Displayed menus

In the context of Joomla (the software package used to manage the Sutton Poyntz website), the word Menu is used to denote a hierarchical list of links to web pages (and sometimes other entities). A Menu is also, more generically, a list of links displayed on a webpage in such a way that a reader can use the links for navigation around a website.

Dealing first with a menu as a displayed list of links, the Sutton Poyntz website has three ways of displaying such lists of links:

  1. The Left Menu, which is displayed down the left sub-window on all pages in the site, and always displays the same list of pages. This is used as a quick way of navigating from one part of the site to unrelated parts;
  2. The Top Menu, which is displayed across the top of almost all pages in the site. In this case the list of pages shown depends on which page is currently displayed; the Top Menu shows links to pages that are closely related to the current page, and thus provides a means of navigating quickly within a particular subject area;
  3. Finally, the Site Map contains a list of all pages in the site, and is therefore a fail-safe way of finding any page in the site.

This image illustrates the Left Menu and Top Menu.

Joomla menus

Turning now to the actual lists of links (which are accessed via the Menu drop-down list displayed at the top of the Website Administration pages), the Sutton Poyntz website includes quite a number. Three distinct types of menu lists need to be considered:

  • The Main Menu, which contains a list of all pages in the website (apart from the pages in the three special-purpose menus listed next). The complete Main Menu list of pages is displayed on the Site Map page. In addition, it is the top two levels of the Main Menu hierarchy that are displayed on every page in the Left Menu;
  • There are three special purpose menus, as follows:
    • The Guidance to authors menu contains a list of all pages in the section providing guidance to the authors of this website. The complete Guidance to authors menu is also displayed on the Site Map page. In addition, the Guidance to authors menu is one of the lists used in the Top Menu in appropriate pages;
    • The Acknowlegements menu contains a small number of pages accessible from the links below the Left Menu on every page. This is also listed in the Site Map;
    • The Admin menu contains a small number of pages (such as the "Page not found" error page) used purely for administration purposes.
  • A number of other menus, accessible via the Menu drop-down list, are used to construct the Top Menus for selected pages.

Creating and using menus

The task of managing menus is fairly complex, and has been reserved to System Administrators. If as an author you want a new page added to the appropriate menus (or want a new menu to be created), please contact one of the Administrators.

  • Main Menu and special purpose menus: The most common operation will be to add a new page to one of these menus (depending what type of page it is), but it will sometimes be wished to change the logical arrangement of pages.
  • All other Menus: As the site grows, it will sometimes become necessary to create a new Menu for use as a Top Menu for a portion of the website. New pages will need to be added to one or more of these Menus. Finally, guidance is given here on how to ensure that a Menu is displayed in the Top Menu on the required pages of the website.