Menu links and URLs

Menus

It's important to organize your website using a top menu, since that will make it easier for users to navigate your unit's site.

Understanding menu structure

Each site comes with its own menu space and it is not possible to add additional menu spaces. Each site has a main menu at the top of every page. The main menu is referred to as the parent of all sub-menus and can also be stand-alone menu links.

Sub-menus are created by adding pages and links to menu items in the main menu. It is also possible to create a sub-menu from a sub-menu item. Items with a sub-menu are identified by a triangle icon to the right of the menu text. The triangle icon points in the direction the sub-menu opens.

Example of a top menu with sub-menus
Example of a top menu with sub-menus

Understanding menu functionality

Using a Desktop Browser

  • Single-clicking on menu items that do not have sub-menus takes a visitor to the link. For example, clicking on “Undergraduate Experiences” or “Curriculum” in the image above takes a visitor to their respective links.
  • Single-clicking on menu items with a sub-menu opens the sub-menu, and when a visitor's cursor leaves the sub-menu area, it stays open until the visitor clicks somewhere in the web page. Clicking the same menu item a second time takes a visitor to the link attached to the menu item.

Using a mobile device

Example of a top menu on a mobile device
Example of a top menu on a mobile device
  • Regardless of whether the link has a sub-menu, tapping on the menu names take visitors to those pagesFor example, tapping on “Departments and majors” takes a visitor to the Departments and majors page, and tapping on “Diversity & Inclusivity Alliance” takes visitors to the D&A Alliance page. 
  • Tapping on the arrow next to the name of a menu item that has a sub-menu opens the sub-menu. For example, tapping on the arrow next to ”Future students” or “Departments and majors” opens their sub-menus. Tapping on the arrow a second time closes the sub-menu.

How to add links to your menu

There are two ways to add links to your website's menu, either in the pages menu settings or through site management.

Within a page's menu settings 

Menu settings screenshot

When creating or editing a basic, advanced, or unit landing page, you can use the Menu Settings tab to add the page to the menu. If you would like to add a different content type to the menu, see how to add a menu link through site management.

1. Navigate to the edit window of the page you want to make a menu item.

2. Scroll down to the menu settings in the bottom section.

3. Click the "Provide a menu link" box. 

4. Type in a menu link title. These are the words that will appear on the top menu. The default link title is the page's title. Optional: You can type information about the page in the "Description" text box. This text appears when a visitor hovers over the menu item and should provide additional information about the page.

5. Select a "Parent item". If you want this to appear on your main menu, select your department's main menu from the drop-down. If you want to create a drop-down menu, set the parent link to be the menu item you'd like to drop down from.

  • IMPORTANT: Only links to published pages will appear in the drop-down menu.
  • TIP: It can be easier to add the link to your department’s main menu first. Then, reorder the menu links later.

6. Ignore "Weight".

7. Click save. Your link should now appear in the menu.

Through Site Management

Screenshot of the menu section in site management

1. Navigate to Site Management.

2. Click on "Edit menu" under the Menu section. 

3. Find your unit and click "Edit menu" on the righthand site. After you create menu links, you can also rearrange them on this page. 

4. Select the blue "+Add Link" button.

Add menu link screenshot

5. Type in a menu link title. These are the words that will appear on the top menu.

6. Type in the internal path for the page to which you want to link. Internal links should only include characters after "cse.umn.edu/". For example, when linking to this page you would type /hub/menu-links-and-urls. If you are creating a drop-down and don't want your menu item to link to anything, put "#" in the link section.

7. Select the parent link. If you want this to appear on your main menu, select your department's main menu from the drop-down. If you want to create a drop-down menu, set the parent link to be the menu item you'd like to drop down from. 

  • IMPORTANT: Only links to published pages or menu links created through site management will appear in the drop-down menu.
  • TIP: It can be easier to add the link to your department’s main menu first. Then, reorder the menu links later.

8. Click save. Your link should now appear in the menu.

URLs

Each page has a designated URL alias, or name that comes after the cse.umn.edu/ in the page's URL. These are unique to pages and follow the general format of /unit/page-title. For example, this page's URL alias would be /hub/menu-links-and-urls

By default, Drupal automatically generates a URL based on the page name. If the page name is long, Drupal may create an alias with a /node/#### format instead. You can customize the URL alias of basic, advanced, or unit landing pages using the following steps. The URL alias of news, events, and feature stories cannot be changed.

1. Navigate to your page's edit window. 

2. Scroll down to the URL alias section at the bottom of the page.

URL alias tab screenshot

 3. Uncheck "Generate automatic URL alias."

4. Type in your own URL alias in the box.

  • Start your custom URL with:
    • /unit/ if your unit is a top-level unit..
    • /parent-unit/unit/ if your unit is a sub-unit.
    • /research/unit/ if your unit is a research group.
  • Do not use forward slashes ( / ) in your customized address except for the ones listed above.
  • NOTE: homepage URLs should not change. Homepage URLs follow the format of cse.umn.edu/unit if your unit is live and cse.umn.edu/unit/home if your unit is not live yet.

5. Now, your page's URL should reflect the new alias.