Introduction

In part 1, I wrote about how to create a static home page for the top level of your website, with all of your blog related pages under “/blog” path. This article is about building out the rest of your site using static pages and adding a navigation menu by selecting the right theme.

Before moving on, you should add a few more pages to your site, something like this.

  • About
  • Contact
  • Sitemap
  • Products
    • Subproduct 1
    • Subproduct 2

Of course you should change the names of the pages to suit your needs. Make sure Products is a parent page to Subproduct 1 and Subproduct 2 by setting the Parent attribute of the sub pages.

Finding a Theme

Now that you have some content on your site. It is time to find a theme that you like and to display the site navigation in a way you require.

The important part of selecting a theme is to make sure it uses the page hierarchy as navigation items instead of the post categories. So when previewing the theme, make sure the navigation looks like this:

Page Hierarchy as Navigation

Instead of this:

Post Category as Navigation

You want to provide easy navigation to your pages first, and your blog second. Another thing to look for is a drop down menu to display hierarchy of pages.

CSS Dropdown Menu Items

It is much easier not use the drop down menu feature than to add it later by hacking CSS to add it to the theme you selected.

Managing Your Navigation Menu

Now that your navigation menu is tied to your page hierarchy, you should use a plugin to manage it easily. I use a plugin called pageMash. It allows you to hide pages you don’t want to display in the navigation menu, as well as drag and drop to modify the page hierarchy.

Managing the Navigation Menu

In addition to managing the page hierarchy, you also need to manage the label of the page in the navigation menu vs the title of the page that’s displayed when you view the page. My about page’s actual title is “About AlwaysOn Technologies” but navigation label is just “About”.

This ability is added by another plugin, All in One SEO pack. This plugin has more features than I can get to in the article, you can dig deeper into it in tutorials. All we are going to do for now is set the Title, which will be label displayed on the menu.

Setting the Menu Label

Adding a Contact Page

To making contacting you easier, you need a contact page where users can send message directly without having to fire up an email client. Thankfully, there are plenty of plugins that will create a contact form for you. The one I used is Contact Form 7 which uses markup to create the form so it is very flexible.

By now, you should have a functional website that the users can actually navigate and contact you. The next article will be about sending your site information to search engines and leveraging social media.

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