Edublogs: Creating drop-down menus and how to organise them

In this post we will look at how you can control the menu for your site using two different methods.

When you first create an Edublog site, you’ll notice that within the posts and pages section there are example posts/pages.  Usually called ‘sample page’ or ‘Hello world’ for example.  I always recommend that these example posts/pages are deleted, unless you have been setup with a specific template that has been tailored to your module.

When you then start creating your blog site, you may want to have a home page, about me, CV, Reflections, Contact.  It really depends on how your tutor would like you to setup the blog and what they require in terms of the pages you need. (Check this information with your tutor)

All blog sites are setup so that when you create a page, the new page (once published) will automatically appear in the top navigation menu.

Most blogs are also setup so that any post your publish will also automatically appear on your home page.

But what if you find that the navigation order is not what you want, so for example you have a page called ‘placements’ and after this page is your ‘about me’ page, but you want the about me page to show before the placements page?

There are two methods to fix this issue, one is relatively straightforward and the other method involves a little more tweaking.

Method 1

1. go to the dashboard for the site you wish to edit.  (hover your mouse cursor over ‘My Sites’)
2. go to ‘Pages’ > click to edit the first page you wish to appear on the menu (this is usually ‘home’, but could be another page).
3. Look to the right-hand side of the page and in the page attributes section enter ‘1’ in the order box.

Page attributes

4. Repeat the above steps for all your pages in order of preference, so for example if your ‘about me’ page was to come after your ‘home’ page then you’d enter ‘2’ in the order box when editing your ‘about me’ page.

Please note that you must order every page, otherwise any pages not ordered will have ‘0’ assigned and the pages will not order as you need them to

Instructions

The other point to mention is that you can’t order posts in the way you can with pages. This is because by their nature posts are more collaborative and most blogs are setup to display most recent posts first on your home page.

Method 2

1. If you want more control over your menu, you can do this by creating your own menu within the menus area
2. Go to the ‘Appearance’ > ‘Menus’
3. Create a new menu (call it main menu)
4. You will see a layout that looks like the below screenshot.  Here you can see all your pages on the left-hand side – simply check any that you want to add to the menu and click on ‘Add to menu’

You will see your pages appear in your new menu.

Menu

5. You can rearrange your menu items by clicking and dragging the page up or down as above.
6. Once you are happy with your menu, you should check the ‘Primary Menu’ box and ‘Save Menu’

The good thing about this method is that you can open up your posts and add individual posts to your new menu.  You can then drag those posts and make them appear as a drop-down menu item for any of the above pages.  Useful if you have a set of blog posts covering a different aspect of your blog that you want to highlight.

So just follow the same steps for adding a page, except using posts – but this time you can indent the post underneath a page to create the drop-down menu item, shown as below.

menu 3

menu 4

Watch the below screencast to see how the different methods work.

Tip

Check how your blog is setup – so you may have your posts set to display on the home page or you may have the home page set to display a set home page.  For example, go to ‘Settings’ > ‘Reading’ – you will see the below screenshot:

Edublogs reading page

So, in the above example all the posts will appear straightaway on the home page when someone visits the blogsite.  If we changed this to ‘A static page’ we could select any page to appear when someone visits the home page.  The other useful thing you can then do is create a page called ‘Blogs’ – you can then select this page as a ‘Posts page’ and this will automatically add all your posts to the ‘Blogs’ page.  This way you can have a static introductory page as the home page, but still filter through all your posts onto a separate page.

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Matt Ewens

Digital Innovation Technologist

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