Making Lousy Use of Website Navigation - Montana Webmaster

Making Lousy Use of Website Navigation

The WordPress Kahuna theme home page layout gives me three areas to direct viewers further into my site, and I’m making lousy use of them. In the screenshot, you can see the first two navigation areas. The third is further down on the page.
Before we can say whether something is done well or poorly, we need the desired outcome to measure by. So, what is well done navigation? What is the purpose of navigation on the home page of a website? What is the purpose of a home page?
The jobs of a website home page are 1) to tell visitors whether they are at the right site, 2) to provide visitors with doorways into the rest of your site. The first navigation area of the Kahuna theme (top navigation) partially fulfills job 2. The other two areas fulfill both jobs 1 and 2.
It’s all about that Viewer, not You
You want to tell the Viewer your message and “call to action”. Individually, each Viewer has an unknown agenda. The closer you can come to meeting the Viewer’s agenda, or at least promising to, the more likely they are to allow your agenda in their picture. Ideally, your agendas match, reciprocally. Your navigation should help your viewers find what they want, not what you want.
Top Navigation
Top navigation, the row of links at the top of the page, has some interesting principles.
  1. It allows the viewer to by-pass the rest of the page to get where they want.
  2. There is limited space horizontally on a website.
  3. The use of dropdown menus helps overcome the problem of horizontal space, but those rollover menus are problematic on small devices.
  4. How do you fit your entire message into 6 – 8 menu items? This requires careful consideration of your categories.
  5. If you add dropdown menus, you will have to do some rethinking for mobile devices.

With the WordPress Kahuna theme, the whole content area of the home page is a type of navigation. There are two sections on the home page. Although they only show posts, not pages or categories, you can create a specific category for them to pull from that controls what shows. With that feature, you can make them pseudo navigation into important categories on your site. And, the theme allows you to say how many Featured Boxes you want and how many you want per row. At this point, I have chosen to have two rows with 4 Feature Boxes in each row.

But, my choices of which posts to feature are pretty random. Now that my content categories are taking shape, I need to make this section more organized. What topic are important enough to my message to warrant a position in the 8 Featured Boxes?

  1. Security
  2. WordPress
  3. SEO & Social Media
  4. Communication and Marketing
  5. Business and Server Issues
  6. Tools and Technologies
  7. Cookin’ and a’Codin
  8. Resources


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