Joomla 3: Creating Menus and Menu Items

Joomla provides a simple user interface to allow the users to create menus and its menu items. Even through Joomla interface we can set what to happen when the user clicks on the menu item. This article explains these steps.

Step 1. Log-in into Joomla as an administrator. Joomla will display “Control Panel”.

Joomla 3 - Admin Control Panel

Joomla 3 – Admin Control Panel

Step 2. Click on “Menu manager” link which is usually on left side of the page. Joomla will display “Menu Manager: Menus” page.

Joomla 3 - "Menu Manager:  Menus" page

Joomla 3 – “Menu Manager: Menus” page

Step 3. Click on New button. Joomla will display “Menu Manager: Add Menu” page.

Joomla 3 - "Menu Manager: Add Menu" page

Joomla 3 – “Menu Manager: Add Menu” page

Step 4. Now under “Menu Details”:

  • Provide title of the menu in Title field. Title will be displayed in “Menu Manager: Menus” page in menus list.
  • Provide menu type in “Menu type” field. This is the internal name of the menu.
  • Provide menu description in Description field. This tells the purpose of the menu.

Step 5. Once you provide the details, click on “Save & Close” button. Joomla will create a menu and display “Menu Manager: Menus” page. Observe that the newly created menu will be displayed here.

Joomla 3 - "Menu Manager: Menus" page with "Custom Menu"

Joomla 3 – “Menu Manager: Menus” page with “Custom Menu”

Now we have successfully created a Menu. Now we can create Menu Items. Keep that in mind; in order to create a menu item, we should select a menu. Now I am going to show you how to create a menu item for our newly created menu.

Step 6. Click on our menu “Custom Menu” from “Menu Manager: Menus” page. Joomla will display “Menu Manager: Menu Items” page. This is the page where Joomla will display menu items of selected menu. We are not yet created any menu items for our menu “Custom Menu”; hence showing no menu items.

Joomla 3 - "Menu Manager: Menu Items" page with no items

Joomla 3 – “Menu Manager: Menu Items” page with no items

Step 7. Now we need to create menu item for our menu. Click on New button. Joomla will display “Menu Manager: New Menu Item” page.

Joomla 3 - "Menu Manager: New Menu Item" page

Joomla 3 – “Menu Manager: New Menu Item” page

Step 8. From “Menu Manager: New Menu Item” page:

  • Provide menu title in “Menu Title” field. This is mandatory field to fill. This title will be displayed on the menu when the menu is published and positioned in proper place.
  • Now important field we need to select is “Menu Item Type”. This tells the type of menu item we are going to create. Either it points to an external link or it points to an internal Joomla component etc.,. Joomla doesn’t allows you to enter anything directly into this field. We should enter the value to this field; through Select button only.
  • Click on Select button. Joomla will display list of menu item types in a separate dialog. Here we are going to create a link which points to our CodeSteps.com website. So, select “System Links” link. Joomla will expand the link and display its sub-items. Select “External Link” item.
    Joomla 3 - Select Menu Item type

    Joomla 3 – Select Menu Item type

  • Depending on the menu item type we selected, rest of the fields will be populated. Here we have selected, “External Link” as a menu item type. So, we need to provide an external link this menu item is going to points to in Link field.
  • Keep default values in rest of the fields. Make sure you have selected proper menu in “Menu Location” field.
  • Provide the note if anything you want to provide for the menu item in Note field.

Step 9. Once you made the necessary changes; click on “Save & Close” button. Joomla will create a menu item and display the “Menu Manager: Menu Items” page. Observe that our menu item is displayed here.

Joomla 3 - "Menu Manager: Menu Items List" page

Joomla 3 – “Menu Manager: Menu Items List” page

Now we have a menu with one menu item created. Now does Joomla display the menu item? Not yet. Because, we are not yet added a module to our menu type. Yes we need to add a module for our menu type “Custom Menu”. Then how do we add a module for menu type? Good. Follow the below steps.

Step 10. Go to our “Menu Manager: Menus” page; where you will find our “Custom Menu” entry.

Step 11. Click on “Add a module for this menu type” link which is next to our “Custom Menu”. Joomla will display “Module Manager: Module Menu” page.

Joomla 3 - "Module Manager: Module Menu" page

Joomla 3 – “Module Manager: Module Menu” page

Step 12. From “Module Manager: Module Menu” page:

  • Provide title in Title field.
  • Select the position as “Top [position-1]” from Position field. This tells Joomla to display this menu in “position-1” in the selected Joomla template (theme) which is usually a menu bar area.
  • Keep rest of the field values as they are.

Step 13. Click on Save button to save the changes.

Step 14. Now we are ready to test our custom menu.

  • Go to our site’s home page.
  • You will find the link “Link to CodeSteps.com” on top of the default menu.

    Joomla 3 - Home page with custom menu

    Joomla 3 – Home page with custom menu

  • Click on the link and you will see codesteps.com is opened.

It seems our “Custom Menu” is working fine. We have successfully created a working menu in Joomla 3.

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