Unleash the Power of the Menu Bar
• Home takes visitors back to your homepage.
• Browse reveals http://yournickname.smugmug.com/browse - the page that holds all of your public folders and galleries.
• Search takes visitors to your site's search page and the option to enter search terms (keywords, captions, gallery or folder titles) to find specific photos on your site.
The default menu is a great place to start, but adding your own touch is the best way to get your guests seeing the content that you want seen first.
Do Better Than Default!
SmugMug gives you complete control over what content you display on your site and what your visitors see.
The menu bar is the best way to guide your visitors towards the pages you want, rather than expecting them to poke around among all of your public galleries, or forcing them to rely on Search.
Use your menu bar to direct visitors to your portfolio, to direct clients to the photos from their shoot, to your rates and services page or even to an external website like your blog. Combine your menu bar with content block and keyword clouds to help your visitors find exactly the images they're looking for. Check Guide Your Guests to the Gold for inspiration!
Just like every other SmugMug content block, the menu bar is completely customizable in both where it's positioned on your page, and the content that it links to.
What are the steps to take to create the perfect menu bar?
Links, baby, links.
While you can add as many items to the menu bar as you'd like, good design principles suggest that 5 to 7 is the optimal number.
1. First, create the content that you want to highlight on your SmugMug site. You'll need to have the link to that page, folder or gallery handy. It's a good idea to make your system and custom pages first, so that you'll be able to reach for them when you need it.
2. Open the Customize Panel. You'll find that in most designs, a menu bar has been added across your ENTIRE SITE. Be sure you're working on the Entire Site, and highlight the menu content block to reveal the tools (wrench) symbol.
There are two panels in the Menu Bar edit screen:
This is where you specify the layout, alignment, font size and color. Each design has default specifications for the menu bar, but you can change that up and make it yours.
This is the meat and potatoes of your menu bar. Click Links to open up the menu for adding items to your navigation menu. Find the + symbol at the bottom right to add a link. Find the arrow key to edit your link.
3. After adding a New Link, you'll need to name it. This is the text that appears on your menu bar as a clickable button.
4. Next, choose what that button opens when clicked (i.e. what it links to). The drop down menu gives you several options including reserved system pages like the Browse page.
Choose Custom URL to link to a page or website that isn't part of your SmugMug site.
Choose Pages I Choose to link to a Folder, Gallery or Page on your SmugMug site. If you choose a Folder, the option to Include Folder Contents will be revealed. Turn that ON if you'd like to have a dropdown (flyout) for that menu item.
And that's all there is to it! Have fun, be creative, and take your menu bar way beyond Home | Browse | Search for a happier guest experience.