AGNR Groups

Web Groups for the College of Agriculture &
Natural Resources and Affiliates

What Not To Do

Menus work best when they are in a logical order and link to pages within the same site or section. With this in mind,

Do not create menu links to documents! (PDFs, Word Docs, etc.)

Because different browsers handle links to documents differently, this can cause confusion. Your visitors might click a link expecting to be taken to a web page, and instead see a download dialog pop up...or find themselves viewing a PDF that takes up the whole screen, with your site and its navigation menu unavailable. It's better to give your visitors a consistent experience by always linking menu items to a corresponding web page.

Do not create menu links to external sites!

Think of your site as a book, and your menu as a table of contents. A table of contents would never include resources that aren't actually part of the book—that's what appendices are for!* If there is an external site that is so important that it deserves a menu item all of its own, then you should create a page describing the site, explaining that it's not part of your site, and letting visitors know what they will find there.

In the same vein (UME contributors, this is especially relevant), do not create menu links to other Sections of the same site. This is not only confusing, but, because of a quirk in how Drupal handles menus, it can mess up other people's menus and breadcrumb trails. So, if you are working in Howard County, for example, all your menu links should go to pages in the Howard County section.

*Hint: You can make a sort of appendix for your website by creating a "Links" page.