How to build your own website – setting up pages & menus

After a great start to this series on how to build your own website, where Maddy explained how to start using WordPress to design and create your own website, she’s back today to explain the next step in setting up pages and menus. Over to Maddy…

Thank you for your kind words and emails about the first installment of how to design your own WordPress website . Today I’m going to follow up by laying out for exactly which pages you should definitely feature and which pages can be more optional.

Once you’ve got the WordPress theme installed, you can consider what kind of content you’d like to provide. Before you do that you should really set up a Maintenance page so that your developing website isn’t on public display.

Here’s how to install a Maintenance page:

This is redundant if your theme has a maintenance page already available so do check your theme documentation first.

Go to your WordPress admin panel.

Go to Plugins

Go to Add New

Search for WP Maintenance Mode

Install the plugin


Go to plugin Settings, and click Activate.

If available, add a sign up form so readers can sign up to get news of when the site Is launched. Also add your social media links if possible.

How to create a page in WordPress

Next, you need to set up your pages for your WordPress website.

You can create pages in WordPress by going to Pages in the left column, and selecting Add New. Depending on the theme you’ve chosen you’ll see various templates on the right hand side when you go into a new page. Use the documentation provided with the theme purchase to let you know what they look like.

Here are the basic pages you should definitely have on your website as a photographer:

  • About
  • Contact
  • Prices/Packages/Services
  • Gallery/Portfolio
  • Blog

Don’t add any content for now, just add the title to the page and create and save.

How to create your menu

Now you have your pages, next you need to create your navigational menu.

Go to Appearance > Menus

Select Manage Locations

Depending on your theme you can select menus according to where you’d like them to appear. Top Navigation is usually your main menu.

Again, depending on your theme you could have the option for a footer menu. This usually wouldn’t be the same as your top menu, but the other pages that you consider important call to action pages.

To edit your top menu, go to Edit Menus.

You’ll see the list of available pages on the left (if not, click “View All”) and then tick the ones you want to add to the menu and click “Add to Menu”.

Grey boxes will appear in a list on the right.

Click and drag the grey boxes into the order in which you wish the pages to appear.

If there’s any pages you want to add as dropdown under a main page, then simply click and drag the page so it’s slightly to the right and they’ll be subpages.

Click the blue button “Save Menu”

Go to the top left and click View Site

Admire your handiwork. Feel proud of yourself. Have a cup of tea.

Next time I’ll be talking about what to put on each of the pages and more!

If you have any questions please get in touch!

Madeleine Jones helps photographers and wedding suppliers with SEO, social media strategy, copywriting and WordPress website design. Her passion for what she does and her attention to detail along with her sense of fun forms a package that will make you wonder how you did things before she came along! Nicknamed a unicorn by some, a guru by others, she is always helpful and always smiling. You can see more about her on her website –


A big thanks again to Maddy for sharing her knowledge. I hope you are finding these posts on how to build your own website useful.

Thanks for popping by and do keep an eye out for more in this series

Fiona x


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