Drop down menus are essential for a clean design layout with good, clear website navigation. Good website navigation is vital. You want your visitors to be impressed with your blog, and stay to check out all the goodies you have put there for them. The best way to do this, is to have good, clear, easy-to-follow navigation throughout your website. Using Drop Down Menus is an easy and effective way to do this.
Poor Navigation is a Website Killer
If you don’t have a clear and easy navigation Menu bar, your visitors will quickly click away and go looking for a website that does have good navigation. We all know this from our own surfing experiences.
Isn’t it worth a bit of effort to make your blog a pleasure to visit? Correct answer: YES!
One way to improve the looks of your blog, and also it’s navigation, is to create a Drop Down Menu – a list of links dropping down from under your main horizontal Menu navigation bar.
What is a Drop Down Menu?
Almost every website or blog has a Menu bar, placed somewhere in a horizontal navigation bar, across the top of their Website. On My Second Million, my Menu bar has Home, Contact, Time Out! and Sitemap and Up until now, my horizontal menu bar has been a simple basic horizontal WordPress Menu that comes with your WordPress Theme.
However, some websites have customized that basic WordPress Website Menu bar so it’s possible for visitors to hover their mouse over an Heading in that top Navigation Menu, and see a drop down list of Links to other items of their Content.
This is called a Drop Down Menu, also known as a pull down menu. It’s a drop down list that ‘Drops Down’ a list of links to articles or Pages that readers can choose to click on. When they do click, the drop down navigation system magically whisks them away to the Article link they clicked on.
Impressive! But wait….
We do this so often on sites that we visit, that it’s easy to forget that someone organized that Drop Down List system, and actually made that navigation bar happen. It’s a lot harder than you think…unless, you are reading this blog – where the next post will explain exactly how anyone can add a drop down menu to their WordPress Blog – in a way that does not use any HTML or CSS!
Why You Need to Install a Drop Down Menu
Drop down menus give you some Important SEO and Website Design Advantages:
5 Good Reasons Why You Need A Drop Down Menu
1. Good Navigation:
- Keeps your visitors longer and is good for business
- Bad navigation drives valuable traffic away in Milli-seconds.
2. Drop Down Menus: Place Important Content Links ‘Above the Fold’.
Drop down menu lists allow you to select groups of articles, Posts, Categories, or Pages, into some easily accessible and highly visible Real Estate location on your blog. This means that you can choose to select your most important items into that list menu, and they are then located and highly visible, ‘Above the Fold’.
When content is ‘Above the Fold’ or ATF, it means that it is visible on the Screen as soon as visitors first arrive at your blog – it’s the first thing visitors see without the need to scroll down.
Content that is not above the fold is buried down ‘Below the Fold’ (BTF) – usually in your sidebars. Links or Ads that are located Below the Fold are not immediately ‘visible’ when visitors first land at your blog, and are therefore less likely to be clicked by your visitors, than links or ads located Above the Fold. Research has proved this.
‘Above the Fold’ is a phrase that comes from the Newspaper world. Newspapers are usually folded in shops and news stands. So anything placed Above the Fold is in the top half of the front page. Text and images placed Above the Fold are what potential buyers first see. Will they stop and buy? Or will they just keep walking? Blogs are no different. Above the fold placement is valuable Real Estate for blogs as well as Newspapers. Having your important Links, graphics, Subscribe Forms and Ads Above the Fold, gives them an added ‘click-ability advantage’.
Research shows that more people will click on a link that is Above the Fold, than a link to content which only becomes visible with scrolling
3. Drop Down Menus: Improve Content Layout & Design
Moving some of your Content out from your sidebars and into your top navigation Menu bar, reduces the clutter in your sidebars. This gives your blog a much cleaner and professional look.
4. Drop Down Menus: Free Up Sidebar Space
Moving Categories or Archives, or Blogroll or Recent Posts out of your sidebars and into a Drop Down menue list in your Main horizontal Menu Bar, allows you use your Sidebars for other more useful things: such as a ‘Subscribe to this Blog’ Forms (please do), Optin Forms, or links to Special Offers, or even extra advertising space.
5. Drop Down Menus: Look Professional
First impressions do count. A website with a professional feel to it is more likely to encourage visitors to stick around, explore, click, and buy.
Think about it: Would you prefer to buy an item from a street stall or a classy shop – if the cost and convenience were the same? Most people will trust a professional business-like website over an amateur blogger with dodgy navigation and a website that looks as if it’s thrown together by a newbie.
I know ….we were all newbies at some point, and many of us still are…..but we don’t want our visitors to know that!
Or at least, not within the first minute of arriving, just because we have a Blog which is all-over-the-place, disorganized and frustrating to use.
Creating a Menu Design that includes Drop Down lists with Navigation Links, are good things to have on your blog. You don’t absolutely have to have them, but there are Design Advantages, smoother Navigation, and improved Reader Friendliness, that turns a visit to your Blog into a pleasure, and not a struggle.
BUT….how do you create a drop down menu?
Well, there are lots of difficult geeky ways using HTML and CSS to design menus with all the bells and whistles.
99% of all ‘How To’ articles on Drop Down Menus require you to know HTML and CSS!
But that was not what I needed, and finding a simple, non-geeky method was not easy. In fact it was a #*@$% of a job to find a way of doing it!
But…in the tradition of this Blog, I’ve been struggling mightily for 3 -5 frustrating days – I do the hard work so you don’t have to - and now I’ve worked out how to do it with an easy anyone-can-do-it method!
….Yes…. I have triumphed over adversity on your behalf – hopefully.
My next article will cover how to create a Simple Drop Down Menu – with no need to use HTML or geeky clever-clogs know how.