Menu options for a very large site


(Ian Sinclair) #1

With the new requirements for responsive sites, it seems like themes are increasingly geared to mobile devices and database driven sites.
Gone are clear 3-tier or (dare I say it) 4-tier navigation.
Does anyone have suggestions for a 3-tier navigation for a very large site with many many many pages.
A simple stack of 3 menu bars with a dropdown option could work for me.
I have also considered things like http://www.ctv.ca has when you click on the “Shows” item. But I haven’t found a way to do that in Rapidweaver. Is there a theme or stack that could do that across a site?
Is would have to work site-wide, since it is a huge site.
Otherwise, I will go back to my old seydesign Gid3ous or Kleer themes, and give up on responsiveness.


(Jason Bostick) #2

I’ve never tried it out in practice but the Joey stack from Big White Duck has all sorts of menu tricks, including drop-down ‘mega menus’. You could give that a shot.


(Will Woodgate) #4

Yes, themes are increasingly geared towards mobile devices, because mobile is the future and a high proportion of RapidWeaver users will only buy addons that are responsive and mobile optimised. If you’ve got a website which is receiving 40% or more traffic from mobile sources, it makes sense to optimise your website for that growing user base. Otherwise many of those mobile users are likely to click onto a competitors website - if they find that to be more intuitive and accessible. SEO site ranking is also skewed more towards responsive websites nowadays.

Any RapidWeaver theme advertising itself as having support for a split or block navigation layout is likely to be better suited for websites consisting of a more complex structure. The problem with all drop-down navigation layouts is that they’re less user friendly in instances where the list of navigation links may extend outside of the screen or for websites with more than 3 levels of navigation links (they can become tedious for users to click / hover and drill-down through).

In contrast, split or block navigation links always offer more a conventional navigation, more likened to a website sitemap. Users can instantly see what part of the website they are currently within. Many of my ThemeFlood themes offer these navigation layouts, and some of theme designs from Henk Vrieselaar and a few other developers do too. So they are out there if you look and download some of the free demo versions to try.

Navigation is a crucial website component. Simplification is the key here - a drop-down may well look sexy and look cool. However often a split or block navigation layout is often more practical for larger websites. I’d honestly say that in all the websites I build for private clients, perhaps only 20% of projects use drop-downs.


(Rob Beattie) #5

I would have thought that Will’s own Supermenu stack would be worth a look.

https://stacks4stacks.com/supermenu/

Rob


(Will Woodgate) #7

Wilderness would be the best one to look at first. You might also want to look at the new Bootstrap theme, because that one will let you toggle between a drop-down, block or split navigation layout (so you can compare all three navigation layouts).


(Ian Sinclair) #8

Thanks. I really like the ThemeFlood products and I have the Wilderness Theme 6.1, and a few others. I’ve used Wilderness in the past. But now for some reason I am not getting the split navigation. When I select split, it doesn’t show the top nav bar, only the sub pages in the sidebar.
The split nav works fine in Flood 5.1.


(Ian Sinclair) #9

Oh, I couldn’t agree with you more. After spending too much of today looking through 100 or so of the newer themes available, I found myself getting increasingly pi@@ed off with the direction things are taking. I don’t understand why designers are making themes that deliberately obscure the navigation. It is like they have given up on desktop computers altogether and are assuming that everyone is using a phone. I have a phone, but I do all my serious browsing and work on a desktop. As long as there are adults, that will continue to be the case for my demographic. Most of my clients are not teenagers with the attention span of a gnat. But if they come to my site and see no navigation menu, only 3 horizontal lines in the corner, they will go elsewhere.
There are a a lot of pretty themes out there. (Pretty bouncy.) But without an efficient navigation, they are pretty much useless as anything other than wallpaper.
I want my visitors to arrive on any page and be able to easily see immediately where they can find their information. I don’t want to force them on some frustrating hunt like the futile search for customer support on Apple.com or some N. American mobile phone site.

Sorry for the rant, willwood. What I mean to say is that, after spending hours looking at themes, Themeflood is my first choice.


(Brian LaPan) #10

I’ve found MOST responsive themes have FULL menus at Desktop and only go to the hamburger menu on smaller devices.

Maybe you’re just viewing the demos for the phone/tablet versions?


(David Freels) #11

I’m about to convert a 1000-page site over to RW, most likely with NickCates Forward theme and a lot of creative use of his Light Page stack. Forward’s menu will go down to 5 levels. Click on the ‘More+’ tab here to see. https://nickcatesdesign.com/preview/rapidweaver/forward/pages/index.html

I’m on my iPhone but took a screenshot and will try and post that too.


(Jeu Elissen) #12

Switcher from Stacks4Stacks might be a good alternative.
I use it for one of my sites “http://www.de-eetclup.nl” which is also a site with
lots and lots of pages and pictures.


(Mathew Mitchell) #13

@Jeu I like how you styled Switcher for that page. Can you share what style settings you choose and which you deactivated? There’s a lot of options with Switcher, so your help would help me better re-create something like what you have. I want to use this approach for an upcoming website that will also need a lot of tabs.


(Jeu Elissen) #14

Hello Mathew,

I can give you the color settings I use but these are the only style settings I’ve got.
But I’ll see if I can extract more details from that project and if that’s possible
I’ll send them to you in a few days.

Content fill #3C434C
Content text #F2F2F2
Tab static #728093
Tab hovered #3C434C
Tab clicked #DEDEDE
Tab active #586372
Tab text static #FFFFFF
Tab text hovered #FFD43F
Tab text clicked #982A2F
Tab text active #FFD43F


(Mathew Mitchell) #15

@Jeu Many thanks! I appreciate you taking the time.


(Jeu Elissen) #16

I uploaded some explanatory screenshots of the settings I use at http://www.rosgats4.nl for viewing and/or downloading.

Success


(Mathew Mitchell) #17

@Jeu Many thanks. This is perfect.


(Ian Sinclair) #18

That used to be the case. But there are now an increasing number of themes that try to get rid of the navigation, putting the mobile menu icon in the corner, or even put the menu below the screen, so you have to scroll to find the menu. Many of the newest themes seem designed to annoy as I open them. They are pretty. But I feel lost as soon as the page opens. The cause a reflexive (⌘w).