Creating a custom menu for your WordPress portfolio site

Create custom navigation on WordPress

Setting up the navigation of your site

Now you have the web-pages created, you need to create a menu for visitors to navigate easily around your site. By default the Klasik theme from (the WordPress theme we’ve been using to build your artist website) adds all pages to the main navigation. In order for visitors to navigate the site more logically, I suggest you make a couple of changes.

1. From your WordPress dashboard, choose Appearance>Menus.

Create a new menu in WordPress

By default, a menu will have already been generated for you. It is called ‘Menu 1’ and includes every page you have created in alphabetical order (except that ‘Home’ is placed first).

Give the menu a name

2. Rename the menu ‘Main Menu’ in the ‘Menu Name’ field.

Main menu

3. In order for pages to appear as sub-pages in a drop-down menu when a visitor hovers over a Menu item, you need to create a new Menu Item. For example, the ‘About’ option at has two sections – ‘About the artist’ and ‘Artist resume’ – each of them has its own page and the option to visit them appears in a drop down when a visitor hovers over ‘About’.

Where the menu will appear on your live artist website

To add a new Menu item, click on ‘Links’ and type in the URL of the most important page in a particular section of your site; the ‘About’ link in the menu at actually links to the ‘About the artist’ page. Then type in the text you’d like to appear in the navigation menu. Then click on ‘Add to Menu’.

Add custom links to the menu

4. The item you’ve just added will automatically go to the end of the list.

Give the menu item a name

Click on it and drag it to wherever you’d like it to appear in the menu.

Drag and drop menu items into the order you would like to display them

5. Next, find the sub-pages that you’d like to appear under the Menu item you’ve just created. For Daren’s site I wanted the links for ‘About the artist’ and ‘Artist resume’ to appear in a sub-menu under the main menu item ‘About. One by one, click and drag the sub-menu items inwards slightly (to the right) and they will slot into place as sub items and will be labelled as such.

Create sub-menu items or child menu items

6. Repeat steps 3-5 for each item you’d like to allocate sub-items to.

Check you have all menu items correctly ordered and categorised in WordPress

7. You can then drag the other menu items into whatever order you’d like them to appear on your live site. You should end up with something similar to this:

The custom menu is WordPress

8. If there are pages you’ve created that you don’t want to appear in the main menu of your site, simply click on the item, and click ‘Remove’.

To delete a menu item click 'Remove'

9. At the bottom of the page, make sure that under ‘Theme Locations’, the box next to ‘Main menu’ is checked.

Select where you'd like the menu to appear on your live portfolio WordPress site

10. Click ‘Save Menu’ at the bottom of the page.

Save the custom menu

11. One last thing! Click on ‘Manage locations’.

Manage locations of the newly created WordPress menu

12. Make sure that ‘Main menu’ is selected in the drop-down. Click ‘Save changes’.

Select the name of the menu you'd like to appear in the main navigation of your website

And there you have it! If you have followed all of the tutorials in Section 2: Building your artist website, congratulations! You should now have a fully functioning website showcasing your artwork in a sleek and stylish theme.

There are a few optional bells and whistles that will give your site a real edge. That’s what we’ll cover in Section 3 of The Ultimate Guide to Building Your Own Artist Website.


Go to Adding the professional touches >>>

<<< Go back to Chapter 9 – Creating your Contact page

Does building a site from scratch fill you with dread?
Don’t worry – we’re here to help.

Click here to learn more about’s web design service
or register your interest below.


Hello and welcome to is a place for textile artists and art enthusiasts to be inspired, learn from the best, promote their work and communicate with like-minded creatives.



Share in the creative secrets of the world's most celebrated embroidery artists.

And discover how to create breathtaking art with textiles and stitch.

All Inspiration. No Spam.

Thank you for subscribing to our newsletter

What the artists say

" is an invaluable resource. I am constantly sending students there and sharing it with other practitioners".

Nigel Cheney
Lecturer in Embroidered Textiles at NCAD

"The beauty of is that whenever you visit you'll discover something that you didn't already know".

Rachel Parker
Textile Study Group Graduate of the year 2012

" gives contemporary textile practice a voice; leading artists, useful guides and a forum for textiles".

Cas Holmes
Textile Artist and teacher

"This website is exactly what we need in the textiles world. A fantastic inspirational resource".

Carol Naylor
Textile and Embroidery Artist

  Get updates from via RSS or Email