Menu hierarchy

Good site architecture is the foundation of your website. It starts by determining the main “buckets” or content areas and then creating a content inventory to determine what content belongs in those “buckets”. Outlining this structure prior to site building provides a roadmap for building your site and makes it easier for those adding content to your site to know where it should reside within the site.

Sample Hierarchy

Here is a sample hierarchy for what a traditional academic department site might look like. The Home, About Us, News and Calendar are part of your original site setup. But you might want to add an Academics and/or Research “bucket” to your architecture/menu structure. As you add pages to your site, you assign them to the Main Menu in the nested hierarchy you created in this type of outline.

  • Home
  • About Us
    • History
    • Chairs Message
    • Getting here    
  • Academics
    • Graduate Program
      • Requirements
      • Applying
      • FAQs
    • Undergraduate Program
      • Requirements
      • Applying
      • FAQs
    • Courses
  • Research
    • Research Project One
    • Research Project Two
  • News
  • Calendar

Building Your Menu Structure

Once you have your outline, you are ready to build your site architecture and menu structure. This process is made easier with the Menu Block Module which allows you to build your architecture in one menu – the Main Menu. In the Drupal world, you would need to create separate sub Menus for each “bucket” and then configure each blocks to appear on the correct pages. But with Menu Blocks, your sub Menus are automatically created and assigned to the Sidebar First Region.

Adding Content Process

Adding “Bucket” Content as the Main Pages and Main Options on the Menu

The Editor or Site Builder adds content using the Basic Page Content Type and adding it to the Main Menu using “bucket” name as the title of the page.

  1. Content -> Add Content -> Basic Page
  2. Add your content and click on Provide a menu link.
    • Enter the menu name (name of Bucket)
    • Select Main Menu as the Parent item (should already be selected)

Adding Sub Menu Items or Secondary Pages

  1. Content -> Add Content -> Basic Page
  2. Add your content and click on Provide a menu link.
    • Enter the menu name (name of Bucket)
    • Select “Bucket Name” as the Parent item (should be listed UNDER Main Menu)
  3. Save the page.

Final Results

When the page is created:

  • The Sub Menu for that “bucket” automatically displays on that page.
  • The URL alias is built using the hierarchy of the menu structure.
    • academics/graduate-program
    • academics/graduate-program/applying

Creating a Menu Block

IMPORTANT NOTE: the Menu Block Module is configured by default for all sites created after January 1, 2015. You can still create additional menu blocks, but no longer need to create the initial one for the main menu. Instructions on how to create additional Menu Blocks.