gpEasy Custom Menus Tutorial

gpEasy 2.x introduces significant feature enhancements and one of those is the ability to have multiple unique menus. Glade I didn't write up the tutorial for 1.7 ;)

The menus area is found via the "Page Manager" admin page. Previously the "Page Manager" was named "File Manager." As you will note in my tutorials I often referred to the File Manager as File/Page Manager. Many users were often confused as to the name of the File Manager. They often thought they should be managing files in that area. In reality you are managing files in the "Page Manager." The files gpEasy uses to create your web pages and they are found in the /data/_pages/ folder (see the folder structure tutorial). Nonetheless, the choice was made to rename the "File Manager" to "Page Manager." Please don't be confused by the new naming convention.

Main Menu

The first thing to learn about in the Page Manager is the "Main Menu." This is the default menu that gpEasy uses. After Josh's, the gpEasy developer, clarification on how the Main Menu functions in relation to gpEasy I realized that we need to know certain things about this Main Menu if we choose to use multiple alternative menus and do not have all our pages in the Main Menu.

If you remove a page from the Main Menu, as of gpEasy 2.1, that page will NOT show up in the site map (/Special_Site_Map).

If you remove a gallery from the Main Menu it will not show up in the /Special_Galleries page.

The Main Menu is the ONLY menu that allows you to delete a page and change a page's associated layout.

The above functions associated with the Main Menu must be understood before using additional menus in gpEasy. Let me give you an example. Here on I'm using several alternative/additional unique custom menus in addition to the Main Menu however, I don't actually use the Main Menu on any layout--you the visitor won't see it anywhere other than the site map. The reason I don't use the Main Menu on any layout is because I have nearly all pages & galleries in it and I don't want a menu like that on any layout but I need to have all the pages and galleries in it so that they will show up in the site map and special galleries pages. Therefore, for my purposes I use the Main Menu only to organize all my pages so that I can easily see what layouts are applied, ensure that all the pages show up in the site map that I want there and special galleries page has all the galleries. In other words, it's just a functional menu for me to work with. It isn't one being used in any layouts and therefore isn't seen anywhere on my site other than the site map.

That's a long way of saying, if you are NOT going to have all your pages in the Main Menu then consider using it only for work purposes--site map, applied layouts, and special galleries organization.

Now let's check out the "Page Manager."

gpEasy CMS Page Manager

Many aspects of the Page Manager are rather self evident. Take a look at the tutorial for creating new pages for more info about page options--not much has changed with that since 1.7.

Add New Menu

This is a new BIG feature introduced in gpEasy 2.0, and for those of use doing wonky things with menus and thems it makes life a whole lot easier. So, let's get to creating a new menu.

You should now have a newly created menu at the very least. Now we need to figure out what to do with this menu.

Adding Menus to Layouts.

Navigate to one of your pages so you are out of the Page Manager and looking at a normal page. I've chosen to navigate to the "Another_Page."

Now you should have your new custom menu added to a layout. You can repeat these steps to create more alternative custom menus and add as many to a layout as you like and to as many layouts as you like. I didn't spend much time editing and adding pages to a newly created menu because there just isn't must to it--drag-n-drop the pages you add to your menu to arrange them, remove them from the menu if you don't want them, add before, after or as child to add pages. Just think of custom menus as a way to create an unordered list of links that you can place into a layout that is automatically updated when you change it. Don't think of them like the Main Menu--a menu that allows you to change layouts, delete pages, define what's shown in the site map and special galleries page. Custom menus are much simpler than the Main Menu.

I hope this tutorial is clear enough and thorough enough to get you going with gpEasy's new custom menus.


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