Customizing the Menus Menu in Joomla!

7 min read

The Top Menu is a horizontal menu; the other menus are vertical. Each menu is coupled with a so-called module, which is administered in the module manager.


By clicking on this menu item, you get an overview of the available menus. You can also access the content of these menus by means of the menu bar—Menus | Main Menu, Top Menu, or by clicking the respective menu link in the overview. This Menu Manager serves as an overview and shows you the number of Published and Unpublished menu items, the number of menu items that are in the Trash can, and the respective menu ID. In this section you can, for instance, copy a menu or create a new one.

Customizing the Menus Menu in Joomla!

Customizing an Existing Menu

Experiment a little with the menus to get a feel for things. The following edit steps are same for all the menus. Go to the menu item Menus | Main Menu. You will see a listing of the menu items that turn up in the mainmenu.

Customizing the Menus Menu in Joomla!

Several functions can be executed in the table with a simple mouse click. By clicking on the checkmark, you can enable or disable a menu link. You can change the order of the items by clicking on the triangles or by typing numbers into the fields under Order. If you use the numbers method, you have to click on the disk symbol in the header in order to make the change effective. In the Access Level column, via mouse click you can decide whether the menu is available to all users (Public), only to registered users (Registered), or only to a particular circle of users (Special). The menu items are then displayed or hidden, independent of the user’s rights.

Menus Icon

If you click on this icon, you are taken to the menu overview screen.

Default Icon

The menu item that is marked as default here with a star is displayed as the start page when someone calls up the URL of your website. At the moment this is the menu item Home, but you can designate any element that you want as the start page. Just mark the checkbox and click on the Default icon.

Publish/Unpublish Icon

The status of a content element can either be published (activated) or unpublished (deactivated). You can toggle this status individually by clicking the green checkmark and/or the red cross, or marking the checkbox and subsequently clicking on the appropriate icon. If you follow the later method, you can toggle several menu items at the same time.

Move Icon

This entails the moving of menu entries. Let’s move the text More about Joomla! into the top menu. Select the respective menu elements or even several menu elements and click the Move icon. This opens a form, listing the available menus. On the right you will see the elements that you want to move:

Customizing the Menus Menu in Joomla!

Select the menu into which you would like to move the marked menu items. Here, we have moved More about Joomla! from Main Menu into the Top Menu. You can admire the results in the front end.

Customizing the Menus Menu in Joomla!

Copy Icon

You can also copy menu items. To do that, select one or more menu items and click on the Copy icon. Just as with moving, a form with the available menus opens. Select the menu into which you want to copy the marked menu entries.

Trash Icon

In order to protect you from inadvertently deleting items, when editing them you cannot delete them immediately; you can only throw them in the trash. To throw them into trash can, select one or several menu elements and click on the Trash icon. The marked menu items are then dumped into the trash can. You can display the content of the trash can by clicking on Menus | Menu Trash.

Edit Icon (Edit Menu Items)

Here you can modify an existing menu, for instance the Web Links. After clicking on the name Web Links you will see the edit form for menu elements:

Customizing the Menus Menu in Joomla!

The form is divided into three parts.

  •    Menu Item Type
  •    Menu Item Details
  •    Parameters

Menu Item Type

Every menu item is of a particular type. We will get into greater details when we create new menus. For instance, a menu item can refer to an installed Joomla! component, a content element, a link to an external website, or many other things. You can see what the type of the link is in this section; in our case it is a link to the Joomla! weblinks component, and you can also see a button with the label Change Type. If you click on that button, you get the following screen:

Customizing the Menus Menu in Joomla!

This manager is new in Joomla! version 1.5 and really handy. In version 1.0.x there was no option to change the type of a menu item. You had to delete the old menu item and create a new one. Now you can change the display to a single category or to a link-suggestion menu item, with which you invite other users to suggest links. Now close this; we will get back to it when we create a new menu.

Menu Item Details

It contains the following options:

ID: Everything in an administration requires an ID number and so does our menu item. In this case the menu item has the ID number 48. Joomla! assigns this number for internal administration purposes at the time the item is created. This number cannot be changed.

Title: This is the name of the menu and it will be displayed that way on your website.

Alias: This is the name of the search-engine friendly URL after the domain name. When this is enabled, the URL for this menu will look as follows: http://localhost/joomla150/web-links

Link: This is the request for a component, in other words also the part of the URL after the domain name with which you call up your website. In this case it is  index.php?option=com_weblinks&view=categories

Customizing the Menus Menu in Joomla!

Display in: With this you can change the place where the item is displayed; in other words you can move it to another menu. The options field presents you with a list of the available menus.

Parent Item: Of course menus can also contain nested, tree-like items. Top means that the item is at the uppermost level. The rest of the items represent existing menu items. If, for instance, you classify and save Web Links under The News, the display on the item list and the display on your website are changed. The following figures show the change. The menu item Web Links has now moved into The News on your website. So you have to first click on The News in order to see the Web Links item. Your website can easily and effectively be structured like a database tree in this manner.

Customizing the Menus Menu in Joomla!
Customizing the Menus Menu in Joomla!

Published: With this you can publish a menu item.

Order: From the options list, you can select after which link you want to position this link. Access Level: You can restrict users that can see this list.

On Click, Open in: A very handy option that influences the behavior of the link. The page is either opened in the existing window or in a new browser window after clicking. You can also define whether the new window will be displayed with or without browser navigation.

Parameters The possible parameters of a menu item depend on the type of the item. A simple link, of course, has fewer parameters than a configurable list or for example the front page link. In this case we have a link to the categories. The number and type of parameters depend on the type of the menu item. You can open and collapse the parameter fields by clicking on the header. If the parameter fields are open, the arrow next to header points down.

Parameters–Basic The basic parameters are the same for all menu links.

Customizing the Menus Menu in Joomla!

Image: Here you can specify an image that must be in the root directory of the media manager (/images/stories/). Depending on the template, this picture is displayed on the left, next to the menu item.

Image Align: You can decide if the image should be on the left or right.

Show a Feed Link: It is possible to create an RSS feed for every list display in Joomla! 1.5. This could be desirable or undesirable depending on the content of the list. In this case, with list displays, RSS feed links that contain the list items are enabled in the browser.


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