The Nav Menus plugin for WordPress creates configurable navigation widgets that can be placed in your sidebars, as shown on this site.
Browse Appearance / Widgets upon activating the plugin, and insert any number of menus on your site.
The default menu items are an entry for your site’s home page, and another for each section on your site that should not be ignored by widgets (see “This post/page in widgets” below). The sections are ordered as they’d normally be in WordPress.
If you wish to override the default menu items, configure the widget in order to force menu items into it using the Plus button, and rearrange the menu items to your liking.
In addition to a link to your home page and to your site’s various sections, the widget let you insert menu items that point to arbitrary urls. This is quite convenient if you’ve a site that spans several subdomains, or that has components (such as a forum) outside of WP.
One neat feature is the sections that expand on a per-use basis. That is, menu items reveal their children (and then subchildren) only when they’re visited. This contrasts with the built-in Pages widget from WP, which displays all pages regardless of the context.
In addition to implementing the desirable behavior from an SEO standpoint, what the Nav Menus widget does is generally accepted as best practice from a usability standpoint. (Humans can grasp 7 or so items at a time. A menu item with more than 8 items is considered hard to read.)
This post/page in widgets
This plugin shares options with a couple of other plugins from Semiologic. They’re available when editing your posts and pages, in meta boxes called “This post in widgets” and “This page in widgets.”
These options allow you to configure a title and a description that are then used by Fuzzy Widgets, Random Widgets, Related Widgets, Nav Menu Widgets, Silo Widgets, and so on. They additionally allow you to exclude a post or page from all of them in one go.
This package is part of Semiologic Pro, and is access-restricted.
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Frequently Asked Questions
The Semiologic forum is the best place to report issues.