Create an Automatically-Populated Top Navigation Bar

This tutorial will show you how to create top bar navigation that pulls directly from your top-level pages. It will automatically create rollover drop-downs of all of your sub-level pages as well.

First thing, you need to review your primary navigation to cull your menu down to size. Usually you want no more than 5 – 7 links on a top bar, and you want to keep the link names short. For info on how to cull your menu, visit this tutorial

If you think your current list of top-level pages is succinct enough to fit on a horizontal navigation bar, then take these steps to activate it:

Create a blank menu

Go to “Appearance > Menus.”

Menu item under Appearance in the sidebar

First, you’ll need to create and name a new blank menu. In this instance, I’m calling mine “Top Bar”. Name the menu, check off the box to automatically add top-level pages, and save.

Menu naming and saving
Click on the image above for an enlarged view

After you have saved a blank menu, on that same screen, look at the left-hand side. You will see several drop-down menus that give placeholders for your custom menu. In this case, you want to place your new menu into the Primary Navigation container. Once you’ve done that, click “save.”

Top Bar custom menu selected in primary navigation menu drop-down.

Enable the menu to display

Go to Genesis > Theme Settings

Genesis Theme Settings link on sidebar

Scroll down the page until you see “Secondary Navigation.” Check off the box next to “Enable Secondary Navigation.” Do NOT check off “Enable Fancy Dropdowns.”

Checkbox to enable secondary navigation.

Scroll up to the top of the page and click “Save Settings.”

Save Settings button on Settings page.

Now, go to your page, and you should see your top-level links on your top bar:

Top Menu Generated automatically from primary navigation.

The image above depicts a menu generated from an automatic list of primary navigation links.


That’s it!