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Introduction to Site Navigation

There isn't an official way to manage navigation in Craft CMS. Unlike other CMSes that offer built-in navigation management, Craft CMS leaves it up to the developer to decide the best implementation for the website.

There isn’t an offi­cial way to man­age nav­i­ga­tion in Craft CMS. Unlike oth­er CMSes that offer built-in nav­i­ga­tion man­age­ment, Craft CMS leaves it up to the devel­op­er to decide the best imple­men­ta­tion for the website. 

Craft CMS is design-agnos­tic and doesn’t impose any lay­out or design struc­ture on a project. Craft focus­es entire­ly on the con­tent and not on the pre­sen­ta­tion. Because Craft doesn’t for­mal­ly sup­port one way to do nav­i­ga­tion, there is a lot of flex­i­bil­i­ty in what you can do.

Recent­ly on the Craft CMS Dis­cord serv­er, there was a dis­cus­sion of how to do nav­i­ga­tion and the input from dif­fer­ent peo­ple sig­nif­i­cant­ly var­ied. You had those that most­ly always imple­ment the nav­i­ga­tion man­u­al­ly via hard-cod­ed nav items right in the Twig tem­plate. But, there were also those that did it half-hard-cod­ed nav­i­ga­tion, adding in some dynam­ic items when nec­es­sary. And then there were oth­ers who chimed in that all nav­i­ga­tion should be ful­ly dynam­ic and man­age­able from the Craft con­trol panel.

There’s no wrong way, just the way that is best for your project. I’ve pri­mar­i­ly used the hard-cod­ed approach for my projects and a mix of every­thing for client or cus­tomer websites.

Here are all of the videos in Creating Navigation in Craft CMS:

1Introduction to Site NavigationThere isn't an official way to manage navigation in Craft CMS. Unlike other CMSes that offer built-in navigation management, Craft CMS leaves it up to the developer to decide the best implementation for the website. 02:47
2Static Navigation in Craft CMSStatic navigation is a set-and-forget approach to navigation, and it comes with the assumption that the navigation will not change very often. 03:17
3Partially-Dynamic NavigationA partially dynamic navigation is one that pulls in some navigation items via Element queries in Craft. A typical example of this is a drop-down that has additional subpages under the main navigation item. 04:07
4Global-Set-Powered NavigationIn this example, we create a Global Set in Craft and use it to build and manage the site navigation. The advantage here is that it allows someone, presumably the client or customer, to manage the navigation from the Craft control panel. This is helpful in some scenarios because it doesn't require the intervention of a developer or technical staff member. 05:46
5Structure-Powered NavigationAnother option when tackling navigation is to tie your content structure and navigation closely together using the Structure section to power the navigation. 06:39
6Plugin-Powered NavigationIf none of the native options work for your project, and you need to give the site administrators ultimate control over the site navigation, then one of the popular navigation plugins is the correct choice. 05:37

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