Thursday, June 24, 2010

Wordpress 3.0 Menus, Thesis Menus, and 'Page Links To'

I found a message on the Codex page this morning while looking for a page that shows the new features of Wordpress 3.0.
In large red print the message states: "Temporarily, new account creation is suspended while developers work to combat spammers. Please check back later!"
I tried to log in but couldn't on that page, but was able to do so via the forum page and I was able to find the page that lists the features of WordPress 3.0 - it's at
The third in the list of 'highlights' states:
"New custom menu management feature, allows creation of custom menus combining posts, pages, categories, tags, and links for use in theme menus or widgets."
I use the Thesis theme in several of my sites and I notice now that under Appearance > Menu in WP Admin, it says "The current theme does not natively support menus, but you can use the “Custom Menu” widget to add any menus you create here to the theme’s sidebar."
I have recently set up and used WP's new menu system on one of my sites - at
I was able to do this (with the aid of a helpful article at ) because has had the new menu feature for a while.
I was interested in the new WP menu because I was mulling over the advantages of adding categories as a 'child' list in the main navigation menu.
However, I am reluctant to change to WP's menu system in my blogs until I know how these impact on the features of the menu system built into the Thesis theme.
I took a look at the DIY Themes forum just now and the menu question has been raised a couple of times but nothing more.
When I thought about it a bit more I saw that there was really only one category that I wanted to put up in the navigation menu in and that was a category for which there was only one post.
It is the guide to things to know when considering buying a digital camera, a long article that I wrote just over a year ago and made available as a downloadable pdf.
The Thesis theme allows you to easily add categories to the main navigation menu, but if I had wanted to add several categories then, unless I made all the categories into children of some parent super-category, then each category would appear in the main navigation menu as a separate item rather than in a drop-down.
And for my purpose, having the category item in the menu would not very helpful because clicking it would just take the reader to the one title there is under that category rather than directly to the article.
There is a much neater solution using Thesis and that is to create a page with just a title and, using Mark Jaquith's WP plugin 'Page Links To' [ ] put the URL of the article to which I want to direct readers. That way, when someone clicks the 'Camera Buying Guide' link in the navigation menu, it takes them straight to the article.

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