Montgomery Business Journal

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Menu Guide

NetCommunity has an intelligent menu part that displays its information according to where the page is located in the site. While this makes maintaining the site navigation a lot easier, understanding how it works can be sometimes confusing. This guide will explain to you the many aspects of the menu part.

Understanding Dynamic Behavior

One of the major benefits of the menu part is that it displays menu items according to the page's location in the site. For example, a page existing under the "Admissions" section will typically have a side menu that displays links to other pages in the "Admissions" section. Instead of showing the entire menu, it only shows the "Admissions" section.

Traditionally, websites have been set up to have a different menu for both the main navigation and an entirely different menu for every section. This required multiple templates and twice the menu management. Now we can get away with one or two templates and only one navigation that will appear differently according to its location on the page.

As a main menu,  it will show all the sections with the possibility of dropdown menus. As a side menu, it will show a section with each of its nested pages. Finally, the same menu is used as a sitemap on a page by itself.

Putting Your Menu to Work

Step 1: Create a Page

When you are creating a page for your site, it doesn't know where it will live until you tell it where. What happens as a result is that no menu will show up in the side navigation. Every link is set to be hidden by default unless there is an active page.

DO NOT WORRY. This is normal. The menu part is still on the template, but it will only show a placeholder flag with a blank area. All you have to do is tell the menu where you want this page to exist on the site.

Step 2: Modify the Menu

There are many ways to get to the menu part, but one of the easiest is through the part itself. Since the part exists on the template level, you cannot edit it directly from the page. But it does offer a shortcut.

Accessing the Menu Part

  1. Click on the placeholder flag for the menu part named "Template - Global Menu"
  2. In the dropdown box, click on "Add page to menu"

Editing the Menu Part
Since you will have gone over this in End-User Training, use this as a quick reference guide.

  1. Select the parent section or page you want your new page to exist under.
  2. Click the "Add" button. A new page with a generic name will show up.
  3. Name the page and click on the "Link " button.
  4. Select the page you just created from "Create Link to NetCommunity Page."
  5. Save your changes.

Step 3: Watch the Magic

If you successfully linked this page in the menu, you should now see the menu item appear in four places:

  1. Header main menu (Note: Up to 6 levels of links appear here. If it is on the 7th level or deeper, it will still exist but be hidden from view.)
  2. Internal page sidebar (Note: Sub-levels will be hidden until the parent item is selected, all levels have potential of being visible.)
  3. Sitemap page (Note: All levels will be visible, all the time.)

Considerations

Link to a page only once.

If you link to the same page within two different sections, both sections will be displayed in the menu.

Solution for many sites: If you must link to the same page from two different locations, you can do so by duplicating the page and linking to the duplicate. The parts will be the same, so when you update the parts, they will update consistently for every occurrence.

Pages that shouldn't appear in the header or sidebar navigations:

Example: Online Community pages are included in the global menu. We don't want them showing in the header horizontal menu at the top, but it is useful to show in the internal page sidebar.

To hide from header main menu: Apply the class "hideFromHeader" to the menu item in the part settings. This class will hide the item and any child links only in the header.

To hide from internal page sidebar: Apply the class "hideFromSidebar" to the menu item in the part settings. This class will hide the item and any child links only in the sidebar.

To hide from internal page sitemap: Apply the class "hideFromSitemap" to the menu item in the part settings. This class will hide the item and any child links on the sitemap page.

Some cases require unique solutions based on the unique needs of your site. In some exceptions, you will need to create a template with a separate menu as a solution. But generally, the dynamic menu will cut down on redundancies and ultimately make your site easier to manage.

What's in it for you?

While this seems like a complicated process, it is actually the most efficient and beneficial approach to displaying navigation on your site. Most of the work has been done for you, so your only concern is what's in the menu and not what the menu looks like.

Here are some common benefits:

Less Work for You: Only one menu part means you only need to edit one menu. Although your site seems to have two or more menus, they all get their data from the same source.

Consistency Throughout the Site: A common issue with managing multiple menus is that there is no guarantee of consistency. Because you have only one menu to manage, you can now guarantee the same order, same spelling and same hierarchy for every item in your menu.

Functionality and Display: As the menu's functionality and display is based almost entirely on stylesheets, we have taken a careful approach to making the menu display according to its location on the page. As the stylesheets for the menus involves an advanced knowledge of CSS, we focus on making the styles both scalable and unbreakable so you don't have to.

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