Site Navigation

The site navigation section is your website’s primary navigation. The navigation appears below the Red Title Bar in a light grey bar. It allows your visitors to access the main sections or pages of your website. The main sections or pages that are in the site navigation need to be consistent on every page of your website.

Site Navigation screenshot

Try to limit your navigation items to approximately 140 characters (total) as anything more will force the text to wrap to the next line.

All links in the site navigation section should link to pages within your website (ie. yoursite.info.yorku.ca). Any links that point to another York or external website (ie. anothersite.info.yorku.ca or anothersite.com/pagename) should be placed in the Right Sidebar.

How to deal with many menu items:

We recommend grouping items into sections and sub-sections to help visitors drill down to the item they are looking for. Each menu item can have sub-items and sub-sub-items.

The number of characters (words) that can be included in the Site Navigation bar is limited because it's horizontal and cannot extend indefinitely. As such, it is important to keep the number of your menu items small and the associated text brief.

Limiting your site content as much as possible is also helpful. The larger your site, the less likely a visitor is to find what they are looking for. Search functions will also be less accurate as similar pages will be competing with each other for page ranks. By assessing your content and making sure it’s succinct and relevant, you’re ensuring the best visitor experience possible.

Other things to consider:

  • Keep the number of each menu item’s sub-sections to a minimum – try for no more than 7 (too many sub-sections can be overwhelming to visitors instead of helpful).
  • Likewise, the number of each sub-section’s fly-out items (sub-sub sections) should also be kept to a minimum.
  • Links should be short, descriptive and as similar as possible (or identical) to the linked page titles.
  • We strongly recommended that you include a Contact link on your site, either in the Site Navigation, or in the Right Sidebar.

How to Implement:

If applying the York 2014 theme to a pre-existing site, changes to the menu should be made before switching to the new template.
  1. Log in to WordPress
  2. Click on Appearance > Menus
  3. Make sure 'mainnav' is selected as the menu to edit
  4. Click and drag elements from the left into your menu area to the right (click on the arrows to open up sections to see options).
  5. Click and drag elements in the menu area on the right to re-order. The item at the top of the list will appear first (at the left of your navigation) and the item at the bottom of the list will appear last (at the right of your navigation).
  6. Click 'Save Menu' for your changes to appear on your site.