How to Add WordPress Menu Items Without Linking to a Page

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This guide shows you how to add non-linking menu titles in WordPress. By default, WordPress menu titles take visitors to separate pages when clicked. But not every site owner wants them to point to other URLs, hence this tutorial. The menu will still drop down when the mouse pointer sits over its title, but it’s no longer clickable.

Prepare Your Menu Items

You can use published pages, posts, or both to make menus in WordPress. We’ll create and add four pages for this exercise, so feel free to follow along. Jump to the ‘How to Create a Simple Dropdown Menu’ section if you already have posts or pages ready to use.

Log in to your Dashboard. Go to Pages from the side menu and click All Pages.

Click Add New to create a new page from the Pages screen.

The next screen has fields for Title and Content. Add your text and click Publish.

Click the WordPress icon (top left) to return to the Pages screen in the WP Dashboard.

Repeat the procedure above until you have a few sample pages published for this exercise.

How to Create a Simple Dropdown Menu

Now it’s time to create a simple dropdown menu in WordPress.

Select Appearance from the WP sidebar then click Menus.

On the Menus screen, click the Create a New Menu link.

Type a name, then click Create Menu (this name is for your reference only).

On the next screen, choose your new menu from the Select Menu to Edit dropdown.

Next, check (tick) the pages you want to add from the Add Menu Items box (left).

Now click Add to Menu and then Save Menu.

Your new menu items now appear in the Menu Structure areas.

You may need to rearrange the menu items. Drag-and-drop them into the order you want.

Our menu items are now arranged in order of page number 1–4. Each one has additional settings. To open these, click the down arrow on the right (see Sample Page #4 below).

The other settings let you Edit, Move, or Remove pages and posts from the Menu Structure.

OK, we now have our menu items, but we don’t have a menu title or a dropdown format yet. First, we need to add a custom link to the menu structure area.

Click Custom Links in the Add Menu Items Box (left) and enter a # symbol into the URL field. We don’t want a URL (link), but we must add something for now as it’s a compulsory field.

Next, type a title name for the menu category in the Link Text field.

Click the Add to Menu button.

Our Sample Menu Custom Link is at the bottom of the menu structure. Drag it to the top.

Next, click on the down arrow to the right and delete the # symbol to remove the link from the title. Lastly, click the up arrow to close the additional configuration settings.

The four pages need to become sub items to appear under the Sample Menu header. Drag each one slightly to the right to set it as a Sub Item (see image below).

The final step is to tell WordPress WHERE and HOW we want this menu to display on the live site. The Menu Settings may show different options or wording, depending on the theme you use. This tutorial is based on the Twenty-Twenty theme and looks like this:

Check (tick) the Desktop Horizontal Menu box in the Display Location area,

Now click the Save Menu button and view the live site.

That’s it. We now have a dropdown menu with a non-linking header called Sample Menu. The Sample Pages #1–4 below it are all clickable and point to different URLs.  

Well-organised post and page dropdown menus like this keep your site tidy. Moreover, they provide easy navigation for site visitors, and that adds to your on-page optimisation.

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