How to Use WordPress Categories and Navigation Menu Together

I came across an unusual question this week: The questioner wanted to know how to assign blog posts to specific pages that would be displaid in the blog menu.

Their blog is a cookery blog and they wanted to be able to write a post that would be (for example) an Italian recipe, and allow searchers to see and navigate to it through a menu item entitled ‘Italian Recipes’.

Here’s how you would do that:

The WordPress navigation menu enables you to include Categories in the navigation bar. Categories are also hierarchical, so you can have parent and child categories.

You can also include ‘Custom Links’, so it would be easy to create this set up.

WordPress navigation menu screen

So create a category called ‘Recipes’ and then make that the parent category for a series of sub-categories, one for each type of recipe: e.g. – Italian Recipes, French Recipes, etc.

Then you can create categories in your navigation menu by adding ‘Category’ items.

To create a child category in the navigation menu add more ‘Category’ items under the initial one, but drag them slightly to the right. This will cause them to drop down as sub-menu items in the navigation bar.

Then I’d assign each recipe post to the relevant sub-category – but only that sub-category, i.e. One sub-category per post.

And finally I would add Custom menu items for each recipe and add them under the relevant sub-menu item.

So here’s what your navigation menu would look like on the Appearance > Menus screen:

Navigation menu with sub menus

And here’s how it would appear on the front of the site:

Navigation menu with sub menus on the front of the site


Martin Malden

Martin Malden
Owner – WealthyDragon

Website owner: Martin has been working online since 2006 and focuses on two areas: 1) affiliate marketing and 2) designing and building websites based on WordPress. He has his own WordPress agency, and serves clients in Hong Kong, Australia and the UK.

What do you think?

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Karin H. Feb 13, 2009 @ 0:02

    See, that’s why I Love Typepad 😉

    Widgets like this are so easily added with their standard ‘widget’ categories and so easily made yourself if you want it just a bit different with typelist 😉 And no need to edit templates or ccs scripts.

    But then I’m biased with over 8 blog-sites made with Typepad for myself and several blog-sites made for other small businesses.

    Karin H (Keep It Simple Sweetheart, specially in business)

    Karin H.´s last blog post..Great quotes to get the week started

    • WealthyDragon Feb 13, 2009 @ 7:04

      Hi Karin,

      I must have written this post very badly if I’ve given the impression that what I’ve suggested is complicated..!!

      What I’ve described here is using straight, out of the box WordPress functionality. Renaming the categories widget is simply a case of typing the title you want into the title field.

      The most difficult part of this exercise was making sure I correctly understood what the questioner was trying to achieve!



  • Network Marketing Effectively Feb 13, 2009 @ 13:11

    I have recently started using wordpress to market niche products. I need all the help I can get. Thanks for the tips you explained really well!

    • WealthyDragon Feb 13, 2009 @ 14:09

      Hi John,

      Glad it was helpful, and I’m always happy to help with any other Wordpress questions. Use the contact page to ask any questions you have and I’ll reply to you as well as turn my replies into a post for the benefit of others.



  • Jane Blogs Mar 9, 2009 @ 9:49

    Your questioner might also be looking for a way to exclude particular categories from the main index.php of their blog.

    That does involve coding, and can be complicated. 😉

    Jane Blogs´s last blog post..How to NOT display a category on your blog

    • WealthyDragon Mar 9, 2009 @ 14:34

      Jane, hi,

      Hmmm – she wasn’t actually – what I described above solved her problem. But she may well be in the future 🙂



  • Jane Blogs Mar 9, 2009 @ 17:11

    lol… obviously the topic was on my mind today!

    Jane Blogs´s last blog post..How to add a signature to your blog posts

    • WealthyDragon Mar 9, 2009 @ 21:32

      As well it might be..!

      Your PHP skills are pretty good – mine are absolutely hopeless. There’s a lot of call for your skills, especially amongst the newer comers to Wordpress.



  • Cheryl Smith Apr 11, 2009 @ 22:13

    Great resource here and in the previous posts about the difference between categories & tags and how to use them both. Thanks!

    (btw, found you through someone on Twitter suggesting your blog as a resource. They were right!)

    Cheryl Smith´s last blog post..Women, Influence and Social Media

    • WealthyDragon Apr 12, 2009 @ 10:20

      Cheryl, hi,

      I’m delighted these posts were helpful and many thanks for your kind comments!

      Isn’t Twitter great..? I find posts and articles on there that I’d never otherwise see – and some of them are just brilliant!