Best practices for hiding menu items

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Does your site have hidden menu items?

A hidden menu item is a menu item that has been disabled. As these pages are hidden from your menu, it's possible you may not know that they exist.

To find out if your site has hidden pages, look for deselected check boxes on your Main Menu admin page. Creating and publishing a basic page in the WMS generates a corresponding menu item. Menu items are "enabled" by default, meaning they will appear in a site's menu. Some websites have menu items with deselected "enabled" check boxes. These are hidden menu items.

Why hiding/disabling menu items is bad practice

Issues associated with hiding menu items include:

  • Past visitors wishing to revisit the page may have difficulty locating it
  • Hiding a menu item can have a negative impact on the page's search rankings (in other words, it's bad SEO)
  • You won't be able to create channels or articles content specific to a microsite

For the reasons listed above, site managers no longer have access to hide/disable menu items in the WMS.

What about Articles, Channels items and Profile pages?

Some content types typically do not have menu items. Articles, Channels items, Profile pages, and Tag pages don't have corresponding menu items by default. Though this content can't be can be navigated from a menu, it can be accessed by the corresponding listing pages associated with these content types, e.g. Articles blocks, Channels blocks and Profile list pages.

As a side note, if it's appropriate, you can generate menu items for Articles and Profile pages. Simply select the "Provide a menu link" option on the admin page.

Best practices to follow

There are some situations when it is acceptable to create basic pages without menu items. If these instances, you can submit a request to IT Services for a disabled page. Here is a list of purposes for which disabled menu items are permitted:

*When creating promotional landing pages, it's important to note that this content should be considered temporary. These pages should be deleted as soon as your promotion or campaign ends.

Alternatives to consider

Here are some good alternatives to hidden menu items.

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