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Top 10 Website Navigation Best Practices – Full Guide

NIDMM ~ Published: January 5th, 2024 ~ Web Design ~ 6 Minutes Reading

Imagine the internet as a big place and a good website is like a well-drawn map that helps you find your way easily. The map, in this case, is the website navigation. We are going to learn about website navigation best practices.

It’s like a guide that shows people around your website. Making it right is super important because it keeps visitors happy and interested. In this guide, we’ll look at the top 10 website navigation best practices to make the navigation awesome, including making it easy for people to use, making sure everyone can access it, and making it look really good. Let’s dive in!

Read more: 5 Best Practices for Landing Pages: Full Guide

What is Website Navigation?



Think of website navigation best practices like road signs that help you find your way while driving. On a website, it’s the menus at the top, links at the bottom, and side menus that guide you to different pages. But it’s not just about these menus; it’s like the master plan of a city.

So, website navigation best practices isn’t just about helping you click around; it’s also like a secret code that tells search engines how everything is connected. 

So, the next time you’re clicking around a website, remember that it’s not just about where you click but also about how everything is connected and organized. Now, we are going to explore the 10  website navigation best practices.

Top 10 Website Navigation Best Practices

Follow these 10 website navigation best practices to make your website navigation better, whether you’re fixing up your current site or making a new one. But remember, these are just good ideas. 

1. Start with a Site Map



If you’re not sure how to start designing your website’s navigation, begin with something called a “site map.” It’s like a list that shows all the pages on your website. First, it lists the main categories and themes, and then it lists the pages under those big ideas. This map helps you figure out what main things you should have in the top menu and at the bottom of your website. It’s a bit like planning what rooms you want in your house before you start building it—helps you organize everything in a neat way!

2. Respond to visitor wants and needs

Think about what your visitors need and make sure they can find important information quickly. Imagine how someone goes through your website to do what you want them to do. Put the most important pages in a visible place on your website so everyone can find them easily.

3. Opt for Brief and Descriptive Menu Titles

Don’t use long words in your menu because it can make your website look messy, especially on phones. Try to use short words or phrases. Use enough words so people and search engines know what’s on each page, but keep it as brief as you can.

4. Keep Top Navigation Simple: Limit Menu Items

Don’t put too many things in your menu because it can be confusing. People like to quickly find what they’re looking for, and having too many options makes it hard. Studies suggest having only seven items in your main menu.

5. Stick to Two Menu Levels

If your business is a bit complicated and needs more than seven menu items, it’s okay. You can use dropdowns to add extra items, but try to limit it to two levels. Don’t have a dropdown that leads to another dropdown. Instead, think about using a “mega menu” that shows a bigger menu from the main navigation.

6. Add Headings to “Fat Footers” and “Mega Menus”

A “fat footer” is like a big menu at the bottom of a website with many links. If you have lots of links, use headings to organize them. This helps people quickly look through and find what they need.

7. Add a Call-to-action Button


call-to-action button

Make things really simple on your website for the users. Add a bright button in the main menu with clear instructions, so people know what to do easily.

8. Use Sticky Top Navigation Menus

A sticky top navigation is like a menu that stays at the top of the webpage, even when you scroll down.

If your top menu has important pages and a button you really want people to click, consider using this sticky menu. It’s helpful because the menu stays visible, and the button is always there for people to click, no matter how much they scroll.

9. Think About Your Menus on Mobile Devices

Responsive website design is like a chameleon. It changes how it looks depending on whether you’re using a small phone or a big computer. When you’re setting up your menus, remember this. Test your menu on different screens to make sure it works well everywhere. Check that long menus don’t take up too much space and that those three-lined icons (hamburger menus) are easy to find and use.

10. Use Analytics

These 10 website navigation best practices are good to follow, but they’re not rules you must always stick to.

Like in all marketing stuff, there’s no perfect plan that fits every brand all the time. Use Google Analytics to see what’s working for you. Check how people use your site and what they like. If some menu items are rarely clicked, maybe remove or rename them. If a page is popular, make it easy to find. Move important menu items to the top if people click on them a lot. Keep an eye on what’s happening and adjust things to make your website better.

We hope that you understood the concept of website navigation best practices.

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Your website is like a project that’s never really finished. Follow website navigation best practices to make your website easy to use, help it show up better on Google, and get more people to do what you want them to do. After that, keep looking for ways to make your website even better and more successful.