How to add categories to your navigation menu

First, let's dispel a myth: It's a common misconception that in order to add a category page to your navigation menu, you need to create a "regular page" for it. This is incorrect. Category pages are automatically created when you create a category. Your blog posts cannot be "assigned" to display on a certain page that you create; your categories have their own automatic pages. The category pages are not found in your WordPress dashboard under Pages, but are instead found at Posts > Categories.

For example, if you want to have a category called "Travel" on your site, do not create a page called Travel. Instead, create a  category called Travel. Then, to use that category in your navigation menu, follow the instructions below.

How to add categories to your navigation menu

If you haven't yet created the category you wish to add to your menu, go to Posts > Categories in your WordPress dashboard. New categories can be created on that page.

  1. Go to Appearance > Menus.
  2. To add categories to your navigation menu, click the Categories tab in the left column.
  3. Place a checkmark by the categories want to add. Click Add to Menu.
  4. The categories you added will appear in the column on the right under Menu Structure.
  5. Click Save Menu.

Adding categories to a drop-down menu

If you would like to display your categories in a drop-down menu (for example, under "Blog"), simply drag your categories under and to the right of the menu link you would like the categories to display under.

Creating a "categories" drop-down menu

A commonly requested feature is a "Categories" link in your navigation menu that (1) is "blank" and doesn't link anywhere and (2) displays your categories in a drop-down menu when hovered over. Here's how to do it!

  1. Go to WordPress > Appearance > Menus.
  2. Click the Custom Link tab on the left.
  3. In the URL field, put a pound sign (#) by itself.
  4. In the Link Text field, type the text you want to appear in your menu (i.e. Categories). Click Add to Menu.
  5. Then you can go ahead and add your sub-items underneath the custom link!