Creating and applying menu templates to your website

Menu templates are a way of personalizing the links and content of your site menus, page by page. If you need to adapt what links or other menu content appear on specific pages of your website, all you need to do is create a new menu template, and apply that template to those pages.

Structure menus

Why use different menu templates on your website?

If you have a forum on your website, you may want to remove side menus from your forum pages, to be able to display the forum across the full width of the page. Or if you have a website directory, you might want to add shortcut links to directory categories in the side menu, but only for the directory pages on your website.

Creating a menu template

By default, your website has one menu template, called the “Default template". Its content (links to pages, and other menu widgets like maps) is automatically applied to all site pages when you first create your site.

To use a different menu template for one or more site pages, you’ll first need to create the menu template. Head to the Settings > Menus menu of the site manager, then locate the New template button to the right of the page, and click it.

Provide your menu template with a meaningful name, and then click Save.

Personalize the content of your website menu template

When you create a new menu template, it will have no links or other content, so you’ll need to add them.

In this example, we’re creating a new menu template for our website’s forum pages, and only want to display page links in the top menu. We’ll begin by disabling the other site menus, and then personalize the links in the remaining (top) site menu for this template.

See this tutorial for help with adding links to your top menu.

Applying a menu template to a site page

Like other site plugins (like comments, social sharing and member access), a menu template can be applied to:

  • the whole website, and all its content
    (from the Settings > Global settings menu, under Plugins settings)
  • all the content of a site add-on
    (from the Options tab of the add-on, for example: Add-ons > Pages, under the Options tab, from the Plugins settings)
  • all the content of an add-on category
    (from the editor of the category, under Plugins)
  • a single item of content
    (a single page of your website, from its editor, under Plugins)

As we’re applying our new menu template to all the pages of our site forum, we’ll do so by editing the plugin settings from the Options tab of the Forum add-on.

Head to Add-ons > Forum, select the Options tab and scroll down the page to the Plugins settings.

To apply a menu template, click Edit settings under the Menu template plugin section. Select the menu template to apply to forum pages using the drop-down menu, then Save your changes at the bottom of the page.

Viewing site menus

Now that you’ve applied your menu template to the forum add-on, under its Options tab, it will automatically be applied to all content of the forum add-on, whether new or existing.

To check the results, head to your forum on your website.

Adapting website menus to site content using menu templates

Here we have our site homepage. As it's the principal point of entry for the majority of website visitors, it needs to provide them with clear and comprehensive site navigation links.

Our side menu provides links to individual site pages, and thematic navigational blocks, to provide visitors with a clear sense of the structure and content of the website.

For our website forum pages, it's better to ensure that forum content is what's highlighted. Visitor participation is hindered by content that's confusing, or too narrow to be exploited correctly.

Our forum visitors can view the forum in the full width of the site, and we've removed all but a few relevant links from the top menu.

Renaming menu templates

The name of a menu template is facultative – it helps you locate the template when applying it to your site content.

If you need to rename a menu template, simply select it from the drop-down menu under Settings > Menus, and enter a new name at the bottom of the page, then Save your changes.

Deleting menu templates

To delete a menu template, select it from the drop-down menu, then click Delete to the right, and confirm.

Any content using the template will automatically inherit the menu template applied immediately above: for a page, the template used by its category, for a category, the template applied to its add-on, or for an add-on, the template applied to the site.

If no other template is applied above the content, it will use the “Default template” instead.