Order Your Pages for the Sake of Your Readers

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Plastic Numbers

On the Write Page portion of the WordPress Dashboard you are given an option at the rightmost part of the page. The box is called Page Order and by default is blank. By entering a number here, you can change the order of Pages on your menu.

Why Use Page Order

Your pages should be ordered with two factors in mind:

  1. Conventional practice and
  2. Level of interest.

I list both of these because there will be times when the level of interest a page presents may determine that it deserves a rank other than it is usually deemed by conventional practices among websites.

Certain conventions have developed when it comes to the web. One of them (although there are many) is that pages like About tend to show up closer to the top of the listing of pages and Contact or FAQ show up closer to the bottom. You want to lend your site to as many user expectations as possible, and this is one that can be easily achieved in WordPress.

It’s also important that you order pages by their importance. This can be helpful when it comes to deciding between pages that aren’t common enough to be present across many conventional websites. For example, Theme Playground has the following pages, in no specific order: About, Contact Us, Advertising, Consulting, and Home. In the end I chose to order them this way:

  1. Home
  2. About
  3. Consulting
  4. Advertising
  5. Contact Us

The main decision I’ll highlight here is to set Consulting above Advertising because the average reader here at Theme Playground would probably be interested in consulting before they would be interested in advertising.

Try and use some of the though processes above to help when you are planning your pages for WordPress. When you actually get to the point of having Pages to order, use the process below to kickstart the process.

Using Page Order

  1. First you want to think ahead to the number of Pages you predict you will have in total. If you don’t have a lot of Pages in mind, start off with two basic ones: About and Contact.
  2. Create a Page (Write Page) and put its page number in the Page Order box before hitting Publish.
  3. Double-check by visiting your site to be sure your Pages are in the correct order.
  4. Anytime you add a new page, fix its number accordingly and adjust the rest to fit.

Disclaimer

This won’t work if your menu is hand coded in. Your menu must be dynamically generated by WordPress (or Plugin) PHP tags in order for this method to work. Of course, if you are hand coding the pages in anyway, the order of Pages shouldn’t really be something you have to worry about. However I would highly suggest maintaining the WordPress dynamic system for your sake and the sake of everyone else, assuming you ever release your theme for public use.