So your navigation bar in Joomla has Home, About, Contact, and Services and you want to add a link for Testimonials. How do you do it? These instructions show how to do this in Joomla 1.5. (While the steps to do this are virtually identical in Joomla 1.6, some of the screens look a bit different.)

Log into the Joomla administrator panel

Find the menu you want to change

Click on the item in the Joomla administrator panel called Menu. It sits just to the right of Site. At least three sub items should appear: the menu manager, menu trash, and a menu with a name, probably called "Main."

The menu manager

This tool is not used for adding items to an existing menu. The menu manager only lets you create a new menu, change the name of a menu, or delete a menu.

The menu trash

This tool h is like a recycle bin. If you accidentally delete a menu item, you can later find it in the menu trash.

The actual menu you want to change

The next items in the list are the names of actual menus. The default Joomla menu is called Main, but yours can have a different name.

Click on the one you want to change. If you're not sure which menu you need to change, go into the menu manager and look at how many links are published in each. That might help you decide which you're after. If that does not work, go into the module manager, under Extensions, and click on "Type" to sort the modules by type. Scroll through until you find modules of type "mod_mainmenu" and peruse those. Look at the module position (two columns to the left of the module type), and that might help you determine which menu to change. Once you click on the name of the menu, you'll see a screen called the Menu Item Manager, and this screen lists all the items you have in your menu.

Re-ordering the menu items

If your menu items are out of order, you could re-order them on this screen. To re-order the menu items, use the up and down arrows to the left of the number in the Order column. Once finished, click on the tiny diskette icon to the right of the word Order.

Publishing a menu item

The Menu Item Manager also allows you to publish or unpublish an item in the menu. Look for a green check mark in the Published column. A green check mark indicates that the menu item is published and will show up. A red X means that the item is not published and will not show up. Before you create a new menu item, see if it always exists in an un-published form. If it does, you can simply click on the red X to change the item to published.

Adding a menu item

To the right of the words Menu Item Manager you'll find a series of icons: Menus, Default, Publish, Unpublish, More, Copy, Trash, Edit, New, and Help. Click on the New icon, which is a green circle with a white plus sign in the middle.

Choose the type of item you want to add to the menu.

There are four main levels of Menu Item Types: Internal Link, External Link, Separator, and Alias. Most often you'll create an Internal Link.

The external link

The external link is simply a link to another web site. You need to supply a button name for your menu item and the full URL you're linking to.

The alias

The alias is a link to something you already have linked on your site. This is a good thing to use if you want something referenced in two different spots. An alias will make it so you don't have to change it in two different spots if the URL changes.

The separator

The separator just puts a non-linking separator in the menu. This is useful for visually grouping menu items.

The internal link

The internal link is the type of link you'll create most of the time. Almost all components you have installed will show up under Internal Link on the Select Menu Item Type dialog box. By far, the most common one you'll use is the Articles.

Web Links

Web Links just sets up a menu item to the Web Links component. You can add all the links, internal and external, you want in the Web Links component, and the links can be categorized. To set up links inside the component, set up Web Links from the Component menu item in the Joomla administrator panel. To create a link to your links on your menu, select Web Links from the Select Menu Item Type dialog box and then type in a name for your link and hit save.


Individuals are added to the Contacts component, and like Web Links, they can be grouped into categories. To add individuals, select Contacts from the Component menu in the Joomla administration page. To create a menu item to those contacts, click on Contacts in the Select Menu Item Type dialog box. You'll get a choice between Contact Category Layout and Standard Contact Layout. Hovering over the links gives you a brief description of what the differences are in case you forget.

Basically, category displays all the contacts in a category. So, if you have web technicians listed in one category and sales people in another, you can select Contact Category Layout to list all the sales people of web technicians. Choosing Standard Contact Layout, however, only displays the information for one particular person.


The articles type is used most commonly.

The archive articles are just that, archived.

Article Layout will link your menu item to one particular article on your site.

Category Blog Layout lists all the articles in a category and it also shows the first few lines of each article (everything above the Read More in the article).

Category List Layout simply lists all the articles in the category.

Section Blog Layout lists all the articles in a Section with the content above the Read More also showing.

Section Layout lists the categories in the section. Please note that Joomla 1.6 no longer has Sections, but nested categories.

For this example, I selected Article Layout. If you made a mistake and don't want the Article Layout type, you can click on Change Type. Otherwise, put in the name of your menu item in Title. This is what will show up on the final menu. Under Parent Item, select where you want your menu item to appear. If you want it on the top level, keep Top highlighted. If you want it as part of a sub menu, then highlight its parent. On the right-hand side, under Parameters (Basic) select the article this should link to. Then click Save. Refresh your web site and you'll have a new item.