Pages Published But Not Appearing? Look At Menus

Working with new users, one of the first things I need to clear up is the anatomy of a WordPress.com site. It’s one thing to see all these options on the left: Blog Posts, Pages, Themes, Menus; it’s another thing to understand how the all fit together when you’re building your first site. Let’s look at an example involving Pages.

A lot of folks start a site with some tried and true advice, write your “About” page. This is a very good advice, and I’d recommend it myself.

After that you may have the courage to publish a few other pages, maybe “Contact” or “Now.”

But depending on the theme you’ve chosen you might come across a very scary thing. The pages are nowhere to be found!

Take the site in the next screenshot for instance. It has five pages, all published and publicly available.

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Yup, I’ve got pages there!

But how would anyone know? Those pages are nowhere to be seen on the site!

ryu-noMenu.png
Where have my pages gone?

Yet if we take that exact same site, then change the theme to Twenty Sixteen, the pages appear right away.

twentySixteenMenu.png

The reasoning to this enigma lies with how themes use Menus, not how they use Pages.

The Ryu theme doesn’t use a default menu, but Twenty Sixteen does. But in either of them, you can use a custom menu to add or remove any items you like from the menu location.

Some folks find this really confusing, because it looks like all those pages you spent time making got accidentally deleted. Understandably frustrating!

The lesson: if you don’t see your Pages, check your Menu settings. Menus can contain a bunch of different items, not just pages, and not every theme will display a menu by default.