Day 12: Menu System

Your Task Today:

Your task today is to inspect your menu system. Is there something on there that really doesn’t need to be? Is there something that is missing?

The menu system on your blog is very important, this is how your readers navigate through your site. If your menu system doesn’t make sense, or is hard to find, or just doesn’t have anything on it – well your readers will not be able to look through your blog. They will be stuck on your first page – and your blog is so much MORE than your first page, right?

Things to keep in mind when crafting your menu:

  1. You do not have to include a Home link (you can put this in a secondary menu if you must have it)
  2. The most important links should be first, hierarchy.
  3. Clarity, don’t be cute in your wording, your main menu should be clear. “Past Ruminations” instead of “blog archive,” “Chat me Up!” Instead of “Contact” – don’t do it! Be clear.
  4. Keep things simple, don’t have too many items in your menu (I’m such a hypocrite – but I’m trying!)
  5. Utilize Sub Menus – and large Mega Menus instead of crazy 3 tier drop-downs, if your use Blogger and it doesn’t support drop downs, try using Page Portals – a page with links that direct you further down the rabbit hole
  6. The main menu should be at the top of the page – that is where everyone looks. Don’t be creative with placement. It’s like putting your front door to your business on the side of the store — don’t do it!
  7. Always use a text link menu – buttons and images are last generation design and actually hinder your site via search engines and accessibility. With new CSS transitions and styling you can make your text link resemble a button.
  8. Keep the flash off of your menu system, you don’t want to try and “experiment” with your menu. Avoid Flash, jQuery or fancy coding. Keep it simple so EVERYONE can use it.
  9. Try using UPFRONT one or two word terminology – About | Reviews | Contact | Blog etc.
  10. Use the same MENU on all your pages
  11. Utilize an ACTIVE state on the menu system
  12. Use terminology and navigation that is universally accepted, your logo should click through to the home page, your contact page should have a contact form etc.