them as a menu selection again. I agree with Susan that a list of plug-ins for new bloggers would be helpful. I’ve also noticed a lot of blogs have their follow and subscribe buttons hidden, so that would be a good topic for a tutorial as well.

    • http://www.mktdojo.com/ Tommy Tan

      Hi Jeri,
      I find that a lot of beginners struggle with customizing the menu bar. Glad you figured it out. When you say follow and subscrbie button hidden, do you mean not knowing how to add subscribe button to side menus?

      Thanks for the suggestion!

  • Jeannette Santino

    Thank you for the pointers. I started out with Blogger, but kept hearing how “easy” WordPress was to use…Yeah, right – After fighting with it for about a month, my husband finally got a book on it and took it over until I got it useable. It’s still a work in progress.

    • http://www.mktdojo.com/ Tommy Tan

      Hi Jeannette, I am glad that you switch over to WordPress. I personally find it a lot easier to use.

      If you need help, feel free to contact me and let me know. I am offering FREE SEO consulting which includes Q&As so don’t be shy. =)

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  • Debra Yearwood

    This is a great blog. There are times that I’m on Worpress trying to do what seems like a simple thing and I just get overwhelmed. This step by step break down is exactly what’s required. Thank you.

    • http://www.mktdojo.com/ Tommy Tan

      Hi Debra, Hope this step by step tutorial helped you. If you have any other wordpress tutorial ideas, please let me know. Thank you!

  • Mary Slagel

    This is so helpful, thank you. I am not too tech savvy and often have a hard time figuring things out by just clicking buttons. These directions are clear and easy to follow. Great post.

    • http://www.mktdojo.com/ Tommy Tan

      Hope this tutorial helped you! If you have any idea for WordPress tutorials, feel free to let me know and I will try to write an article on it. Thanks =)

  • Kelly Wade

    You always provide such useful information, and having pictures of exactly where to go and what to click on is even more valuable. Thanks so much for putting stuff like this together. A lot of times people will describe the process with words, but for many people its much easier to have a visual.

    • http://www.mktdojo.com/ Tommy Tan

      Thank you! Trying to help out the new bloggers. If you have any ideas of beginner blogs, please let me know.

  • Damjan M.

    Hello Tommy!

    First of all thank you for all the previous helps you provided for us.
    I have problem with menu title and page title.

    What I want to do is quite simple. I have a page, say “FILM”. In the menu it says
    FILM, which is fine. But it automatically sets the page heading to
    the same thing. How can I change the page heading to something else, say
    “Online Services.” I know about custom menus but I don’t want to change
    the menu, I want to change the heading at the top of the page (content
    title). The thing is, when i change the heading title text, wordpress changes my menu name to that heading text as well.
    Thanks!

    • http://www.mktdojo.com/ Tommy Tan

      Hi Damjan,

      Are you using the categories as the menu? If so, you can go to Post >>> Categories and select the category you want to update. You can then update the meta title in that section to show “Online Services.” Hope this helps!

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