How to Create a Menu

The menus in WordPress ot Joomla  are one of the main things that make this content management system so great for some and so difficult for others. In the menu’s modules and links, there are so many options to choose from. The following list shows the choices available to link to the articles.

You need to decide the kind of layout you will be using for the site and stick to it. This is the only way to create an easy-to-use, consistent layout of your site. The only time you should divert from your chosen layout option is when a part of your site is really going to benefit from using a different layout.

For instance, you could have a lot of table based layouts that hold all the articles to give your readers a quick overview of the content of the site, and use a blog layout for the blog section of your site.

That being said, let’s start working on those menus.

The main menu
The main menu is of course the placeholder for the basic structure of the site and should reflect that structure as well. I wanted to have a standard site, so I used the first item from the main menu as Home. For the submenu items I placed the standard article links in the Contact Us and About page, along with the Sitemap link page. These pages are made as subpages for the Home link.

For the contact page you can use either the standard Joomla! contact component that is built-in or you can create a standard page and give it the layout you want. Here you can see the true power of the SEF patch, as you cannot do this with the standard Joomla! menu item.

From the SEF patch you get an extra record and fields for the menu items. Consider you wanted to write a better title for the Contact Us page. If you used the standard Joomla! system parameter for the title you would see this:

However the HTML title that is seen by Google and other search engines is still “Contact Us” and you should do a Google search on that. With the SEF patch 1 can now create the HTML title “How to contact CB Landscaper in Los Banos”.

If the changes you make are not immediately reflected, make sure to clean the cache of the site and check again. Even more important than the menu’s HTML titles are the content HTML titles, which we will be looking at later.

Back to the menu, I have set up more menu items and linked them to the sections with a blog layout. As subpages, each category in that section gets a link to the blog layout for articles. Why choose a blog layout instead of an article list, which seems to do well also? The main reason is the topic of the site.

Landscaping and gardening are visual-orientated topics, and you can do great things with images to make things clear to the visitors of the site. If you have a web site that is really geared toward technical visitors who like, and are used to scanning through article listings, then make sure you use that option.

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